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Connection Newsletter - Arizona awaits 2020 election results

AzHHA breaks down the 2020 election results so far; HHS releases reporting data for Arizona hospitals and a look into two new projects to assist with hospital data reporting requirements.

Arizona awaits 2020 election results

The 2020 election is over, almost. As of Thursday morning, races across the nation and up and down the ballot are too close to call. Votes are still being counted across the nation and may be for days to come. In Arizona, as this is being written, it’s estimated that more than 300,000 votes remain untallied, the results of which may determine the outcome in key races.

Next week, AzHHA, in coordination with the AHA, will hold a member-only briefing on the final election results and the health policy implications.


In spite of massive voter turn-out, the national political map looks very similar to that of 2016. It appears the next President will be determined by just four states: Arizona, and Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania. In Arizona former Vice President Biden is leading President Trump by approximately 69,000 votes. It may take days to get final results in Arizona and elsewhere.

Republicans will almost certainly maintain control of the U.S. Senate. Democratic candidates have likely won in Arizona and Colorado and lost in Alabama. Republican incumbents may hold on in Georgia, Iowa, Maine and North Carolina.

It is likely democrats will maintain control of the U.S. House although final results are not available for 40 of the 435 seats.

Arizona Federal Races

Few races were as closely watched and wildly expensive as the race for Arizona’s U.S. Senate seat. For months, democratic political newcomer and former astronaut Mark Kelly has led incumbent republican Senator Martha McSally in nearly every measure from polling to campaign fundraising. Kelly holds a sizable lead that will likely hold as the final votes are counted over the coming days.

Of the Congressional seats that were competitive (CD-1, CD-2, and CD-6), the status quo was maintained as incumbents Tom O’Halleran (D-Northern Arizona), Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Tucson), and David Schweikert (R-North Phoenix) were all reelected.


It is almost certain the two state-wide ballot initiatives will cruise to easy wins. Proposition 207 which will legalize recreational marijuana is ahead by nearly 20%. Proposition 208 which will increase income taxes for high-income earners is ahead by about 5%.

Arizona Legislative Races

Record-shattering political spending and shifting demographics have made previous one-party strongholds competitive. Democrats hopes of controlling at least one chamber of the state legislature more than likely have not come to fruition.

Arizona Senate

Currently, republicans control the state Senate with 17 members to the democrat’s 13. It appears democrats will pick up one seat moving it to 16/14.

  • LD 17 (Chandler) republican incumbent JD Mesnard leads his democratic challenger AJ Kurdoglu by 3,388 votes.
  • LD 20 (Glendale) republican incumbent Paul Boyer leads his democratic challenger Douglas Ervin by 1,935 votes.
  • LD 28 (North Central Phoenix and Paradise Valley) republican incumbent Kate Brophy McGee trails her democratic challenger by 3,050 votes.

Arizona House of Representatives

Currently, republicans control the state House with 31 members to the democrat’s 29. It appears the balance of power in spite one democrat and one republican incumbent losing.

  • LD 4 (Yuma and Western Maricopa Counties) democratic incumbent Geraldine Peten trails her republican challenger Joel John by 1,997 votes.
  • LD 6 (North Arizona) republican Brenda Barton leads democrat Coral Evan by 267 votes.
  • LD 20 (Glendale) republican incumbent Anthony Kern trails his democratic challenger Douglas Ervin by 4,725 votes.
  • LD 21 (Glendale and Peoria) republican incumbent Kevin Payne leads his democratic challenger Kathy Knecht by 1,264 votes.

HHS releases COVID-19 hospital data

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) began posting reports on its HHS Protect Public Data Hub this week on how hospitals are reporting COVID-19 situational awareness data to the agency. HHS requires hospitals to report this data under an interim final rule which is being enforced via a multi-phase notification process. Hospitals should check the HHS Protect Public Data Hub and pay attention to days at 100% and the percentage of required fields, as CMS requires 7 days of reporting at 100%. The data hub identifies which fields are missing, so your staff can use this report to problem solve. If your hospital is submitting data through the Arizona Department of Health Services’ (ADHS) EMResource and have questions, contact ADHS directly. If your hospital is submitting data directly to Teletracker and have questions, email the HHS Protect Service Desk at [email protected].

In related news, HHS has posted slides from its webinar on the CMS updated guidance on COVID-19 data reporting requirements for hospitals that participate in Medicare.

New Arizona HIE hospital projects announcement & webinar – Nov. 9

In partnership with the Health Current, Arizona’s health information exchange (HIE) and the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), AzHHA is proud to support two new projects to assist with data reporting requirements.

The project descriptions are outlined below and Fact Sheets (RISE / Surveillance and Reporting) help to explain more.
Complete the Hospital Interest Form if your organization wishes to participate.
Project Summaries

  • Reporting Intelligence System for Emergencies (RISE) – RISE is a new HIE service designed to support the healthcare community with enhanced public health reporting during times of crisis. RISE supports ADHS by improving the timeliness, accuracy, and completeness of hospital reporting of key healthcare data needed during an emergency, such as a pandemic. The service is also designed to reduce hospital and health system burden related to state and federal reporting requirements by using the Arizona HIE as a data intermediary. The first phase of this new service will aim to automate the reporting of COVID-19 daily hospital reporting requirements. Future phases may expand this service for other reporting requirements.
  • Communicable Disease Surveillance & Reporting (CDSR) – CDSR is a new service designed to submit case reports from hospitals to ADHS by developing a standardized approach to use Health Current’s statewide HIE as an intermediary between Arizona hospitals and ADHS. CDSR will support ADHS by improving the timeliness, accuracy, and completeness of communicable disease reporting, especially during emergencies such as a pandemic and will reduce hospital and health system burden related to state reporting requirements.
    Next Steps
  • Hospital Interest Form – If your organization is interested in participating in one or both of these projects, please complete and submit the form to: Peter Steinken, Director of Community Engagement, at [email protected] by close of business Monday, November 16, 2020.
  • Informational Webinar, Monday, Nov 9, 11 a.m. – Health Current is hosting an optional webinar for those who would like to take a deeper dive on the project details and ask questions. This webinar is ideal for the following hospital roles:
    - Chief nursing officers and nursing department leaders
    - Chief operating officers
    - Chief information officers
    - Chief clinical information officers
    - Chief medical officers
    - Human resource leaders


We thank you in advance for your interest in these important hospital project opportunities. If you have any questions or would like to discuss these projects further, please contact Peter Steinken, at 602-464-9641 or [email protected].

AHCCCS receives federal approval to increase hospital reimbursement rates

On Monday, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) announced it received federal approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to increase Arizona hospital reimbursement rates by more than 30 percent.

The Hospital Enhanced Access Leading to Health Improvements Initiative (HEALTHII) will result in a net increase in payments to eligible Arizona hospitals of approximately $800 million in the first year of implementation, a more than 30 percent effective rate increase over current reimbursement rates.

“The Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association appreciates the support AHCCCS has provided hospitals and other healthcare providers as we collectively navigate these unprecedented times,” said AzHHA president and CEO, Ann-Marie Alameddin. “These payments will help provide financial viability to hospitals and will strengthen the network of providers to help meet the needs of patients during COVID-19 and into the future.”
Read more

Phoenix Business Journal’s 2020 Health Care Hero Awards

Each year the Phoenix Business Journal hosts its Health Care Hero Awards. This year, AzHHA is proud to announce Ann-Marie Alameddin, AzHHA president and CEO is nominated for the Health Care Education award. The Health Care Education Award honors people who have made a significant contribution to fostering interest in the health care field in others, including professors, students and administrators. All finalists and the winners will be announced in a virtual ceremony on Monday, November 9. Congratulations to all the finalists. If you would like to attend the virtual event, click here.

Upcoming Events

November 12 - The Paradigm Shift in Health Care: Learning to Live in Tomorrow's Future

This year, in light of COVID-19, longstanding challenges — physician burnout, financial distress, regulation changes — have intensified while new ones have emerged. The resulting paradigm shift is an opportunity to rethink current strategies and make the most of available resources to support care teams, recover revenue, and employ technology to reinforce both patient and financial wellness. Join the AHA in this engaging webinar by clicking here to register.  

November 13 – Women Lead HERe Conference

Join the Arizona Chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association in its 8th Annual Women Lead HERe Conference. This year’s event will focus on empowHERment, inspiration and connection. Learn more and register for the conference here.

November 18 - CivEx featuring a panel of Flinn-Brown Fellows on the front lines of state government’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic

The panel of past and current Flynn-Brown scholars will discuss public-health, operations, education, technology, and philanthropic experts involved in key decision-making roles through the pandemic. Learn more and register here.

November 19 – Celebrate the Power of Rural telehealth webinar

Mark this year’s National Rural Health Day with a special telehealth webinar - 2020 Mid-Year Rural Health Policy Roundup with Alan Morgan, Chief Executive Officer for the National Rural Health Association. Click here for more information.

In Other News

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