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Connection newsletter 5-16-24

In this issue, read about: The latest at the Arizona Legislature, the Arizona Supreme Court delaying the abortion ban enforcement until September, the upcoming deadline for the AzHHA Quality Awards and more. 



In this issue, read about: The latest at the Arizona Legislature. The Arizona Supreme Court delaying

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Connection Newsletter

By AzHHA CommunicationsMay 16, 2024

Smart Brevity® count: 5 mins...1380 words

In this issue, read about:

  • The latest at the Arizona Legislature.
  • The Arizona Supreme Court delaying the abortion ban enforcement until September.
  • The upcoming deadline for the AzHHA Quality Awards.

🏛 Budget stalemate continues amid political shifts

Arizona State Capitol

Another week down with no budget solution in sight.

This past week centered on the Republican-led ballot initiative HCR2060.

  • However, the bill did not reach the floor for a vote yesterday due to a member's family emergency.
  • Some party members raised concerns over Senator Janae Shamp's (R-Dist. 29) recent, stricter floor amendment.
  • This disagreement has delayed the Senate vote by another week.
  • It's uncertain if this is affecting budget negotiations, which have largely occurred behind the scenes.

In other news, Senator Anna Hernandez (D-Dist. 24) announced she won't seek re-election but will run for Phoenix City Council instead. This represents another loss for the Democratic Party as they lose an incumbent in a tight district.

HB2035, our priority legislation on health insurance accountability, is still awaiting a hearing in the Senate Rules Committee due to the fiscal note attached. We continue to work with the bill's sponsor to ensure it progresses and hope to have an update soon.


Arizona Department of Health Services initiates rulemaking process

The Arizona Department of Health Services has initiated a rulemaking for Chapter 10, Healthcare Institutions.

  • Information about the rulemaking and the draft rule is on the rulemaking webpage, including an online survey.
  • The comment period will close on Sunday, May 26, 2024, at 11:59 p.m.

AzHHA will send a Regulatory Alert to members outlining significant portions of the rule revisions and host a member call next Friday to receive feedback. After the close of the comment period, the Department has indicated it will host a stakeholder meeting to review the draft, including any recommended changes incorporated into the rules.


🏛 Arizona abortion ban enforcement delayed

The Arizona Supreme Court on Monday, May 13, 2024, issued a ruling staying enforcement of the “territorial abortion ban” (A.R.S. 13-3603) for 90 days to allow the Attorney General time to potentially file a petition for certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • What's next: Coupled with a ruling in a separate case, the earliest enforcement of the ban can take effect is now Thursday, Sept. 26, 2024.

AzHHA will host a member webinar on both the territorial and 15-week abortion ban on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. Members will receive more information in the coming days.


Arizona Transition to Practice Program: Apply now for the August 2024 cohort!


Applications are now open for the third Arizona Transition to Practice Program for New Graduate Registered Nurses cohort beginning in August 2024.

  • Any Arizona healthcare facility licensed by the Arizona Department of Health Services that hires new graduate registered nurses can apply.
  • Priority is 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.

Why it matters: The Arizona Transition to Practice Program:

  • Supports and develops new nurses.
  • Provides evidence-based professional development.
  • Accelerates the novice nurse to a competent nurse more rapidly.
  • Addresses resilience and emergency preparedness.

👉Applications are due Friday, June 14, 2024.

Apply now

Urgent advisory: Black Basta ransomware threat

Computers with ransomware signs

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Department of Health and Human Services and Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center jointly issued a cybersecurity advisory on Black Basta ransomware, impacting 12 critical sectors including healthcare.

  • It includes tactics, techniques and indicators of compromise to mitigate attacks. Health-ISAC also warned of heightened Black Basta attacks on healthcare.
  • Suggestions include sharing the advisory, updating software, enhancing email security, limiting access privileges and conducting training.
  • Continuous monitoring and incident response plans are crucial. Backup data regularly and establish business continuity plans.
  • For more details, visit CISA’s #StopRansomware page.

Bridging the rural-urban health disparity gap

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a report revealing a widening gap in mortality rates between rural and urban adults, with rural working-age adults experiencing higher rates of natural cause deaths.

  • Factors such as healthcare access, hospital closures and policy differences contribute to this disparity.
  • Particularly alarming is the significant increase in mortality rates among Indigenous populations and rural women, notably due to pregnancy-related deaths.
  • The report underscores the urgent need for innovative solutions to address healthcare disparities and improve access to care in rural areas.

Why it matters: The rural-urban mortality gap highlights disparities in health outcomes between rural and urban populations.

  • Other factors contributing to this gap include differences in socioeconomic status and environmental factors.
  • Rural areas often have limited access to healthcare facilities and specialists, leading to delayed diagnosis and treatment.
  • Socioeconomic factors such as poverty, education level and employment opportunities also influence health outcomes, with rural populations experiencing higher levels of poverty and lower educational attainment.
  • Environmental factors like air and water quality, access to nutritious food and exposure to hazards like pesticides or industrial pollutants further exacerbate health disparities.
  • Addressing the rural-urban mortality gap requires comprehensive strategies that prioritize healthcare infrastructure improvement, equitable access to resources, socioeconomic development and environmental protections to ensure all populations have the opportunity for optimal health outcomes.

Time is running out! Apply now for the AzHHA Quality Awards

The deadline for submissions for the Second Annual AzHHA Quality Awards is fast approaching! This is an opportunity for member hospitals 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.

What's next: Submissions are due at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 31, 2024.

Apply now

Coming soon: 2024 Member Survey

Starting next week, AzHHA will open our 2024 Member Survey.

  • This survey is for CEOs of member hospitals only.

Why it matters: The survey helps us understand if we are meeting the needs of our members with policy and advocacy work as well as additional services and programs.

The big picture:

  • The survey will run from Monday, May 20 to Monday, June 3, 2024.
  • All CEOs of AzHHA member hospitals will receive the survey link via email on the day the survey opens.
  • It will take no more than five minutes to complete.

What’s next: If you are in the target audience for this survey, please keep an eye out for the survey email and share your feedback.

Questions? Contact [email protected].


AzHHA announces relaunch of job board

AzHHA is excited to share its new and improved job board, AzHealthJobs.

Go deeper: The new back-end partner, Web Scribble, offers enhanced customer service and a sales team who actively scrub the internet for jobseekers.

  • Select from basic, enhanced or premium posting opportunities.
  • Customize your postings with corporate branding and gain access to multiple partner job sites with the premium selection.

Benefit to AzHHA members: Use code “AzHHA15” and receive 15% off all job postings and packages through the end of July 2024.

Questions? Contact [email protected] or reach out to Web Scribble directly at [email protected].



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 the 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.

Thursday, June 13, 2024 and Thursday, Aug. 22, 2024 - EMTALA webinar series
This members-only webinar series is designed to answer questions about EMTALA, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act. Questions? Reach out to [email protected].



Share your feedback! Email [email protected].