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Connection Newsletter - CMS releases OPPS/ASC proposed rule for CY2022

CMS has also issued a Request for Information soliciting comments on establishing the new rural emergency hospital provider type.

CMS releases OPPS/ASC proposed rule for CY2022

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released Monday the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC)f Proposed Rule for calendar year 2022. In addition to standard increases in OPPS and ASC payment rates, CMS proposes several significant policies relating to the inpatient-only list and the ASC covered procedures list, 340B payment rates, penalties for noncompliance with price transparency requirements. CMS also issued a Request for Information soliciting comments on establishing the new rural emergency hospital provider type. Additional information is included in this AzHHA summary. Datagen reports analyzing the impact of the proposed rule will be sent to members as they become available.

Members who wish to comment on the proposed rule may do so until September 17. Contact AzHHA’s Director of Policy, Liz Lorenz, with any questions.

COVID-19 cases increase with new variant taking foothold in Arizona

Within July, the state of Arizona has seen an increase in COVID-19 according to the Arizona Department of Health Services’ COVID-19 data dashboard. In Dr. Joe Gerald’s Covid-19 Disease Outbreak Outlook: Arizona State and Pima County, Dr. Gerald reports the last time Arizona recorded this level of transmission on an upward trajectory was October 18, 2020. Of the reported cases, individuals ages 20-44 consist of 44% of the COVID-19 cases within the state. Health officials attribute the rise in cases to the increasing prevalence of the Delta variant. To view the circulating variants in the state, visit the Arizona COVID-19 sequencing dashboard.

Vaccination continues to be the best way to slow the transmission of the virus and prevent individuals from getting seriously if COVID-19 is contracted. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated may find a vaccination site at

HHS provides $4.1 million to 16 small rural hospitals in Arizona for COVID-19 testing and mitigation

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Health Resources and Services Administration on July 13 provided $398 million in funding through the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program to maintain or increase COVID-19 testing, expand access to testing for residents and customize mitigation efforts to reflect the needs of their communities. A total of $4,134,016 will be distributed to 16 eligible Arizona small rural and critical access hospitals. State Offices of Rural Health will receive the funding and distribute it to eligible small rural hospitals in their state.

HHS announces availability of ARPA funds to address burnout among health workforce

HHS is allocating roughly $103 million from the American Rescue Plan Act over three years to reduce employee burnout and promote mental health among the healthcare workforce. Healthcare providers face many challenges and stresses which have been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding of new programs will support the implementation of evidence-informed strategies to help organizations and providers respond to stressful situations, endure hardships, avoid burnout and foster healthy workplace environments that promote mental health and resiliency. To apply for the Provider Resiliency Workforce Training Notice of Funding Opportunities, visit or read HHS’ full announcement here. Applications are due August 30.

AHCCCS is accepting comments for its proposed FFS rates with effective service date October 1

AHCCCS has published its annual rate notice for its fee for service (FFS) rates and will be accepting comments until 5 p.m. on August 15. The estimated increase in FFS payments as a result of the proposed rate changes is expected to be approximately $12,709,900 for October 1, 2021 - September 30, 2022. To view the fee schedule updates, click here.


Upcoming Events

July 19 – Future of Healthcare: Top Trends Providers Need to Address Now

Take a look ahead with DataGen on future healthcare trends and how they will impact your organization and how healthcare will need to adapt to the new requirements of new care delivery models. To learn more or register, click here.

July 28 - HB2454 and the Impact in Arizona for Healthcare Professionals

Join the Arizona Telemedicine Program for a one-hour presentation by Christina Corieri, Governor Ducey’s senior policy advisor, on Arizona’s HB2454 and learn about Governor Ducey’s telemedicine executive orders and their impact on healthcare in Arizona. Register here.

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