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Connection newsletter 4-18-24


In this issue, read about: An update on Arizona’s territorial abortion ban, AHCCCS' redetermination and the AzHHA Quality Awards accepting submissions.




In this issue, read about: An update on Arizona’s territorial abortion ban. AHCCCS redetermination.

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Connection Newsletter

By AzHHA CommunicationsApr 18, 2024

Smart Brevity® count: 6 mins...1554 words

In this issue, read about:

  • An update on Arizona’s territorial abortion ban.
  • AHCCCS redetermination.
  • The AzHHA Quality Awards accepting submissions.

Legislative update: No more vacancies, no vote on abortion repeal

arizona legislature

On Tuesday, April 15, 2024, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors appointed Junelle Cavero Harnal to fill the vacant House seat in Legislative District 11.

  • Rep. Cavero, a Democrat, brings extensive experience to the position.
  • She is an executive with My Code, a nationwide multicultural media company, and has worked on several campaigns for Democratic presidential candidates.
  • Her swearing-in took place Wednesday morning, and she will serve out the remainder of the term ending in January 2025.
  • Additionally, she is seeking re-election to the House on the November ballot.
  • The House is back to its full contingent of 60 members.

During the legislature’s weekly floor session, they addressed procedural matters before delving into the highly debated abortion ruling from the Arizona Supreme Court.

  • Specifically, the House Democrats proposed a rule change to allow HB2677 to bypass the usual bill process and proceed directly to a third read vote on the floor.
  • HB2677 would be a clean repeal of the 1864 law upheld by the Arizona Supreme Court last week.
  • The Democrats made two unsuccessful attempts to bring the bill forward, challenging the speaker’s position.
  • With both attempts resulting in a 30-30 tie (Rep. Matt Gress was the lone Republican to vote with 29 Democrats), the House recessed until next Wednesday, April 24, 2024.
  • The Senate approved a motion to allow Democratic Sen. Anna Hernandez to introduce legislation to repeal the 1864 law. Republican senators Shawnna Bolick and TJ Shope joined the 14 Democrats to approve the motion. Hernandez subsequently introduced SB1734.

What’s next: Keep an eye out for updates on this rapidly changing situation and its impact on hospitals.


Arizona's AHCCCS completes massive redetermination

What’s new: As of the beginning of April, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) completed redeterminations of more than 2.5 million AHCCCS members. Of this amount, 611,144 (24%) were determined not to be eligible for AHCCCS while another 1.95 million (76%) had their AHCCCS eligibility renewed.

Why it matters: From April 2023 through March 2024, AHCCCS will re-determine every member’s eligibility.

  • Those members who are determined to be ineligible, either because their incomes are too high or a lack of response to requests to update information, will be disenrolled.
  • AHCCCS once again reviewed eligibility for all AHCCCS recipients annually, similar to what occurred before the COVID-19 public health emergency.

🚨Deadline extended: Arizona Transition to Practice Program applications

The application deadline for the second Arizona Transition to Practice Program for New Graduate Registered Nurses cohort beginning in June 2024 has been extended to Thursday, April 25, 2024.

Apply now

The big picture:

  • Any Arizona healthcare facility licensed by the Arizona Department of Health Services that hires new graduate registered nurses can apply.
  • Priority will be given to critical access hospitals or hospitals located in counties with a population of less than 500,000 people.
  • Hospitals with existing 12-month Transition to Practice programs are not eligible.

Questions? Email [email protected].


🏆Your name here ____

The Second Annual AzHHA Quality Awards are open for submissions from outstanding applicants wanting to highlight their work in:

  • 🏥Patient Safety and Quality
  • 📢Community Engagement
  • 🤰Maternal Health Innovation

Why it matters: These awards celebrate and recognize Arizona’s leaders committed to advancing healthcare through exceptional quality performance, community engagement and a culture of continuous improvement.

The big picture: Apply by 5 p.m. on Friday, May 31 and get ready to stand when you hear, “And the award goes to…”

Apply now


CMS proposes significant payment system changes

Last week the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule for inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) and the long-term care hospital (LTCH) prospective payment system for fiscal year (FY) 2025.

The proposed IPPS rule would:

  • Increase payments by 2.6% relative to FY 2024, which includes a market basket update of 3% less a productivity factor cut of 0.4 percentage points.
  • Establish a new mandatory Transforming Episode Accountability Model (TEAM) which would provide bundled payments for certain surgical procedures. If implemented, this would begin on Thursday, Jan. 1, 2026.
  • Make an abundance of changes to its quality reporting and value programs, including adding seven new measures, modifying two current measures and removing five measures.

By the numbers: The proposed LTCH prospective payment system rule would increase payments by 1.6% relative to FY 2024. This includes:

  • A market basket update of 3.2% less a productivity factor cut of 0.4 percentage points.
  • Increased the high-cost outlier cases from $59,873 in FY 2024 to $90,921 for FY 2025.
  • Update payments for site-neutral cases by 4.7%.

What’s next: AzHHA members should be on the lookout for a more detailed analysis of the proposed rule in the coming days, including facility-specific estimated impacts.

  • Hospitals may report feedback on the proposed rules to AzHHA’s Director of Financial Policy and Reimbursement Amy Upston. CMS is accepting comments on the rules until Monday, June 10, 2024.

Exclusive discount on healthcare recruitment tools

AzHHA understands that there are unique challenges to talent recruitment in smaller healthcare facilities, particularly in rural communities. That is why we are partnering with, an endorsed vendor and affiliated partner, to bring a unique discount on compensation data and analytics to member hospitals with less than 500 employees. is offering access to both their CompData Healthcare Salary Survey and their CompAnalyst Enterprise Software to critical access hospitals and other small hospitals at a discounted price – more than 33% off usual and customary prices. This program is only available through AzHHA and our partnership with

With CompAnalyst Enterprise, you gain access to’s comprehensive database of market data, integrated with the CompData Healthcare Salary Survey. is the leading enterprise resource for compensation data, software, salary surveys and education to help healthcare organizations attract and retain top talent by enabling smarter pay decisions.

For your complimentary system demo and to learn more, please contact Matt Romutis at [email protected].


2024 Arizona Hospital Leadership Conference Sponsorship Prospectus now available

The big picture: Join this year’s Sponsorship Program and have the enhanced ability to reach more than 200 hospital and healthcare industry leaders.

  • Choose from a bundled option at the Title, Platinum, Gold or Silver levels.
  • Bronze level sponsorships are à la carte opportunities that may be added to a bundled package or purchased as a stand-alone sponsorship.
  • You might even consider the new opportunity to be the sole sponsor of the Quality Awards Luncheon.

By sponsoring the AzHHA Foundation’s 2024 Arizona Hospital Leadership Conference, you will have opportunities to:

  • Attend conference sessions, including keynote and breakout sessions.
  • Gain corporate exposure and brand visibility with healthcare decision-makers.
  • Cultivate relationships with Arizona’s hospital executives.
  • Achieve insight into Arizona’s healthcare community, including strengths and issues.
  • Support hospitals’ delivery of quality care.

Go deeper: View the entire prospectus directly or at


ADHS revamps for better service

The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) has revamped its website and restructured its Division of Public Health Licensing to better serve residents, particularly vulnerable populations.

  • The changes include the elimination of the Bureau of Residential Facilities Licensing and the creation of two specialized units: the Bureaus of Behavioral Health Facilities Licensing (BBHL) and Assisted Living Facilities Licensing (BALF). BBHL will handle the licensing and regulation of behavioral health-related facilities, while BALF will oversee assisted living facilities and related types.
  • This restructuring aims to enhance efficiency, consistency and resource use while ensuring better protection for patients and residents.
  • The department has transitioned some facilities to the new structure and is working on updating websites and educational resources.
  • The goal is to continue overseeing all licensed facilities to safeguard public health and safety.
  • Residents can visit the department's website for more information and access resources like AZ Care Check for facility information and online complaint forms.


Wednesday, May 15 - AzCHER 2024 Conference
Guarding the Healthcare Galaxy: Gearing UP for when systems go DOWN. Join AzCHER in its fourth annual conference Wednesday, May 15 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Arizona Broadway Theatre, 7701 W. Paradise Lane, Peoria, AZ 85382. Click here to register.

May 22-24 - Arizona Healthcare Financial Management Association Spring Conference
The theme for this conference is “Stayin’ Alive: Stayin’ groovy with your bottom line.” The event will be held at Marriott Scottsdale McDowell. Learn more and register.

Thursday, May 30 - Introduction to POLST 
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. Register here.



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