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2021 Legislative Report

2021_Legislative_Report_Cover.pngDear Hospital and Healthcare Leaders,

More than a year after our world was challenged and changed forever in the face of COVID-19, this has been a year of resiliency as we collectively rose to the challenges in front of us. Our advocacy focused on working to create health policy that allows the healthcare community to meet the
needs of our communities.

Despite the challenges of a closed-door session due to the pandemic, our collaborative partnership of member hospitals and healthcare systems—along with AzHHA’s daily tenacity—have made our achievements in the 2021 Arizona State Legislature significant. Highlights of this session include:

  • Protecting Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) program funding by increasing the agency’s federal expenditure by $3 billion (SB1096).
  • The expansion of telepharmacy for small rural hospitals (SB1604).
  • Adjusting reimbursement rates for audio-visual telehealth services to match rates as in-person visits (HB2454).
  • Reducing the administrative burden of prior authorization (HB2621).

It is no surprise that COVID-19 shaped the 2021 legislative session as lawmakers worked to address challenges encountered or potentially faced by a public health crisis. Within this report, we detail the legislation related to the coronavirus pandemic including:

  • Ensuring healthcare providers are protected by lawsuits stemming from a public
    health emergency (SB1377).
  • Requiring the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) to include specific
    provisions if a crisis standards of care (CSC) plan is adopted (HB2386).
  • Allowing in-person clergy visitation at any time of the day, regardless of a hospital’s
    visitation policy (HB2575).

As a hospital association, we come together to improve healthcare for the patients, people and communities in Arizona. Together, our voices are heard, we are stronger and we have great impact. The pandemic has shown us that we have more work ahead of us to rebuild and maintain a resilient healthcare system, but for this legislative session, our collective purpose has been well-served.

Thank you for your membership, participation and engagement!

In health,

Ann-Marie Alameddin
President and Chief Executive Officer
Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association