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Connection newsletter 2-22-24

Read about AzHHA’s priority bill, HB2035, being heard on the House floor this week, AzCHER’s Chemical Surge Tabletop Exercise, and Yuma Regional Medical Center winning a prestigious award.




In this issue, read about: AzHHA’s priority bill, HB2035, is being heard on the House floor this wee

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Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA) Banner

Connection Newsletter

By AzHHA CommunicationsFeb 22, 2024

Smart Brevity® count: 5 mins...1262 words

In this issue, read about:

  • AzHHA’s priority bill, HB2035, is being heard on the House floor this week.
  • AzCHER’s Chemical Surge Tabletop Exercise.
  • Yuma Regional Medical Center wins a prestigious award.

Legislative update: Crossover week is upon us

Arizona House floor before Committee of the Whole
  • The Arizona House floor before Committee of the Whole on Wednesday Feb. 21, 2024

This week is known as crossover week, where legislators are vigorously advancing bills to move them over into their opposing chamber. Due to the heavy week of floor session, the House Health and Human Services Committee did not meet on Monday afternoon, and the Senate Health Committee had a short agenda covering just a handful of bills.

Where oh where are our priority bills…

Health insurance accountability (HB2035) has encountered notable hurdles this week.

  • First, it was held in House Rules as it was being labeled a “money bill,” a strategic tactic for the opposition of any bill this session given our expected budget shortfall.
  • Due to the sponsor's great work, he got the bill heard in committee on Tuesday. The Rules Committee exists to determine if a bill is constitutional, it is not like other standing committees with testimony from the public or bill sponsor.
  • HB2035 was then heard in Committee of the Whole on Wednesday afternoon, where one member spoke out in opposition, but it ultimately was approved by a verbal vote to make it on an upcoming consent calendar.

What’s next: The bill will go before the entire Arizona House for a full vote of its 60 members. We continue to work with legislators and other lobbying groups to ensure safe passage out of the House and over to the Senate.

The interfacility transportation bill, HB2290, is still a priority for AzHHA, and we continue to flesh out avenues to continue the fight this session. We will provide you all with more updates as we move through the next steps.


🚨 Register now for AzCHER's Chemical Surge Tabletop Exercise

AzCHER is pleased to offer our Chemical Surge Tabletop Exercise focused on the first responder, healthcare, public health, emergency management and AzCHER response to a chemical surge incident. There will be three offerings of the same exercise, two in-person and one virtual.

  • Tuesday, March 12, 2024: Tucson
  • Thursday, Marth 14, 2024 Flagstaff
  • Tuesday, April 2, 2024: Virtual

Click here for more information and to register. Please register no later than Friday, March 1, 2024.

Please note: You must be an AzCHER member to participate in the Chemical Surge Tabletop Exercise. If you are not an AzCHER Member, please visit our website to sign up today!


AHCCCS asks hospitals to review self-reported HEALTHII quality metrics

What’s new: The HealthTech portal has been re-opened for hospitals to review their self-reported quality metrics for the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) HEALTHII payment program through Monday, March 4, 2024.

What's next: Hospitals that receive HEALTHII payments should log on to the portal and review their data. AHCCCS has specifically stated that they will not be extending this deadline.

Why it matters: Hospitals are expected to receive up to $360 million in HEALTHII payments tied to quality metrics for Federal Fiscal Year 2025. Inaccurately reporting metrics may result in hospitals not receiving some HEALTHII payments.

Comments or questions? Please email AzHHA’s Director of Financial Policy and Reimbursement Amy Upston.


Register now for HR Roundtable addressing pre-employment screening practices

A red cross in a chair in a cubicle

Human Resources leaders and hiring professionals are invited to participate in a conversation on pre-employment screening practices with a focus on drug testing, specifically for marijuana.

  • How is your hospital responding to the growing use of marijuana and what policies have been instituted regarding pre-employment drug screening?

This roundtable discussion will feature:

  • Facilitation by Matt McElrath, Ed.D., chief human resources officer at Yuma Regional Medical Center and chairman of the AzHHA HR Roundtable.
  • Presentation from Joe Clees, employment attorney at Ogletree Deakins, on current legal and regulatory compliance.

The members-only roundtable will occur from 1 to 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 7, 2024.

  • Register here to participate in the discussion, after which you will receive a confirmation email with the Zoom link.
  • Questions? Reach out to [email protected].

Arizona Transition to Practice Program: March 2024 cohort key dates

For those facilities participating in the March 2024 cohort of the Arizona Transition to Practice Program, here are some key upcoming dates:

  • Preceptor Academy launches Monday, Feb. 26, 2024.
  • Site Champion Canvas Training - please attend one session on either Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024 or Friday, March 1, 2024.
  • New graduate cohort start date is Monday, March 25, 2024.

Applications are now open for the June 2024 cohort!

  • Apply now.
  • Applications are due Friday, April 12, 2024.

AHA launches 2024 DEI Benchmark Survey

The American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Institute for Diversity and Health Equity recently launched their 2024 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Survey.

  • We are kindly asking for hospitals and health systems to participate in this biennial survey, which provides a snapshot of hospitals' and health systems' efforts, successes and challenges in diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • To ensure the survey captures these critical variations and provides actionable insights, the AHA is asking that each hospital within your system completes the survey independently.
  • This approach will allow them to understand the specific challenges and successes of DEI initiatives as they occur on the ground.
  • You should have received a link to the survey on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024 from this AHA email address – [email protected]. The survey will be open until Friday, March 29, 2024.
  • If you have any questions, please reach out to [email protected].

Please note: The 2024 Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Survey differs from the Health Equity Transformation Assessment (HETA), an electronic tool within the Health Equity Roadmap initiative aimed at improving healthcare outcomes and advancing health equity, diversity and inclusion. HETA assesses hospitals’ progress on their health equity journey.


Member spotlight: Yuma Regional Medical Center receives Pathway to Excellence award

Yuma Regional Medical Center (YRMC) Named first Organization in Arizona to Receive Nursing Excellence Designation
Yuma Regional Medical Center (YRMC) named first organization in Arizona to receive nursing excellence designation

Yuma Regional Medical Center (YRMC) has become the first hospital in Arizona to receive the prestigious Pathway to Excellence designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

  • This designation recognizes YRMC's commitment to creating a healthy work environment for nursing staff, empowering them to make a positive impact on patient care.
  • YRMC demonstrated adherence to six key standards including shared decision-making, leadership, safety, quality, well-being and professional development.

Go deeper: Read more here.



April 4-5 - 2024 Arizona Healthcare Workforce Summit
Join the Second Annual Arizona Healthcare Workforce Summit and support statewide healthcare workforce collaboration. With an influx of funding to address statewide healthcare workforce development and many initiatives underway, the Summit will facilitate strategic collaboration and maximize our collective awareness and impact. Learn more and register.

April 11, 16 and 18 - COPD Educator Course
This course, offered by the American Lung Association, will include practical information healthcare professionals can use in their work to provide guidelines-based care and help patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) understand how to manage their disease. See additional details and register now.




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