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Connection Newsletter- AzHHA files a friend of the court brief in pending litigation against CVS Pharmacy

AzHHA files a friend of the court brief in pending litigation against CVS Pharmacy

AzHHA filed an Amicus Brief with the Arizona Supreme Court last week in the pending litigation between CVS Pharmacy and Tucson Medical Center (TMC). Representing AzHHA in this brief is The Nelson Law Group, PLLC. In the friend of the court brief, AzHHA urged the Supreme Court to uphold the trial court’s ruling that was based on the potential for CVS’s role in fueling the opioid epidemic to cause harm not only to patients, their families and communities but also to hospitals like TMC. AzHHA argued that by marketing and distributing opioids in an irresponsible and even illegal manner, CVS Pharmacy’s conduct has led directly to emergency departments throughout Arizona being flooded with patients suffering from opioid use disorder. The brief explains to the Court that, due to EMTALA, hospitals have unique statutory obligations to stabilize the patient’s emergency medical condition, even if the only treatment for a stated level of pain is more additive opioids. AzHHA asserted TMC should have the right to be compensated for the specific harms CVS Pharmacy’s conduct has caused, which are unique to the opioid crisis and occur regardless of the patient’s insurance status. 

A coalition of national hospital associations including the American Hospital Association also submitted a friend of the court brief in this case, advising the Court of the astronomical financial burdens that the opioid crisis has imposed on Arizona’s hospitals.

AzHHA urges the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the ACA appeals court decision

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act this week. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals last year ruled the ACA’s individual mandate unconstitutional and sent the case back to the district court in Texas for the judge to determine which of the law's provisions could survive without the mandate. AzHHA along with 35 other hospital associations have filed an Amici Curiae (friend of the court) brief urging the Court to reverse the appeals court decision. Membership will be kept informed as updates arise on the ruling of the case.

Request for Information due November 16 - Differential Adjusted Payment Strategies

For the past few years, the Arizona Health Care Cost and Containment System (AHCCCS) has implemented a differential adjustment payment (DAP) program for certain providers qualified based on the outlined criteria in the final notice. These qualified providers receive a positive adjustment to claims and encounters as described in the final notice.

Within the first step of the DAP program process is the request for information (RFI), which was recently posted on the AHCCCS website. The RFI is a process to gather information about DAP to help inform future decision-making. All questions regarding the program should be emailed to [email protected] no later than 5 p.m. on November 16. The due date for responses is December 4.

Rural Health Day is November 19

Each year the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health and its partners set aside the third Thursday of November to celebrate National Rural Health Day (NRHD). NRHD is an opportunity to “Celebrate the power of rural” across Arizona and the U.S. This year the University of Arizona’s Center for Rural Health will be holding its 2020 Mid-Year Rural Health Policy Roundup on Rural Health Day, November 19 at 2 p.m. The policy roundup will include an overview of rural healthcare initiatives as well as new governmental administrative rulings which impact rural healthcare. To register for the virtual event, click here.

TMC HealthCare to open a new hospital in Southeast Tucson in 2023

In an announcement this week TMC HealthCare announced it will open the Rincon Neighborhood Hospital, a subsidiary of TMC HealthCare, in 2023. The 60-bed hospital which will be built will be located at the intersection of Drexel and Houghton roads in Southeast Tucson. This is part of a three-phase plan in which the opening of the new hospital is the final step. TMC HealthCare launched the first phase in 2017 with the TMC Rincon Health Campus development and opened a 44,000-square-foot medical office building on the TMC Rincon Health Campus. To learn more about the expansion of TMC HealthCare’s Rincon campus, click here.

Upcoming Events

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.

December 3, 10 a.m. – Introduction to POLST webinar

The one-hour Introduction to POLST workshop equips healthcare professionals with knowledge and resources to begin using POLST, a “portable medical order,” 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.

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