Skip navigation

Connection newsletter June 8, 2023

The latest health news, events and information for Arizona healthcare. 

Legislative Update – return date in sight

Both chambers remain recessed until Monday, June 12, but when they return, they will finally have all 90 seats filled. The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors named Quantá Crews to fill the vacancy left by LD26 Senator Flavio Bravo when he was appointed to the Senate from the House. She has yet to be sworn in, but that will happen soon. Additionally, Governor Katie Hobbs has now vetoed 106 bills—nearly double the previous veto record of 58 bills set in 2005 by then-Governor Janet Napolitano. There are many rumors circulating about what the chambers will do next week—adjourn sine die? Stay in session until August? Stay in session until October? We can tell you what the capitol community is hoping for, but we will provide an actual update in next week’s Connection.

New report examines factors driving physician practice acquisition

A new American Hospital Association (AHA) report finds escalating costs associated with managing their own practice coupled with burdensome insurer policies and regulatory requirements are some of the factors driving physicians to seek employment in other practice settings. The report also sheds light on commercial insurer-acquisition of physician practices, and the magnitude of these deals. Among other findings:

  • 94% of physicians think it has become more financially and administratively difficult to operate a practice
  • 84% of employed physicians reported the administrative burden from commercial health insurers and government insurance programs had an impact on their employment decision

Next DAP amendment requires signature by July 1

As Contexture/Health Current transitions to a unified health information exchange (HIE) technology platform, it has implemented new Differential Adjusted Payment (DAP) program milestones that better align with, and supports, participants as they work through this essential transition. The next step in this process is for all HIE DAP participants to sign a new DAP Statement of Work (SOW) Amendment no later than July 1, 2023. Individuals who signed the original SOW should have received an amendment in May via DocuSign. Contact [email protected] with questions.

AzHHA submits comments to CMS on proposed Medicare rule

Last week AzHHA submitted comments on the FY 2024 Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility (IRF) Prospective Payment System proposed rule. AzHHA’s letter expressed concern for the woefully inadequate rate increase given that the market basket update does not adequately account for the fiscal strain Arizona hospitals, including IRFs, are facing given the unprecedented challenges driving up costs. Additionally, AzHHA suggested the removal of a couple of quality reporting metrics and expressed concern over adopting the Discharge Function Score Measure in its current form.

Weekend effect - hospital admissions and mortality

A recent study examined over 121 million adult hospital discharges from 2016 to 2019 to determine the factors associated with in-hospital death. The study, published in the American Journal of Medicine Open, found that older age and more comorbidities were predictors of in-hospital death. Additionally, patients admitted on weekends had higher mortality rates and underwent fewer procedures than those admitted on weekdays.

New AHCCCS Renewals Awareness Messaging Toolkits Available

AHCCCS announces two new Renewals Awareness Messaging toolkits and supporting materials to assist health plans, providers, community partners, and tribal communities to build awareness of the regular renewals process that began April 1. Visit the web page to view the toolkits, FAQs and additional resources.

Apply for your AzHHA Quality Award

The inaugural AzHHA Quality Awards are now open to outstanding applicants. Hospitals must be able to highlight a recent project in Quality and Patient Safety, Community Engagement or Emergency Management. Winners will be presented with their AzHHA Quality Award at the 2023 Arizona Hospital Leadership Conference in October. Download our flyer and read the application instructions here. The deadline for submissions is Monday, July 31, 2023.

AzHHA Foundation’s 2023 Arizona Hospital Leadership Conference sponsorship opportunities

Sponsorship opportunities are now available for the 2023 Arizona Hospital Leadership Conference, October 25-27 at the beautiful Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson. View our sponsorship prospectus to learn more about our bundled options or stand-alone sponsorships. The number of sponsors is limited to maintain the personal nature of this experience while also maximizing opportunities for sponsors to have face-time engagement with attendees.

We are hiring - Communications Manager


July 6 - 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. 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

July 21 – 2023 Summer State of the State, Flagstaff Medical Center’s McGee Auditorium

Register and receive $15 off registration with code azhha2023 at checkout.

ADHS Maternal and Infant Mortality Summit Aug 23-24


What a Recent Health Affairs Piece Gets Wrong about Hospital Finances and Charity Care (AHA Stat)

211 Arizona to Absorb Find Help Phoenix Website (

Listen up, experienced nurses: New nurses have a few things to tell you (Becker’s Hospital Review)