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Connection Newsletter - Legislative Update: Over 180 introduced bills impact hospitals

SB1377 would potentially protect businesses, governments, health providers and healthcare institutions from prospective frivolous lawsuits stemming from their response to COVID-19.

Legislative update

Over 1,200 bills have been introduced in the first 18 days of Arizona’s state legislative session as committees are hard at work. AzHHA is tracking more than 180 bills that may directly or indirectly impact hospitals in addition to advocating for its priority legislation. Click here to read summaries of AzHHA's priority and key legislation.

HHS will allow retired and inactive clinicians to administer COVID-19 vaccines

The Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday it will amend the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act to allow doctors and nurses who have recently retired or become inactive to administer COVID-19 vaccines. The amendment also allows anyone currently licensed to vaccinate in their state to administer vaccines across state lines.

Governor Ducey issues advisory to accelerate COVID-19 vaccine distribution

Governor Ducey issued Tuesday a new enhanced surveillance advisory in Executive Order 2021-01. The executive order consolidates existing hospital reporting requirements and further requires hospitals and other organizations to report information on vaccine doses they have received but have not been administered. Paragraph 16 of the executive order details the information to be reported and organizations who are required to report. The Arizona Department of Health Services will administer a survey to collect the data. According to the governor’s office, the goal of the data collection is to ensure vaccinators continue to administer all available vaccines.

HHS extends public health emergency declaration once again

The Department of Health and Human Services extended the public health emergency (PHE) declaration on January 21 for another 90 days. The agency also suggested it is likely the PHE will remain in place for the entirety of 2021.

President Biden signs a series of executive orders related to COVID-19 testing, vaccines and supplies

President Joe Biden took executive action last week by signing a number of executive orders (EO) aimed at addressing the COIVD-19 pandemic. Several of the executive actions are part of the Administration’s National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness which was released January 21. To read a summary highlighting a number of the EOs, click here.

Sponsorship opportunities available for AzCHER’ s 2021 Virtual Conference

AzCHER invites you to consider a sponsorship of the coalition’s premiere conference, to be held virtually in April 2021. The primary audience of this conference are emergency managers, planners, clinical staff, and various responders in the fields of healthcare, public health, EMS, and emergency management, among others. Our sponsorship prospectus outlines the many opportunities to reach this audience through participation, recognition, and branding opportunities. Should you find interest in sponsoring AzCHER’s debut conference, email Abigail Zieger at [email protected] or call 480-893-6110.

Palliative care telehealth is available in Arizona 

Patients experiencing acute or chronic COVID-19 symptoms and related complications have another resource available for their care. Palliative Care Telehealth is a referral source for healthcare providers across Arizona to help their patients navigate through the complexities of COVID-19 related symptoms, or those chronic conditions exacerbated by COVID-19. Patients referred to this free service will be able 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.

This program is administered by AzHHA with a grant from the Arizona Department of Health Services. There is no charge to the patient or referring provider to use this service.

Visit our website for more resources including patient and provider flyers and frequently asked questions:

Now available - AzHHA Consent Manual

The 2020 AzHHA Consent Manual, reviewed and updated by Coppersmith Brockelman’s Health Care Practice Group, is now available for purchase. This manual is the only comprehensive resource guide for Arizona healthcare consent laws, rules and guidelines. Learn more about consent manual updates or submit a purchase request form here.

Upcoming Events

February 10 & 11 - Cybersecurity tabletop exercise – free virtual presentation

AzCHER has joined the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to present a tabletop exercise on February 10 and 11, 2021 that is completely free to AzCHER members and partners. The target audience for this event includes information technology staff, emergency management staff, public information officers and healthcare executives. There is no limit to the number of participants who can attend from the same organization. To register for the February 10 exercise, click here. Or to register for the February 11 exercise, click here. The same exercise will be offered on Feb 10 and 11. Attendees should register for their preferred date.

February 10 - Advance Care Planning: Train the Trainer

This workshop prepares community representatives and volunteers to facilitate the 1 or 2-hour community Advance Care Planning workshop. Participants will learn the basic steps needed for effective advance care planning, Arizona regulations governing advance care planning, facilitation strategies and community/state/national resources. Click here to register.

February 11 - 5 key innovations driving outcomes during pandemics

In this webinar, Adventist Health White Memorial shares strategies and technologies leveraged to maintain and improve quality metrics and staffing wellness, while addressing the challenges it faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to register.

Multiple dates – Introduction to POLST workshop

The one-hour Introduction to POLST workshop equips 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. Dates for the first quarter of 2021 have been announced. Click on the date to register for a workshop.

In the News

More than half million doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered in Arizona
KOLD News 13

Poll: Nearly half of american adults now want the Covid vaccine — ASAP
Kaiser Health News

4 reasons we’re seeing these worrying coronavirus variants now