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AzHHA Member Advisory - COVID-19: July 14

Significant changes in federal reporting process for hospitals
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Monday announced significant changes to the process for hospitals to fulfill the agency’s request for daily data reporting on bed capacity, utilization, personal protective equipment (PPE) and in-house laboratory testing data. Hospitals are asked to prioritize the reporting of seven data fields starting tomorrow, July 15:
• Previous day's new adult admissions for confirmed COVID-19
• Previous day's new adult admissions for suspected COVID-19
• Total adults hospitalized for COVID - suspected and confirmed
• Total hospitalized for COVID - confirmed only
• Total adults in ICU with COVID - suspected and confirmed
• Total adults in ICU with COVID - confirmed
• Remdesivir doses (field will be available by July 15)

HHS states it is prioritizing these seven fields because they inform the agency’s distribution of remdesivir. Review the HHS announcement here.

If you have any trouble with reporting or have questions, please email protect-servicedesk@hhs.gov.

HHS announces additional $3 billion to safety net hospitals
HHS has announced an additional $3 billion in CARES Act Provider Relief Fund payments to safety net hospitals to supplement the $10 billion distribution that was announced on June 9. HHS has expanded the criterion for payment qualification so that certain acute care hospitals meeting the revised profitability threshold of less than 3% averaged consecutively over two or more of the last five cost reporting periods, as reported to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in its Cost Report filings, will now be eligible for payment. HHS expects to distribute over $3 billion across 215 acute care facilities, bringing the total payments for safety net hospitals from the Provider Relief Fund to $12.8 billion to 959 facilities. Arizona and Nevada together are expected to receive a total of $47,480,089 allocated among three providers. State-by-state breakdown – PDF

HHS announces $1 billion to certain rural providers and other providers from small metropolitan areas
HHS has announced $1 billion in CARES Act Provider Relief Funding for providers in rural areas and in small metropolitan areas. In May, HHS announced $10 billion in funding to almost 4,000 rural health care providers. HHS is now expanding the existing payment formula to include certain special rural Medicare designation hospitals in urban areas as well as others that provide care in smaller non-rural communities. These may include some suburban hospitals that are not considered rural but serve rural populations and operate with smaller profit margins and limited resources than larger hospitals. HHS estimates the new funding will provide relief to 500 of these hospitals with payments ranging from $100,000 to $4,500,000 for rural designated providers and $100,000 to $2,000,000 for the other providers. Arizona is expected to receive a total of $19,505,685 allocated among six providers. State-by-state breakdown – PDF

ADHS announces COVID-19 testing strike force details
The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) and Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs (DEMA) Tuesday announced details additional diagnostic testing for COVID-19 with a focus on Maryvale and South Phoenix. The testing will begin on Friday, July 17, and continue for 12 days. Read more here.

Staffing resources
The Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association is here to support member hospitals experiencing workforce shortages or anticipating this in the future. If you have exhausted all other options (e.g., contracting staffing agencies), the current process is to contact your local county/public health department, and they will work with the Arizona Department of Health Services to identify alternative staffing options, such as evaluating potential candidates from the Arizona Emergency System for the Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals (ESAR-VHP) database. AzHHA has additional options/resources including staffing agencies and out-of-state hospital association resources. To discuss your unmet staffing needs please contact Sandy Severson, Vice President, Care Improvement at sseverson@azhha.org. 

COCA call: clinical management of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children
The CDC’s Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) call on Thursday, July 16, 2020, will cover clinical management of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) associated with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Clinicians will share their experiences treating patients with MIS-C, present treatment details from published literature on patients with MIS-C, and provide an overview of the treatment guidelines published by the American College of Rheumatology. Learn more here.

New CDC toolkits
Check out the CDC’s One-Stop Shop toolkits to help you communicate with your audience about COVID-19. These new toolkits contain videos, social media posts, PSAs, print resources, checklists, FAQs, and web resources.