Skip navigation

Connection newsletter – the latest health news, events and information for Arizona healthcare

Priority bills move through the legislature and top patient safety concerns headline this week’s Connection newsletter.   

Legislative update – AzHHA's priority bills move to the Senate

AzHHA’s priority bills continue to move through the legislative process, now over to the Senate side. Our outpatient treatment center licensure fix bill, HB2346, has been assigned to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee for consideration. Our health plan accountability measure, HB2290, has been assigned to the Senate Government Committee. It will be important for members of this committee to hear from healthcare leaders about why HB2290 is important to you, especially since the Government Committee doesn’t often consider healthcare topics. You can help us advocate for this important legislation by contacting your senator. If you don’t know who your senator is, you may find their email address here. If you need more information, you may access our fact sheet, or contact Meghan McCabe, Director of Government Relations at AzHHA, [email protected].

AzHHA hosts a weekly legislative update for members every Friday to provide an in-depth assessment of Arizona legislative activity. To participate in the call, contact [email protected].

AzHHA submits comments to CMS on proposed prior authorization rule

Earlier this week, AzHHA submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on its proposed prior authorization rule. In the letter, AzHHA voiced support for the policies to remove inappropriate barriers to patient care by streamlining the prior authorization processes for impacted health plans and urged CMS to provide the enforcement and oversight necessary to ensure health plan compliance. While the proposed rule laid out timeframes for prior authorization, AzHHA recommended that they be shortened to 72 hours for standard, non-urgent services and 24 hours for urgent services for transactions. AzHHA also expressed support for CMS’ proposal to require impacted payers to provide a specific reason for prior authorization denials and encouraged CMS to establish enforcement mechanisms to ensure plans are compliant with its requirements.

Differential Adjusted Payment deadline: April 1

A number of Differential Adjusted Payment (DAP) deadlines are quickly approaching. The Scope of Work (SOW) for participation in the Health Information Exchange (HIE), Arizona Health Directives Registry and Social Determinants of Health Closed Loop Referral System are all due on Saturday, April 1. This year, Contexture has consolidated all three of these into one SOW and will be sending SOWs to participants via DocuSign. For more information, including a Webinar Recording on the HIE DAP, please visit Contexture’s website. For more information on DAP, contact Amy Upston, Director of Financial Policy and Reimbursement at AzHHA, [email protected].

Treatment of high blood pressure during pregnancy important for women later in life

Our Arizona Alliance for Innovation in Maternal Health efforts, in conjunction with birthing hospitals, continues to focus on timely treatment of hypertension. The effects of hypertension are well-documented and include heart disease and stroke. In addition to those cardiovascular effects, a new study outlined in a news release by the American Academy of Neurology this month found that high blood pressure during pregnancy, including preeclampsia, also affects cognition later in life. 

Emergency Care Research Institute (ECRI) unveils top safety concerns in 2023

This week, the ECRI released the list of top 10 patient safety concerns, which stems from recent studies, patient safety databases and in-depth conversations with industry stakeholders. The list highlights the most pressing issues for health system leadership to address this year, which includes pediatric mental health, violence against clinicians and uncertainty around reproductive care. Since the pandemic, pediatric mental health has been steadily declining due to a lack of qualified personnel and access to specialized care. Not surprisingly, the prevalence of attacks on healthcare workers is a top concern, with nearly half of nurses reporting an increase in workplace violence over the previous year. Rounding out the top three is the shifting legal landscape of maternal and fetal care. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overrule Roe v. Wade, clinicians face uncertainty around the legality of providing various reproductive services, with the potential to cause additional worker burnout and harmful delays in care. Noticeably absent from the list is last year's top concerns, which were understaffing, themes of inequity and racism in healthcare, disjointed telehealth workflows and emergency preparedness.

Verify eligibility and benefits for patients quickly and efficiently

AzHHA’s Affiliated Partners Program has expanded its relationship with endorsed vendor, Hospital Services Corporation (HSC), to include a cloud-based single-service solution - HealthXnet. To streamline the flow of patient payment information, the service provides electronic claims management, eligibility and benefit inquiries, batch AHCCCS eligibility inquiries and claim status inquiries – all with advanced and secure technology at an affordable price specially negotiated for AzHHA members. Improve accounts receivable, increase co-pay collections, reduce expenses and more with HealthXnet. HSC continues to offer AzHHA members staff readiness services including faster credentials verification and provider enrollment. For more information,  contact Laura Dickscheid, Vice President of Member Services at AzHHA, [email protected].

ADHS Bureau of EMS and Trauma System to launch new Licensing Management System (LMS) in April

Next month, the Arizona Department of Health Services Bureau (ADHS) of EMS and Trauma System's new LMS will offer new online services, built by ImageTrend. The LMS will include applications and forms for Emergency Medicine Core Training certification, ambulance licensing, ambulance registration, trauma center designation, base hospital certification and training programs, to name a few. Account users should expect the online system to be temporarily offline between March 31 – April 7, 2023. For additional information, visit or contact 602-364-3150.


March 31 – Arizona Healthcare Workforce Summit– Creating Connections and Pathways to Collaboration 

Healthcare workforce and development leaders from across the state are invited to attend this collaborative summit. Participants will hear from engaging speakers and project leaders about strategies, workforce outcomes and impact and plans for future sustainability.

When: March 31, 2023 | 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. MST

Where: Creighton University Health Sciences Campus, 3100 N. Central Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85012

Register here

May 2 – Health Equity Organizational Assessment (HEOA) Collaborative Conference

This interactive conference is open to HEOA participants and will give attendees the opportunity to share accomplishments and garner inspiration to continue the journey of health equity. By the end of the meeting, we want collaborators to feel proud, to be informed and to have a sense of community.

When: May 2, 2023 | 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. MST

Where: Creighton University Health Sciences Campus, 3100 N. Central Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85012

Registration is open to HEOA participants only.

May 5 – March of Dimes Training: Beyond Labels

This online training program will provide a toolkit for participants to discover how they can help reduce health-related stigma among moms and babies so they can get the support and care they need. March of Dimes is offering Beyond Labels: Reducing Stigma Related To Maternal Mental Health & Substance Disorders, in partnership with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. This training is 90 minutes and is open to everyone serving in this space and is also credentialed for CNE, CME and SW credit.

When:  May 5, 2023 | 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. MST

Register hereMarch of Dimes Beyond Labels Training Registration

Additional events:

March 21 – Crisis Standards of Care workshop series begins

March 23 – AzCHER Annual Conference


Independent healthcare providers believe health plans should pay their bills (Arizona Capitol Times)

Maricopa Community Colleges are making a dent in Arizona's nursing shortage (Arizona Republic)

Wrestling With a Giant: How to Dispute a Hospital Bill (Arizona Daily Star) – subscription required