The allocation and distribution of bamlanivimab/etesevimab and casirivimab/imdevimab, will be paused indefinitely effective January 24, 2022
The Legislature is full steam ahead this week. The House Health Committee held its first meeting on Monday afternoon, starting the year with a lengthy presentation on “The State of Drugs in Arizona.” The bills considered were all related to drugs and mental health, and of interest, the Committee approved HB2098 and HB2429. The first bill adds mental health nurse practitioners to the list of eligible practitioners who can assess a minor to determine if they are a danger to themselves or others. HB2429 allows physicians to engage in “wellness programs,” without reporting that activity to the Medical Board. Notably, wellness programs do not include substance use monitoring or treatment.
On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee advanced HB2043 on a party-line vote, over the strong objection of the business community and hospitals. The bill would allow a civil cause of action for employees to sue their employers if they are injured as a result of taking the COVID-19 vaccine pursuant to an employer mandate. AzHHA signed on to a joint letter with many healthcare organizations and business leaders opposing the measure. AzHHA will continue to advocate to stop this bill.
ASPR stops distribution of two COVID-19 monoclonal antibody products
The U.S. Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) announced Monday that due to the Omicron variant being the dominant variant the allocation and distribution of bamlanivimab/etesevimab and casirivimab/imdevimab, will be paused indefinitely effective January 24, 2022. The FDA announced the two treatments are not currently authorized for use anywhere in the country due to the prevalence of Omicron and the EUAs have been updated with this information. In the meantime, Sotrovimab and Evusheld (tixagevimab/cilgavimab) will be the only COVID-19 monoclonal antibody products available for distribution because of their effectiveness against the Omicron variant.
The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) will not fulfill any requests of bamlanivimab/etesevimab and casirivimab/imdevimab supply for this and future allocation cycles. ADHS recommends that healthcare facilities pause administration and keep the existing supply of those two products until further guidance from federal authorities is received. Providers may refer to the NIH COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel’s Statement on prioritization when there are logistical or supply constraints to determine local prioritization schemes because of the limited supply of sotrovimab. ADHS recommends healthcare providers use the COVID-19 Outpatient Therapeutics Decision Guide to assist with clinical decision-making for COVID-19 treatment options. Information about oral antivirals is available at ADHS COVID-19 Antivirals.
2022 Healthcare salary survey
WageWatch, AzHHA’s Affiliated Partner that is newly teamed up with salary.com, will soon release the 2022 Healthcare Salary Survey. Hospital and healthcare human resource departments can now upload current data, run custom comparative reports and access the 2021 Healthcare Final Report. The deadline to submit enhancements and new job titles for 2021 is January 31, and the deadline for data entry is March 31. Your participation in the salary survey guarantees your facility access to compensation analytics for the next year at a rate that is discounted for AzHHA members. For more information, email AzHHA’s Vice President of Member Solutions at Laura Dickscheid.
February sale on job postings – AzHealthJobs.com
Human Resources Leaders, are you seeking a new avenue to get in touch with jobseekers? Reach a targeted audience and secure high-quality candidates by posting on AzHealthJobs, AzHHA’s job board dedicated to the state’s healthcare workforce. AzHHA members can take advantage of a February sale with significant discounts off already low member pricing. Save 25% on unlimited packages and 10% on 30-Day local postings! To purchase a package or receive more information, email AzHHA’s Vice President of Member Solutions at Laura Dickscheid.
Patient resource - COVID-19 supportive care
Patients with acute or chronic COVID-19 symptoms and related complications are discovering COVID-19 supportive care – at no cost to them. “This is the first medical professional who has acknowledged my long COVID symptoms,” said a patient referred to the palliative care telehealth service this year. Prior to discovering the COVID-19 supportive care program, this patient noted the challenges they faced when trying to find the right care. “I’ve had the virus for eight months and had more than 40 doctor consultations!!! So, thank you.”
The service is open to people suffering with the complexities of COVID-19 related symptoms, or those chronic conditions exacerbated by COVID-19. Patients do not need a physician’s referral to receive this specialized, palliative care. Learn more at azhha.org/telehealth.
Provider relief fund phase 4 payment distribution
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), is making more than $2 billion in Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4 General Distribution payments to more than 7,600 providers across the country this week. With this funding, more than $18 billion will have been distributed from the Provider Relief Fund and the American Rescue Plan Rural provider funding in the last three months. As of Tuesday, about 82 percent of all Phase 4 applications were processed. To view a state-by-state breakdown of Phase 4 payments disbursed to date, click here.
OPPS final rule analysis recoding is now available
The recording and slides for the 2022 outpatient prospective payment system final rule and analysis webinar hosted by DataGen are available to members upon request. Email [email protected] to request the January 19 webinar materials. Since the last update, AzHHA sent members the 3rd quarter quality trends analysis on December 29, 2021.
The Hertel Report’s State of the State – Registration now open
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.
This year’s guest speakers include
- Jami Snyder, Director of AHCCCS
- Melissa Kotrys, Chief Executive Officer of Health Current & Contexture
- Dan Vincent, Co-founder of Med Care Senior Insurance Solutions
- Gail Zahtz, Chief Executive Officer of WiseCare
Register at thehertelreport.com/product/2022-state-of-the-state/.
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.
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.
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