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Connection Newsletter - AzHHA joins Amici Brief asking SCOTUS to hear site neutral case

AzHHA joins Amici Brief asking SCOTUS to hear site neutral case

AzHHA joined this week an Amici Brief with 32 other state and regional hospital associations asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a case regarding the constitutionality of a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) final rule which significantly reduced reimbursement rates for off-campus provider-based departments (PBDs). The brief explains these cuts, amounting to approximately $600 million per year, threaten the vital role PBDs play in communities across the country, as they are often the only point of access to care for vulnerable individuals living in rural areas. Read more about the Site Neutral case and Amici Brief here.

Legislative update

On day 46 of the legislative session, all bills have passed their assigned committees in their chamber of origin. Meaning more than 1,000 of the 1,822 pieces of legislation introduced this year are effectively “dead,” though it’s not impossible for them to be resurrected using a strike-everything amendment. This week has been a flurry of action on the House and Senate floors as both chambers attempted to pass a significant portion of the more than 400 bills which have passed committee.

Visit to view bill status and updates.

ADHS announces Chandler-Gilbert Community College to become the third state-run vaccination POD

In a news release dated February 22, the Arizona Department of Health Services (AHDS) announced Chandler-Gilbert Community College will begin operating as a state-run vaccination POD on Wednesday, March 3. The site will initially operate from 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. It will continue to provide the Pfizer vaccine and will be available to provide second doses to individuals who received their first at the site. Appointments for first and second doses will open for registration at 9 a.m., March 1 on the ADHS vaccine appointment site

Johnson & Johnson plans to deliver 20 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate

If the Food and Drug Administration authorizes emergency use for the Johnson & Johnson single dose COVID-19 vaccine candidate, the vaccine producer will deliver 20 million doses of its vaccine to the United States by the end of March. An FDA advisory committee expects to consider the emergency use application on Friday, February 26. If authorized, the vaccine candidate would be the third COVID-19 vaccine authorized for use in the United States, joining the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

COVID-19 acceptance toolkit for healthcare organizations

Cynosure Health has developed a vaccine acceptance toolkit whose focus is healthcare workers. Just like the rest of the population, many healthcare workers have questions and concerns about the COIVD-19 vaccine. The toolkit provides healthcare organizations with the tools necessary to educate and engage the healthcare workforce. Access the customizable presentation here and the toolkit here.

In addition to this resource, The Arizona Partnership for Immunization (TAPI) recently finalized vaccine education materials for childcare providers, educators and people over 65 years of age. The materials are currently available in English and Spanish with more translations in Swahili, Kinyarwanda, Arabic, and Burmese coming next week. View the communication resources here.

Center for Internet Security offers no-cost malicious domain blocking and reporting ransomware protection

The Center for Internet Security in partnership with Akamai is now offering its malicious domain blocking and reporting ransomware protection service free to private and public hospitals. The service, which blocks network requests from an organization to known harmful web domains, has been available at no cost to public hospitals through the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC). The ransomware protection helps block malicious links and prevent malware contained in phishing emails from activating, even if clicked on by an unsuspecting user, providing an added layer of defense. To learn more or sign-up your facility, click here.

AzCHER virtual conference – Registration now open

AzCHER’s premiere conference to be held virtually on April 15-16 will include two half-days of Innovation, Integration and Motivation. The virtual event will feature a packed agenda with keynote speakers addressing the recent Estes Park, Colorado wildfire and the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas. Eight break-out sessions will also be offered. Registration for the conference is now open and sponsorship opportunities are still available. To register, click here. Additional sponsorship information may be requested by emailing Abigail Zieger at [email protected].

Webinar: Billing and coding for COVID – What you need to know

So many things changed during 2020 in the coding and billing space. While some changes are designated as temporary, others such as the expansion of certain telehealth services may be here to stay. Healthcare Resource Group (HRG), an AzHHA Affiliated Partner, is offering members a webinar on March 17 from 12-1 p.m. designed to discuss

  • the changes in telemedicine as a result of COVID-19,
  • what was included in temporary Social Security Act section 1135 waivers and
  • what telemedicine services are expected to remain after the public health emergency is officially over.

Digging into regulatory guidance for COVID-19, HRG will review steps you should take to ensure appropriate coding and billing for COVID-19 telehealth services. In addition, HRG will review the approved COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use authorization and discuss how to code for each and review billing guidelines from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 

During this information-packed webinar, AzHHA’s Affiliated Partner will be addressing billing and coding best practices for all facility types including, but not limited to, acute care hospitals, critical access hospitals, federally qualified health centers, rural health clinics and Indian Health Service facilities.

Register for the March 17 webinar here.

Purchase your license to access AzHHA’s updated consent manual

The 2020 AzHHA Consent Manual, reviewed and updated by Coppersmith Brockelman’s Health Care Practice Group, is available for purchase. This manual is the only comprehensive resource guide for Arizona healthcare consent laws, rules and guidelines. Learn more about consent manual updates or submit a purchase request form here.


Upcoming Events

March 17 – Introduction to POLST workshop

The one-hour Introduction to POLST workshop equips healthcare professionals with knowledge and resources to begin using POLST 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

In the News

AzHHA tells us what they’re watching in the Legislature
State of Reform

COVID-19 could dent hospital revenue by at least $53 billion in 2021, AHA says
Modern Healthcare (subscription required)

Death, Through a Nurse’s Eyes
The New York Times

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine works well in big ‘real world’ test
The Associated Press

The ACA Marketplace Is Open Again for Insurance Sign-Ups. Here’s What You Need to Know.
Kaiser Health News