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AzHHA Member Advisory - COVID-19: April 28

FAQs governing elective surgeries released

The Arizona Department of Health Services late yesterday posted frequently asked questions governing Executive Order 2020-32, which permits hospitals and other healthcare providers to perform “elective, non-essential” surgeries if the provider meets specific conditions. The FAQs address issues raised by AzHHA members and other providers, including the requirement that hospitals maintain available bed capacity of at least 20%. The FAQ allows hospitals to meet this requirement “by having a documented plan that includes triggers to increase or preserve capacity as needed. Additionally, should a system or hospital exceed the 80% threshold, the hospital or system should contact ADHS to receive further guidance.”

Hospitals or health systems can apply for permission to restart elective surgeries by submitting this attestation form to the department. Once the attestation is completed, an email will be sent to the requestor, acknowledging receipt by the department. This receipt should be retained for one year. Provided the requestor meets and continues to meet the conditions of Executive Order 2020-32, non-essential surgeries may resume May 1, 2020.

ADHS announces COVID-19 Testing Blitz

The Arizona Department of Health Services announced yesterday the Arizona Testing Blitz, a challenge to test 10,000-20,000 Arizonans for COVID-19 each Saturday for the next three weekends, beginning on Saturday, May 2, 2020. The goal of this challenge is to increase testing capacity statewide. 

In order to participate in the initiative, ADHS is asking partners to provide drive-through or onsite sample collection for diagnostic (RT-PCR) testing on May 2, May 9, and May 16. This includes providing the staff to collect samples, the specimen collection supplies, and the testing capabilities.

 The state can provide: 

  • marketing for the event, in conjunction with ADHS and the Governor's office.
  • up to $15,000 per site, based on a signed contract with ADHS.
  • logistical support for setting up, site coordination (security, traffic control) and tearing down each weekend, as requested. 
  • statewide standing orders for the testing of individuals who believe they were exposed to an individual infected with COVID-19.
  • other logistical supplies can be requested if needed. 

In order to participate in the Arizona Testing Blitz challenge, please complete an interest form to provide information about your key points of contact, your testing sites, and any needs from the state. Please contact ADHS at [email protected] if you have any questions.

CMS reevaluates payment amounts

This week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it is reevaluating payment amounts through the Medicare Accelerated Payment Program and suspending its Advance Payment Program to Part B suppliers effective immediately. The agency made this announcement following payments of more than $100 billion to health care providers and suppliers through these programs and in light of the $175 billion recently appropriated for health care provider relief payments. CMS had previously expanded these programs to provide temporary relief to providers to address cash flow issues. Read AHA’s Special Bulletin here