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Connection newsletter 8-3-23

Learn more about the end of the legislative session, FY 2024 Medicare rates for rehabilitation and psychiatric facilities, and registration for the 2023 Arizona Hospital Leadership Conference.



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Connection Newsletter

By AzHHA CommunicationsAug. 3, 2023

Smart Brevity® count: 4.5 mins...1223 words

Welcome to the new weekly newsletter!

In this edition, you’ll find:

  • Details on the end of the legislative session and what’s next.

  • Information about the final FY 2024 Medicare rates for rehabilitation and psychiatric facilities.

  • Exciting news: Registration is now open for the 2023 Arizona Hospital Leadership Conference.

We want to hear what you think! Please send your feedback to [email protected].


Legislative session is finally over

Arizona State Capitol

What’s new: After 204 long days, the 56th Legislature, First Regular Session adjourned sine die on the evening of Monday, July 31.

👉This marks the end of the longest session in Arizona history, and thus the general effective date for legislation enacted this year will be Monday, Oct. 30, 2023.

The big picture: Following the extended pause from which they returned on Monday, legislators approved a package to send Prop. 400, a transportation tax that funds roads, bridges and public transportation, to the voters in 2024. Neither chamber conducted any other business on Monday.

No additional gubernatorial appointees can be confirmed this year without a special session, so the nominees who are serving without official confirmation can continue to do so for a time, but it remains to be seen how the Governor’s Office and the Senate will handle nominees who were not confirmed.

What’s next: Now that we’re officially done for the year, you can expect the 2023 Legislative Report in member mailboxes soon. It will include:

  • What we accomplished this year.

  • What was left on the cutting room floor.

  • Enacted legislation that will impact hospitals.

CMS finalizes FY 2024 Medicare rehabilitation and psychiatric facility rates

Stacked money

What’s new: Last week, CMS finalized the FY 2024 Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility (IRF) Prospective Payment System (PPS) Final Rule and the Inpatient Psychiatric Facility (IPF) PPS Final Rule. Both rules are effective Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023.

IRF PPS rates will increase by 3.4% (a market basket update of 3.6% less a 0.2 percentage point productivity adjustment).

  • While this is slightly higher than the proposed rate, it is 0.5 percentage points below last year’s market basket update.

  • The IRF market basket will be rebased to use 2021 claims data.

  • The final proposal also includes eliminating the requirement that IRFs only begin operating at the beginning of a hospital cost report period.

  • Finally, it adopts two new quality measures and removes three prior measures.

IPF PPS rates will increase by 2.4% above the current year, which is a 0.5 percentage point increase above the proposed rates.

  • Like the IRF final rule, it eliminates the requirement that IPFs only begin operating at the beginning of a hospital cost report period.

  • The rule also adds four new quality metrics, modifies one metric and removes two.

Registration now open: 2023 Arizona Hospital Leadership Conference

Loews Hotels Tucson

The big picture: The 2023 Arizona Hospital Leadership Conference will once again be held at the exquisite Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson on Oct. 25-27.

  • This will be an inspirational gathering of more than 200 hospital and healthcare executives seeking opportunities for continuing education, meaningful discussion and relationship building.

  • The full conference agenda is available on the registration page.

  • Early bird discount: Available until Friday, Sept. 1.
Register today!



Apply now: Transition to Practice Program

What’s new: Applications are now open for organizations wanting to participate in the Transition to Practice Program.

Why it matters: Arizona is experiencing a severe nursing shortage that was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • While it is important to increase the number of new nurses in the pipeline, it is also important to retain new nurses in their roles.

  • A formal New Graduate Registered Nurse Transition to Practice Program provides another level of support for new nurses and has been shown to increase retention.

Go deeper: Learn more about the program

Apply today



Time is running out! Last chance to apply for the AzHHA Quality Awards

Remember, due to high-demand behavioral health and long-term care hospitals are now eligible to apply for the AzHHA Quality Awards. These facilities will be evaluated in one of the classifications based on their size.

Why it matters: Applicants can showcase their work by highlighting a recent project in:

  • Patient Safety

  • Community Engagement

  • Emergency Management

Last chance! Submissions are due Wednesday, Aug. 9.

Apply now

Now live: Arizona Perinatal Psychiatry Access Line

What’s new: The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson launched the Arizona Perinatal Psychiatry Access Line (APAL).

Why it matters: This free service for medical providers offers:

  • Real-time access to perinatal psychiatrists to ask questions and review treatment options by phone.

👉 Access this service by calling 888-290-1336, 12:30-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Go deeper: Learn more at


AzHHA welcomes new member

What’s new: AzHHA is proud to announce its newest member, Select Specialty Hospital - Tucson East

Get to know our new member:

  • Select Specialty Hospital – Tucson East recently opened as a 28-bed critical illness recovery hospital serving chronic disorders and severe trauma.

  • Owned and operated by Select Medical, a system with four other member hospitals in Arizona.

  • The hospital is located on the Tucson Medical Center campus.



Member spotlight: Kingman Regional Medical Center laboratory scientist named to 40 Under Forty list

Martin Muganzi

What’s new: The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) recently named Martin Muganzi, MBA, MLS (ASCP), a medical laboratory technologist at Kingman Regional Medical Center, to the ASCP’s 40 Under Forty list.

Why it matters: This award recognizes 40 highly accomplished pathologists, pathology residents and laboratory professionals under age 40 who have made significant contributions to the profession and stand out as the future of laboratory leadership.

In Martin’s role as laboratory information systems administrator, he leverages technology to improve laboratory processes and patient care. Martin looks forward to the future of technology in lab applications and the benefits it will have for diagnosing and treating disease.

Congratulations, Martin, on this prestigious honor!

Learn more


Thursday, Aug. 31 - 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 of the workshops 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.
  • Learn the process of submitting healthcare planning documents to the Arizona Healthcare Directive Registry.

Register here.

Friday, Sept. 15 – AIM Collaborative Conference
Register now for our second annual event focusing on AIM’s obstetric hemorrhage maternal health bundle. Hear from engaging speakers from around the state presenting on maternal health initiatives and integrating health equity into patient care. Attendees will include clinicians and executives from hospitals and birthing facilities, leaders from state agencies, community partners, not-for-profits, tribal healthcare and students. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact [email protected]

Friday, Oct. 13 – Arizona Burn Symposium
The Arizona Burn Symposium is an opportunity for medical professionals to gather, learn and connect with experts in the field of burn care. The symposium features engaging speakers, informative panel discussions and interactive workshops that provide the latest advancements in burn care. Register today. 




Don’t forget! Please send us feedback on our new newsletter format to [email protected]