Proposed metrics will be similar to last year with the majority of funding being tied to meeting HIE milestones.
We’ve now been in session for four weeks, which leaves just two more weeks to hear bills in committee in their chamber of origin. Agendas are only getting longer, and patience is in short supply during committee meetings as we move towards deadlines that “kill” legislation. The House Health Committee met Monday afternoon and advanced HB2434, which requires hospitals and outpatient surgical centers to have policies in place and procedures implemented for surgical smoke evacuation, including a surgical smoke evacuation system, by January 2024. The House Commerce Committee advanced a problematic bill related to COVID-19 vaccination and employers, HB2198, which would require employers to either rehire any employees terminated for noncompliance with vaccination policies or provide 12-month severance pay. The measure is also retroactive to November 30, 2021. AzHHA opposed the legislation, as did many business groups and other healthcare organizations. Read more.
AzHHA releases legislation tracker feature
Members are now able to see what bills AzHHA is supporting/opposing and tracking with the new Legialtion Tracker. This list is updated in real-time making it easy for members to view what we are tracking along with our current position on the proposed legislation. AzHHA members interested in accessing the legislation tracker and/or last week’s Legislative Update call, email [email protected].
Action Alert – Ask your Congressional Delegation to include priorities in must-pass legislation
With both the Delta and Omicron variants exerting tremendous strain on our healthcare system, AzHHA asks members to call on their representatives to include several key priorities to support hospitals and caregivers as part of legislation that must be passed by February 18 to fund the federal government.
- disbursing quickly the remaining dollars in the Provider Relief Fundand adding $25 billion to the fund;
- extending the Medicare sequester reliefuntil the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency or December 31, 2022, whichever is later;
- giving hospitals more time to repay payments received through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Accelerated and Advance PaymentsPrograms; and
- providing relief for any hospitals participating in the 340B Drug Pricing Programthat had to leave the program due to changes in their patient mix as a result of the pandemic.
Questions about the legislation may be sent to Liz Lorenz, AzHHA Director of Policy.
AHCCCS’ proposed Differential Adjusted Payments for 2023
The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System posted its proposed DAP metrics on January 28 for contract year ending 2023 (October 1, 2022- September 30,2023). The proposed metrics for hospitals will be similar to last year with the majority of funding being tied to meeting health information exchange (HIE) milestones. Additional metrics include:
- Indian Health Service (IHS)/Tribal 638 facilities and non-IHS/Tribal 638 facilities that enter into a care coordination agreement by March 15, 2022,
- behavioral health hospitals that meet the Inpatient Psychiatric Facility Quality Reporting Program performance measure,
- long term acute care hospitals that meet or fall below the national average for the pressure ulcers performance measure and
- rehabilitation hospitals that meet or fall below the national average for the pressure ulcers performance measure.
The first HIE deadline is April 1, 2022. Comments or questions may be emailed to AzHHA’s Director of Financial Policy and Reimbursement Amy Upston.
Senators Sinema and Kelly ask Governor Ducey to activate the AZ National Guard in a Title 32 capacity
The federal government in January extended the deployment of the National Guard to assist states and territories in COVID-19 response efforts. A letter from Arizona Senators Sinema and Kelly was sent Monday to Arizona Governor Doug Ducey asking for “the activation of the Arizona National Guard in a Title 32 capacity to perform wraparound and other critical services at hospitals and other care facilities.”
Members who wish to make a request for assistance from the National Guard may do so through their respective county public health agency.
Improve patient access and reduce bad debt
When patients are in sub-optimal Medicare plans, they may not get the care they need. The lack of coverage also causes hospitals like yours to accumulate bad debt. During a live event presented by AzHHA’s Affiliated Partner, Well Advised, you'll learn how matching patients with their ideal Medicare plan can improve your patient scores and increase revenue. Register for the February 16 afternoon session or for the February 17 morning session. Questions may be emailed to AzHHA’s Vice President of Member Solutions, Laura Dickscheid.
FDA approves second COVID-19 vaccine
A second COVID-19 vaccine was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on January 31. The Moderna vaccine will be marketed as Spikevax and be available for use in individuals age 18+. Spikevax has the same formulation as the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine that is under emergency use authorization (EUA) and is administered as a primary series of two doses, one month apart. Spikevax can be used interchangeably with the EUA Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine to provide the COVID-19 vaccination series.
Maternal Health, what’s new and how to get involved
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a website with resources for healthcare professionals related to its Hear Her campaign that focuses on maternal health. Nationally about 700 women die every year due to pregnancy-related complications. In Arizona, approximately 70 women die within 365 days of pregnancy, of which 15-20 deaths are pregnancy-related cases. Partnered with the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM), AzHHA launched the Arizona AIM Collaborative in 2021. Through the Arizona AIM Collaborative, AzHHA helps hospitals and clinics across the state implement maternal evidence-based practices and safety bundles. What’s our goal? End preventable maternal death and severe maternal mortality. The Arizona AIM Collaborative currently focuses on Severe Hypertension in Pregnancy Bundle with plans to implement the following bundles in the future.
- Obstetric hemorrhage
- Maternal venous thrombosis prevention
- Safe reduction of primary cesarean births
- Obstetric care for women with opioid use disorder
Arizona birthing facilities not already participating in the Arizona AIM Collaborative are encouraged to join these ongoing efforts to improve maternal health in Arizona and across the country. Learn more about the Arizona AIM Collaborative at azhha.org/arizona_aim_collaborative.
February 7 - Developing a Telemedicine Program
This course is ideal for individuals or groups who have some telehealth experience and are interested in expanding their services. It is also a great course for those new to telehealth who are interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the growing industry. The course fee is waived for Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado and Nevada residents. Register here.
February 11 - The Hertel Report’s State of the State
Arizona healthcare leaders provide fresh insight and trends impacting our local managed care industry at The Hertel Report’s annual State of the State breakfast meeting February 11 from 8 - 10:30 a.m. at the Phoenix Art Museum – Singer Hall. Virtual and in-person registration options are available. As a community partner of The Hertel Report, AzHHA members receive $15 off registration. Register here.
Introduction to POLST
Interested in learning how to use the Arizona POLST form with your patients? The one-hour Introduction to POLST workshop equips healthcare professionals with knowledge and resources to begin using POLST, Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment, in Arizona. The objectives are to describe what POLST is at the state and national level, explain why POLST is important, define the population for POLST, when to begin the conversation and who completes POLST, describe the process for completing, reviewing and updating POLST and learn the process of submitting healthcare planning documents to the Arizona Healthcare Directive Registry. To register for a workshop, click on a date below.
In the News
Pfizer asks FDA to allow COVID-19 vaccine for kids under 5
Tribes Reach $590 Million Opioid Settlement With J. & J. and Distributors
The New York Times (subscription required)
What will make workers want to stay in healthcare? Answers from 22 execs
Becker's Hospital Review