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Connection newsletter – ADHS rule updates, public health emergency status and your guide to the latest election results

Learn about new rules put in place by the Arizona Department of Health Services, the latest updates on the status of the public health emergency and AzHHA insight into the state's election results.

Election Results (Almost) Final in Arizona

We are closer to knowing who our elected officials will be next year, finally. Incumbent Senator Mark Kelly (D) was re-elected to his first full-term in the U.S. Senate. The 9th floor has changed party hands and Governor-elect Katie Hobbs (D) will take office in January. Both legislative chambers will have the same margins as the last year—31-29 Republican majority in the Arizona House and 16-14 Republican majority in the Arizona Senate. Both chambers also held internal leadership elections—new Senate President will be Warren Petersen, President Pro Tempore T.J. Shope, Majority Leader Sonny Borrelli, and Majority Whip Sine Kerr. The Senate Health Committee will be chaired by T.J. Shope. In the House, the new Speaker will be Ben Toma, Leo Biasiucci will be Majority Leader, and Teresa Martinez as Majority Whip. Committee chairs in the House have not been announced. If you have questions about other elections—statewide, federal or legislative—you may find the most up-to-date results on the Secretary of State’s website.

AzHHA extends our congratulations to all those who were successful in their campaigns and thanks everyone who put their hat in the ring to serve the public. We are eager to get to work with new elected leaders to advance health and healthcare in Arizona.

ADHS rule updates

The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) has finalized a new opioid administration and prescribing rule. The rule, which became effective Nov. 2, addresses several operational concerns raised by AzHHA members with respect to the administration of opioids in an inpatient setting. In particular, the rule eases requirements relating to the risk assessment and risk/benefit explanation for inpatients. The requirement for informed consent is eliminated in the inpatient setting and the definition of “episode of care” is amended. The rule also makes changes to comply with Laws 2022, Chapter 134.

Earlier this month, ADHS finalized an expedited rulemaking that conforms regulations governing radiation technologists to national standards, as well as an expedited rulemaking governing control of ionizing radiation. Both rules are effective, Nov. 2. This week ADHS filed a Notice of Emergency Rulemaking to implement Laws 2022, Chapter 314, which established a Behavioral Health Loan Repayment Program. This rule is effective Nov. 15. The department continues to work on other rulemakings, including those relating to ground ambulances.

As a reminder, AzHHA is hosting a quarterly call between AzHHA members and the ADHS Office of Medical Facilities Licensing on Nov. 29 at 11 a.m. For more information on this call, contact Debbie Johnston at [email protected].

Public health emergency to stay in place

While many people expected the Biden Administration to signal the end of the COVID-19 federal public health emergency (PHE) last week, that did not happen. Currently, the PHE runs through Jan. 11, but the Biden Administration has promised to give at least 60 days’ notice before ending the PHE. This means the PHE will extend beyond Jan. 11, but no end date is known at this time. According to Reuters, Biden Administration officials have indicated the possibility of a COVID-19 surge this winter is one reason for its continuation as well as additional time that they believe is needed to transition out of the PHE. Resources for unwinding the PHE can be found on CMS’ website.  

AzHHA receives grant to support pandemic recovery and resiliency efforts

AzHHA is the recipient of a $50,000 grant from ADHS to lead specific activities and teams as written into the Arizona Health Improvement Plan’s (AzHIP) Pandemic Recovery and Resiliency Plan (PR&R Plan), the latter of which is one of five priority areas subsumed under the AzHIP. This grant will build on the work already being conducted by AzHHA’s Care Improvement and AzCHER teams and will contribute to statewide multi-sector collaboration efforts aimed at addressing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. AzHHA leadership contributed to the development of the PR&R Plan’s goals, which are to 1) strengthen public health capacity and infrastructure; 2) rebuild a stronger system to support health; 3) advance health equity and 4) enhance the resilience of Arizona communities.

Celebrating rural hospitals today and every day

The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health and the entire healthcare community comes together every third Thursday of November to “celebrate the power of rural” through National Rural Health Day. Together we bring attention to the ongoing efforts to communicate, educate, collaborate and innovate to improve the health of those living in rural America. Rural hospitals often serve as the health and human service “hub” of their communities, offering residents a range of services and providers in one location. They are also frequently one of the largest employers in the community – meaning the financial stability of a small rural hospital also has a tremendous impact on a community’s economic health. Download the National Rural Health Day promotional toolkit and join us in celebrating the #PowerofRural!

Challenge accepted!

On behalf of Carl T. Hayden Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care System Interim Director Mr. Micheal Welsh presented its Phoenix VA Health Care System Challenge Coin last week to AzHHA’s President and CEO Ann-Marie Alameddin and Jamie Beauvais, Arizona Coalition of Health Care Emergency Response (AzCHER) Central Region Manager for their continual dedication to our Veterans’ wellbeing through collaborative support and community leadership. 


November 30 – DataGen webinar

DataGen is hosting a national webinar on the CY OPPS 2023 Final Rule and Analysis on Wednesday, November 30, 2022, from 1-2 p.m. Arizona time. Registration is required.

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. The calendar year (CY) 2023 Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) Final Rule Analysis report was sent to member hospitals on Nov 10.

December 6 – AzCHER Cybersecurity Tabletop (TTX) Exercise

Join us for a Tabletop exercise (virtual delivery) to Examine the coordination, collaboration, information sharing, and response capabilities of Hospitals and Healthcare Organizations in response to a cyber incident. Register by Nov. 29.

December 13 – Introduction to POLST workshops

Join physician orders for life-sustaining treatment paradigm (POLST) for their one-hour virtual workshops equipping 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 for these virtual workshops below:

Dec. 13, 2022, at 2 p.m.

Jan. 18, 2023, at 10 a.m.


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