Dear Hospital and Healthcare Leaders,
On May 26, 2020, the second regular session of the 54th Arizona Legislature concluded when the Senate voted for a second time to adjourn sine die. This vote officially brought an end to a highly irregular legislative session defined by the Arizona’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the COVID-19 response took priority at the legislature, AzHHA and certainly at all your hospitals, I am proud to say AzHHA had a very successful legislative session.
AzHHA’s tenacity and influence at the state Capitol meant that even in an extraordinary and uncertain time, we were able to make great strides in advancing policies that will improve healthcare. The single most important legislation was the passage of the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) rate increase bill which will help improve AHCCCS payment rates to hospitals, physicians and dentists without impacting the state’s general fund or passing the cost of the program on to patients. Such success would have not been as impactful without the collaboration of member hospitals and healthcare partners.
We are grateful for our collective legislative success. At the same time, we are mindful that we may need to defend against prospective healthcare spending cuts which may be proposed to offset looming state budget shortfalls. The best way to do this is by supporting key legislators in their re-election efforts through our Political Action Committee, AzHHA PAC.
In closing, while we could have hardly anticipated many of the challenges presented by 2020, I am encouraged at the strength and resilience of our response in meeting the needs of the patients and communities we serve. While the challenges presented by COVID-19 remain very real and, at times overwhelming, what is clear is the central importance of the role hospitals play in the communities we serve.
Hospitals and healthcare need to be protected and strengthened as we combat COVID-19 in the long term. We can do this better together as we navigate these uncertain times – together.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association