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Connection Newsletter - Day 102 of legislative sesssion

 The legislature must pass the state budget before June 30.

Legislative update – day 102 of session

The state legislative session surpassed 100 days this week and it is still unclear when sine die will occur. What we do know is that the legislature must pass the state budget before June 30. Although in past weeks reports of progress on budget negotiations had emerged, many believe a final agreement is still weeks away.

Work on legislation has significantly slowed as both chambers are hearing only a handful of bills on the floor each week - a common practice while waiting for a budget agreement to emerge.

To date, many of AzHHA’s legislative priorities have been signed into law by Governor Doug Ducey. Visit to see which bills have been signed into law and other bill status updates.

AHA, others ask HHS Secretary to take action against drug companies violating 340B law

The American Hospital Association (AHA) and five other healthcare organizations sent a letter on April 20 to U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary, Xavier Becerra, urging him to stop the actions of six drug companies that are denying 340B discounts on prescription drugs sold to hospitals treating a large percentage of low-income and rural Americans. The letter requested HHS to confirm these refusals to provide 340B discounts are illegal and impose civil monetary penalties on the six companies. Pharmaceutical companies Eli Lilly, Sanofi, AstraZeneca, Novartis, United Therapeutics and Novo Nordisk began denying 340B discounts in July 2020. HHS General Counsel issued an Advisory Opinion last December stating drug manufacturers must provide 340B discounts for drugs dispensed through hospitals’ eligible contract pharmacies.

FDA revokes emergency use authorization for monoclonal antibody bamlanivimab

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revoked, on April 16, the emergency use authorization that allowed for the investigational monoclonal antibody therapy bamlanivimab, when administered alone, to be used for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults and certain pediatric patients. Based on its ongoing analysis of emerging scientific data, the FDA said, “the known and potential benefits of bamlanivimab, when administered alone, no longer outweigh the known and potential risks for its authorized use.”

Deadlines approaching for 2022 AHCCCS DAP program milestones

Several important milestones for participation in the AHCCCS Differential Adjusted Payment (DAP) programs for 2022 are upcoming with deadlines of April 30, 2021May 1, 2021, and May 14, 2021. 

Milestones due April 30, 2021 relate to

  • participation in the 0.5% DAP available to hospitals and Indian Health Service/638 facilities participating in the care coordination agreement DAP

  • participation in the 0.5% DAP available to clinics that bill for behavioral health assessments and integrate their electronic health records system with the American Society of Addiction Medicine continuum software 

Milestones due May 1, 2021 relate to

  • participation in the 2.5% - 10% health information exchange (HIE) DAP available to hospitals

  • participation in the HIE DAP available to integrated clinics

  • participation in the HIE DAP available to behavioral health outpatient clinics

Milestones due May 14, 2021 relate to

  • participation in the 1% Social Determinants of Health Closed-Loop Referral Platform DAP available to behavioral health outpatient clinics, integrated clinics, and other behavioral health providers

Specific information about the requirements for each milestone may be found in the AHCCCS DAP 2022 Final Public Notice or in AzHHA’s summary of the 2022 DAP initiatives.

New study shows hospital outpatient departments treat sicker, poorer patients than independent physician offices

Medicare patients who receive care in a hospital outpatient department (HOPD) are more likely to be poorer and have more severe chronic conditions than Medicare patients treated in an independent physician office (IPO), according to an AHA study released April 14. The study also specifically examined the characteristics of Medicare cancer patients seen in HOPDs and IPOs and found similar results.  
Findings of the new study highlight why actions implemented in the last few years by HHS, as well as other proposals under consideration by Congress to reimburse hospitals the same amount as physician offices, could threaten access to care for the most vulnerable patients and communities.

Long-term effects of COVID-19, Palliative Care Telehealth can help

While many individuals with COVID-19 fully recover, some have symptoms lasting weeks or months after they have tested negative and no longer have COVID-19. Although the CDC and other organizations are actively working to learn more about these effects of long COVID-19, patients are living with mild to more serious post-COVID-19 complications. Those experiencing post-COVID-19 complications or symptoms have a no-cost resource for their care that allows them to receive care services in their own home. Palliative Care Telehealth is a referral service that allows patients to consult with a palliative care specialist for symptom management or goals of care. After the consultation, the palliative care specialist will collaborate with the referring provider on any changes to the plan of care. Patient and provider resources and information are available at

AHA seeks feedback from health care workers for National Hospital Week song, video

As National Hospital Week (May 9-15) approaches with the theme Inspiring Hope through Healing, the AHA would like to honor the entire community of hospital and health system team members for all their work. To say thank you, AHA is collaborating with Musicians on Call to produce an original song and video inspired by the words of healthcare workers.

To contribute to these and other efforts during National Hospital Week, AHA invites healthcare workers to share their feedback online or via social media with the tag #hospitalweek of what has inspired them throughout the pandemic.

AHA will share these responses both through the song, video and other activities during National Hospital Week. Click here to find out more about getting involved.

Upcoming Events

May 24 - Developing a Telemedicine Program

This course is ideal for individuals or groups who have some telehealth experience and are interested in expanding their services. It is also a great course for those new to telehealth who are interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the growing industry. The course fee is waived for Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado and Nevada residents. Register here.

June 22 and 23 - Working together: Forging the future of serious illness care

In collaboration with partners from California and Hawaii, AzHHA will hold a virtual summit, Working Together: Forging the Future of Serious Illness Care, on June 22 and 23. Attendees will hear from inspiring speakers, get the latest information on the state of serious illness care from thought leaders and connect with colleagues and friends in breakouts and group discussions. Registration is now open here.

July 14 - 2021 coding clinic: Quarter 1 updates

AzHHA Affiliated Partner, NJHA Healthcare Business Solutions, is offering member health information managers and coding specialists a series of coding webinars, 2021 Coding Clinic Updates - Everything You Really Need to Know held quarterlyThe webinar series provides a concise overview of the current issue of Coding Clinic and allows participants an opportunity for discussion and Q&A. The second quarter session is scheduled July 14. Register here.

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