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Connection Newsletter - hospital COVID-19 data reporting update

Information on the newly announced changes to the way hospitals report COVID-19 data; resources for rural providers administering vaccines for and treating COVID-19; and important events happening in the Arizona healthcare community.

Hospital COVID-19 Data Reporting will Transition to CDC this December

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will assume responsibility for the collection of hospital COVID-19 data, beginning in mid-December 2022. According to HHS, hospitals, as well as third parties collecting and reporting data on their behalf, will report data to the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). The reporting of the data is required under a Medicare Condition of Participation (CoP) adopted in 2020.


HHS’s contract with TeleTracking – which operates the current hospital COVID-19 data reporting portal – expires at the end of 2022.

Hospitals and third parties reporting on their behalf will be required to report data into CDC’s NHSN by mid-December 2022.

The data questions will be unchanged, and NHSN will retain existing third-party collection and reporting options (including health departments, health systems and state hospital associations reporting on hospitals’ behalf).

CDC will open the NHSN portal for test submissions in October.

CDC has a transition website that will populate with information and guidance on an ongoing basis. CDC also will host training webinars starting in late August.

AzHHA is checking with the Arizona Department of Health Services on how this change may affect hospitals reporting federal COVID-19 data through EMResource. We will report back to members when we have more information.

President Signs Inflation Reduction Act

On Tuesday, President Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act. The legislation extends the subsidies for health insurance purchased in the health insurance marketplace for an additional three years. It also allows the federal government to negotiate a small number of drug prices purchased by Medicare beginning in 2026. Medicare Part D recipients will also see several benefits including the limitation of out-of-pocket spending on insulin to $35 per month beginning in 2023, the elimination of cost sharing for adult vaccines, and capping out-of-pocket costs for Part D to $2,000 beginning in 2025.    

AzHHA releases DataGen reports

In relationship with DataGen, AzHHA distributes reports to hospitals based on information submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This data helps 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.

  • FFY 2024 Preliminary Wage Index and Occupational Mix Data Analysis - Sent 6/22/2022
  • CY 2023 Home Health Proposed Rule - Sent 7/26/2022           
  • CY 2023 OPPS proposed rule analysis - Sent 8/3/2022
  • 1Q2022 Medicare Margins Analysis - Sent 8/4/2022
  • Rural Emergency Hospital Analysis - Sent 8/8/2022
  • FFY 2023 Inpatient Psychiatric Facility Analysis - Sent 8/9/2022
  • FFY Inpatient Rehabilitation Final Rule Analysis - Sent 8/15/2022
  • FFY 2023 SNF Final Rule - Sent 8/16/2022
  • FFY 2023 IPPS Final Rule and Webinar - Sent 8/16/2022                                   

CMS launches more resources for the Independent Dispute Resolution process

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently launched a new web page that provides information, tips, and technical assistance regarding the Independent Dispute Resolution portion of the No surprises Act. Included on the webpage is a portal for initiating disputes. 

Final IPPS Rule Published

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule on the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) for inpatient and long-term care hospitals, which includes a net increase to inpatient rates by 2.6% in 2023 compared to 2022. This includes a 4.3% rate increase (which is the sum of a 4.1% market basket update, a 0.3% cut for productivity), a 0.5% increase as required by statute (a partial restoration of previous documentation and coding cuts), and a 1.7% cut for outlier payments. The 2023 final IPPS rate increase of 4.3% is 1.1% higher than what CMS had in the proposed IPPS rule. 

Hospitals not submitting quality data will be subject to a one-quarter reduction of the initial market basket (4.1%) and, thus, will receive an update of 3.28%. Hospitals that were not meaningful users of electronic health records (EHRs) in FY 2020 will be subject to a three-quarter reduction of the initial market basket and, thus, will receive an update of 1.23%. Hospitals that fail to meet both of these requirements will be subject to a market-basket update of 0.20%.

P2P: Innovating the Road A.H.E.A.D.

Arizona’s Provider-to-Provider (P2P) Warmline is an educational resource for rural providers regarding COVID-19. The P2P warmline is a novel platform, which allows providers to contact specialists and get information about the latest Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines on COVID vaccines, treatment of acute infections, and the latest on Long-COVID care. Within 24 hours, specialists will respond to queries with up-to-date guidance and educational information. Use this toolkit to help get the word out about this new resource for healthcare providers.

Provider-to-Provider Warmline
P2P Warmline
1(833) 937-1777

Member Spotlight: Dignity Health East Valley Rehabilitation Hospital

AzHHA is pleased to present our newest member, Dignity Health East Valley Rehabilitation Hospital, a Chandler-based, 50-bed inpatient rehabilitation facility that is majority owned by LifePoint. The hospital’s treatment program offers customized rehabilitation tailored to the individual needs of those recovering from a stroke, brain injury, neurological conditions, trauma, spinal cord injury, amputation, and orthopedic injury. The state-of-the-art facility utilizes a spectrum of therapeutic technologies, like the TecnoBody® Isofree system and SaeboFlex®, to ensure their patients are positioned to recover as quickly as possible. Join us in welcoming Dignity Health East Valley Rehabilitation Hospital to the AzHHA family. 


August 23 – Webinar: Arizona Primary Care Office-Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) & Loan Repayment Programs

Speakers will provide an update on the designation of Arizona’s healthcare workforce shortage areas and identify state and federal resources to support health professional services in disadvantaged communities. Read more about the session speakers and register here.

September 14-16 - Arizona HFMA 2022 Fall Conference

The Arizona Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) will be holding its 2022 fall conference in Scottsdale, Arizona September 14-16, 2022. Learn more about the conference on their website.

September 22 – AIM Collaborative Conference

Join us for the 2022 AIM Collaborative Conference on September 22, 2022, at Creighton University School of Medicine-Phoenix campus. This year’s conference theme, Push for Change, will focus on the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM)’s maternal hypertension bundle. Attendees will learn about the newest evidence and strategies for timely treatment of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and integration of health equity into patient care. Register by September 8, 2022, to secure your seat.

September 27 - 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. Register here.

October 19-21 – 2022 Annual Leadership Conference

Register now for AzHHA’s premiere event - the 2022 Annual Leadership Conference October 19-21, 2022 at the majestic Lowes Ventana Canyon in Tucson. The AzHHA Annual Leadership Conference brings together hundreds of healthcare CEOs, leaders, legislators and community partners from across the state for two and a half days of education, recognition and networking. Register here.

October 26–28, 2022 - National Pediatric Disaster Conference – California Earthquake Response

This two-day Significant Event Readiness Forum (or SERF) will provide an environment for exploring opportunities along the disaster response continuum. SERFs are not exercises. However, objectives and evolving scenarios foster needed discourse. This year’s conference will be virtual. Click here to learn more about the event and watch for registration to open soon.


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