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AzHHA Member Advisory - COVID-19: June 30

ADHS activates crisis standards of care

The Arizona Department of Health Services announced Monday it is activating the state crisis standards of care. This allows for statewide triage protocols when hospitals are exceeding their normal capacity and ensures all hospitals are providing the same level of care and patients are not treated by different standards. Department Director, Dr. Cara Christ, notified the State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee (SDMAC) Monday that the activation recognizes “an individual hospital’s status may fall within the continuum of contingency and crisis standards of care.” Under the crisis standards of care Executive Order 2020-27: The “Good Samaritan Order” Protecting Frontline Healthcare Workers Responding to the COVID-19 Outbreak provides civil liability protections to healthcare providers who are following the SDMAC-approved Triage Protocol for COVID-19. ADHS is urging hospitals to:

  • activate tactics identified in the Arizona Crisis Standards of Care, 3rd edition,
  • prepare for surge,
  • limit surgeries,
  • activate hospital incident command and
  • establish regular communication with local health jurisdiction.

ADHS states it intends to frequently reassess the need for contingency and crisis status in Arizona.

Visit with White House Coronavirus Task Force’s Deborah Birx, M.D.

AzHHA participated today in a stakeholder meeting with Governor Ducey, Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Cara Christ for a public health roundtable. Dr. Birx, as a member of the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force, was in town to get an update from public health officials, healthcare professionals and testing partners. AzHHA shared hospital concerns about meeting patient surge with the current limitations on clinical staffing and encouraged the federal government to help with national solutions on staffing challenges. In addition, AzHHA highlighted the need for both increased testing capacity and turnaround times along with rapid tracing programs. Other stakeholders included three county public health officials, healthcare associations and laboratory partners including UA and ASU research and laboratory programs. 

Remdesivir update

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) yesterday announced it struck a deal with Gilead to secure 500,000 additional treatment courses of remdesivir that will be distributed during the months of July, August and September. Unlike previous distributions of the medication, hospitals will be expected to buy the medication from Gilead and its distributor, AmeriSource Bergen. It will be made available to hospitals at the negotiated price of about $3,200 per average treatment course, according to the HHS announcement.

AHA report: Losses deepen for hospitals and health systems

A new AHA report released today finds the immense financial strain facing hospitals and health systems due to COVID-19 will continue through at least the end of 2020, with patient volume expected to remain well below baseline levels. The report estimates an additional minimum of $120.5 billion in financial losses, due in large part to lower patient volumes, from July 2020 through December 2020, or an average of $20.1 billion per month. These estimates are in addition to the $202.6 billion in losses the AHA estimated between March 2020 and June 2020 in a report released last month. This brings total losses for the nation’s hospitals and health systems to at least $323.1 billion in 2020. And while potentially catastrophic, these projected losses still may underrepresent the full financial losses hospitals will face in 2020, as the analysis does not account for currently increasing case rates in certain states, or potential subsequent surges of the pandemic occurring later this year. If the current surge trends continue, the financial impact on hospitals and health systems could be even more significant. A copy of the full AHA report can be found on the AHA’s website HERE.

Advance Care Planning – for you and your patient

Advance Care Planning (ACP) has never been more important than now. AzHHA has resources to assist you with advance care directives both for you and those who come into your care. Our Ethics Resource Toolkit is available in draft form to help guide you in reviewing the goals of care and identifying the patient’s treatment preferences prior to aggressive interventions to ensure goal concordant care.


AzHHA is committed to the message to Mask Up in Arizona. We do it to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and for the protection of our healthcare workforce. Join us in thanking our local cities, towns and counties who have implemented a face mask mandate within their jurisdiction. We see you. And we support you.