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Connection Newsletter - ADHS requests comments on ambulance rulemaking

ADHS is offering two alternate definitions of “arrival time” and requesting stakeholder feedback.

Legislative update

On day 137 of the legislative session, sine die seems to be within sight. The House and Senate Appropriations Committees passed their respective budget bills Tuesday, on party-line votes. Neither the House nor Senate held a floor on Wednesday night and appears there aren’t enough votes to pass the budget. If a budget is not passed by Memorial Day, it is rumored that the legislature will recess for several weeks.

The draft budget includes a $1.9 billion tax cut to be implemented over three years, more than $339 million for road construction and $112 million for universities. Health-related components of the draft budget, although subject to change, include:

  • $6 million for graduate medical education funding continued from fiscal year 2021 – this is supposed to increase to $9M in fiscal year 2023;

  • $2 million for medical student loan repayment;

  • $500,000 to implement expanded newborn screening;

  • $300,000 to reduce radiation control fees paid by hospitals and others using radiation-emitting devices and

  • $300,000 for additional high-risk perinatal visits.

Although not included in the current budget, it is possible, federal funds will be used for broadband grants seen in last week’s version of the draft budget.

View bill status updates by visiting

ADHS requests comments on ambulance rulemaking

The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) has been holding workgroup sessions for several months regarding draft ground ambulance rule revisions. ADHS has proposed a definition of “arrival time” with respect to interfacility transfers that has elicited stakeholder concerns. In response to these concerns, ADHS is offering two alternate definitions of “arrival time” and requesting stakeholder feedback. For more information about the proposed change and how to submit comments, click here. Questions may be sent to AzHHA Director of Policy, Liz Lorenz.

FBI issues alert on ‘Conti’ ransomware threat

The Federal Bureau of Investigation issued an alert dated May 20 on “Conti,” a ransomware variant identified in at least 16 attacks targeting U.S. healthcare and first responder networks in the past year. Ransomware attacks associated with these variants have resulted in regionally disruptive impacts to critical infrastructure, including hospitals and health systems in the United States and Ireland. Most recently, hospitals in New Zealand have been hit by disruptive ransomware attacks. See the American Hospital Association’s Cyber Advisory for more information and available resources.

Community health workers rulemaking – Comments due June 6

ADHS released draft rules on May 19 for community health workers and is seeking comments. The draft rules include requirements for the scope of practice and core competencies necessary for certification; minimum qualifications; standards for continuing education courses; trainer qualifications; standards for education and training programs; initial and renewal applications and enforcement. Comments may be submitted through the ADHS online survey until June 6. If you would like to address a particular section of the draft rules, be sure to provide the exact section.  

AHCCCS is seeking feedback on how ARPA funds can best be utilized to improve HCBS

President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) on March 11 into law which includes a temporary increase to the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP). Section 9817 of the ARPA provides qualifying states with a temporary 10% increase to the FMAP for certain Medicaid expenditures for home and community-based services (HCBS). States must use the federal funds attributable to the increased FMAP to supplement, not supplant, existing state funds expended for Medicaid HCBS in effect as of April 1, 2021. Additionally, states must use state funds equivalent to the amount of federal funds attributable to the increased FMAP to implement or supplement the implementation of one or more activities to enhance, expand or strengthen HCBS under the Medicaid program. States are required to submit a spending plan to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services by June 11.

Given the short timeframe, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) will hold a general community listening session to gather community feedback on Monday, June 7 at 5:00 p.m. In addition, AHCCCS is requesting written testimony be submitted to [email protected] before June 11, 2021, providing input and suggestions on how the dollars saved by the 10% FMAP increase could best be used to improve Medicaid HCBS. Questions may be emailed to Alex Demyan at [email protected].

Arizona Immunization Program sends reminders to providers about COVID-19 reporting

The Arizona Immunization Program sent an email last week reminding providers of COVID-19 reporting requirements and allocation reporting to ASIIS. In the email, the Arizona Immunization Program reminds providers that they must enter dose-administered data into ASIIS within 24 hours of administration as well as submit a daily inventory to CDC VaccineFinder. In addition, all state allocations of COVID-19 vaccines received must be checked as ‘received’ in ASIISS inventory.

  • Log into ASIIS. 

  • Go to Orders/Transfers> Create/View Orders> Select arrow for Inbound Order/Transfer

  • Verify the expiration date, lot number and quantity of doses. 

    • ASIIS may show 12/31/2069 as a placeholder for the expiration date; providers are expected to enter the correct expiration date when needed.

    • Click the ‘receive’ button to receive the doses into the ASIIS inventory.   

Providers that receive their doses from a federal allocation are not required to enter their doses into the ASIIS inventory; however, providers may enter their doses into the ASIIS inventory.

Upcoming Events

June 15 and 16 – 47th Annual Arizona Rural Health Conference

University of Arizona’s Center for Rural Health will be hosting its 47th Annual Rural Health Conference June 15 – 16 both in-person and virtually. Arizona's rural, tribal and Southwestern communities and stakeholders will share best practice models, discuss funding opportunities on the horizon, strategies for building partnerships and how to build and sustain the rural economy and healthcare workforce. Register here.

June 22 and 23 - Working together: Forging the future of serious illness care

In collaboration with partners from California and Hawaii, AzHHA will hold a virtual summit, Working Together: Forging the Future of Serious Illness Care, on June 22 and 23. Attendees will hear from inspiring speakers, get the latest information on the state of serious illness care from thought leaders and connect with colleagues and friends in breakouts and group discussions. Register here.

July 14 - 2021 Coding Clinic: Quarter 1 Updates

AzHHA Affiliated Partner, NJHA Healthcare Business Solutions, is offering member health information managers and coding specialists a series of coding webinars, 2021 Coding Clinic Updates - Everything You Really Need to Know held quarterlyThe webinar series provides a concise overview of the current issue of Coding Clinic and allows participants an opportunity for discussion and Q&A. The second quarter session is scheduled July 14. Register here.

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