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Connection Newsletter - AzCHER conducts first in the nation HERT training

The training course was the first in the nation under the guidance of AzCHER, several hospital networks and the Center of Domestic Preparedness.

Legislative update - day 109 of session

Action at the state capitol continues to slow as a budget agreement has not been reached. To date, there has been evidence of minimal progress on the state budget. At the same time, the House and Senate Floors continue to hear fewer bills as the weeks go by. Once a budget agreement is made, it is expected that legislators complete remaining business and end the session within days or weeks.

Visit to see which bills have been signed into law and other bill status updates.

AHCCCS proposes e-prescribing policy changes

The Arizona Health Care Cost and Containment System (AHCCCS) is proposing to increase the e-prescribing requirements in AHCCCS Contractor Operations Manual Policy 321 for AHCCCS Complete Care contractors to 85% of original prescriptions being generated as electronic prescriptions, which represents a 15% increase from current requirements. Under the policy, e-prescriptions include those generated through a computer-to-computer electronic data interchange protocol; they do not include other electronic methods of transmitting prescriptions such as computer-generated paper prescriptions, facsimiles or telephone-generated prescriptions. Controlled substances may be counted as e-prescriptions as long as the electronic origination meets the definition of an e-prescription. AHCCCS is requesting comments on an expedited basis with a due date of May 5, 2021. Contact AzHHA Director of Policy, Liz Lorenz, for more information.

AHCCCS seeks feedback on FFY APR-DRG hospital analyses

AHCCCS kicked off the federal fiscal year 2022 all patient refined-diagnosis related groups (APR-DRG) rebasing initiative with two workgroup sessions held March 18 and April 22. The agency sent impact analyses (rebase model results) to hospitals seeking feedback, which is due tomorrow, April 30. Hospitals that would like to provide feedback may send comments to Kenna Garman and Wendy Ecker.

2022 AHCCCS DAP program milestones due tomorrow, April 30

Several important milestones for participation in the AHCCCS Differential Adjusted Payment (DAP) programs for 2022 are upcoming with deadlines of April 30May 1 and May 14, 2021. 

Milestones due April 30, 2021 relate to

  • participation in the 0.5% DAP available to hospitals and Indian Health Service/638 facilities participating in the care coordination agreement DAP.

  • participation in the 0.5% DAP available to clinics that bill for behavioral health assessments and integrate their electronic health records system with the American Society of Addiction Medicine continuum software. 

Milestones due May 1, 2021 relate to

  • participation in the 2.5% - 10% health information exchange (HIE) DAP available to hospitals.

  • participation in the HIE DAP available to integrated clinics.

  • participation in the HIE DAP available to behavioral health outpatient clinics.

Milestones due May 14, 2021 relate to

  • participation in the 1% Social Determinants of Health Closed-Loop Referral Platform DAP available to behavioral health outpatient clinics, integrated clinics, and other behavioral health providers.

Specific information about the requirements for each milestone may be found in the AHCCCS DAP 2022 Final Public Notice or in AzHHA’s summary of the 2022 DAP initiatives.

CDC, ADHS recommend resumption of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine

After a temporary pause of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommend a lift on the pause of the single-dose vaccine effective April 23. According to the news release, the FDA determined the vaccine’s potential benefits outweigh its potential risks as the chance of a thrombosis-thrombocytopenia syndrome occurring is very low. Shortly after the national announcement, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) announced its recommendation to resume the use of the vaccine. In its April 23 news release, ADHS reported 226,300 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been allocated, of which approximately 122,000 have been administered.

AzCHER conducts first in the nation HERT trainingDSC_2824.jpg

The Arizona Coalition for Healthcare Emergency Response (AzCHER) and Valleywise Health held a coalition training course related to Hospital Emergency Response Team (HERT) training on April 10. This training course was the first in the nation under the guidance of AzCHER, several hospital networks and the Center of Domestic Preparedness. Facilitating the training were Valleywise Health, AzCHER and Abrazo Community Health Network instructors. During the training, social distancing measures were set and masks were required.

The 10-hour training course prepares hospital first responders to utilize the Hospital Incident Command System, integrating into the community emergency response network while operating an Emergency Treatment Area during a mass casualty incident involving patient contamination. 

HERT is comprised of multi-disciplines and specialties that activate and respond during emergencies which are often the primary hospital defense and preliminary medical care providers for patients arriving from a mass casualty incident before entry into and through an emergency department.

AzCHER’s Jamie Beauvais is recognized for his work as Incident Commander at state vaccination site

AzCHER’s Central Region and State Operations Manager, Jamie Beauvais was recently recognized for his work as Incident Commander at the State Farm and Chandler-Gilbert Community College state vaccination sites. AzHHA member and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona's President and CEO Pam Kehaly presented Beauvais with the honorable mention, “saving lives one arm at a time.” As Incident Commander, Beauvais clocked more than 260 hours keeping the vaccine sites operational as first responders, doctors, nurses, etc. administered the vaccine into the arms of Arizonans. Congratulations, Jamie, on a well-deserved recognition!

Health and wellbeing support for our healthcare heroes

AzHHA is a proud partner of the Wellbeing Collaborative which has created an online community for sharing best practices and stories of support and gratitude for healthcare workers. We ask the healthcare community to share ideas, tips and program information - big and small - for supporting the wellbeing of all healthcare workers. Organizations interested in sharing their stories may record a short video or audio on a phone or other device (under two minutes) and upload it to

AIPO’s Pandemic Provider Weekly Brown Bag webinar

The Arizona Immunization Program Office (AIPO) hosts a weekly webinar on Tuesdays from 12-1 p.m. for pandemic providers and those preparing to administer COVID-19 vaccines. During the Pandemic Provider Weekly Brown Bag webinar, AIPO shares resources and up-to-date information on educational materials, COVID-19 vaccines, reporting requirements, ASIIS and communication materials to share with patients. To request the webinar link and call-in information, email [email protected]. Providers who not able to attend the webinar at the scheduled time may view the most recent recording in the “Pandemic Provider Weekly Brown Bag” course in AIPO Train.

AzHHA releases DataGen reports

In relationship with DataGen, AzHHA issues reports to hospitals based on information submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This data can help hospitals understand the financial impact of proposed changes and annual updates. The reports can also assist in preparing budgets or benchmarking results with other similar organizations. DataGen generates hospital-specific reports which are sent to AzHHA hospital members as part of their membership. Below is the list of reports recently sent to members.

  • Sent 4/28/2021 - Federal fiscal year 2022 Medicare inpatient rehabilitation facility proposed rule

  • Sent 4/23/2021 - Hospital-acquired condition (HAC) reduction program analysis

  • Sent 4/21/2021 - Federal fiscal year 2022 Medicare inpatient psychiatric facility proposed rule

  • Sent 4/22/2021 - Fourth-quarter 2020 quality trends analysis

  • Sent 4/19/2021 - Medicare quality programs overview report

  • Sent 4/15/2021 - Medicare spending per beneficiary (MSPB) report

  • Sent 4/8/2021 - Medicare margins fourth quarter 2020 analysis

  • Sent 4/7/2021 - Cost report model

  • Sent 3/11/2021 - Fourth-quarter 2020 value-based purchasing analysis

Questions regarding the reports or its distribution may be emailed to [email protected].

Upcoming Events

May 7 - 5th Annual Value-Based Care Conference: Payer & Provider Forum

The Arizona Chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association and The Hertel Report will host the 5th Annual Value-Based Care Conference bringing payers and providers together in a unique forum where they will share their perspectives on value-based care. The conference will be held virtually on May 7 from 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. PT. To register, click here.

May 24 - 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.

June 22 and 23 - Working together: Forging the future of serious illness care

In collaboration with partners from California and Hawaii, AzHHA will hold a virtual summit, Working Together: Forging the Future of Serious Illness Care, on June 22 and 23. Attendees will hear from inspiring speakers, get the latest information on the state of serious illness care from thought leaders and connect with colleagues and friends in breakouts and group discussions. Registration is now open here.

July 14 - 2021 coding clinic: Quarter 1 updates

AzHHA Affiliated Partner, NJHA Healthcare Business Solutions, is offering member health information managers and coding specialists a series of coding webinars, 2021 Coding Clinic Updates - Everything You Really Need to Know held quarterlyThe webinar series provides a concise overview of the current issue of Coding Clinic and allows participants an opportunity for discussion and Q&A. The second quarter session is scheduled July 14. Register here.

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