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Connection Newsletter - October 22, 2020

AHCCCS has released a waiver renewal proposal, which is now open for public comment. As outlined in its waiver public forum presentation, AHCCCS is requesting an extension for the vast majority of its current Section 1115 waiver authorities, including the authority to administer AHCCCS Complete Care and the ALTCS program.

AHCCCS seeks comments on proposed section 1115 waiver renewal

The Arizona Health Care Cost and Containment System (AHCCCS) is seeking to renew its Section 1115 Waiver Demonstration Program for five additional years, from October 1, 2021 (when the current authority expires) through September 30, 2026. AHCCCS has released a waiver renewal proposal, which is now open for public comment. As outlined in its waiver public forum presentation, AHCCCS is requesting an extension for the vast majority of its current Section 1115 waiver authorities, including the authority to administer AHCCCS Complete Care and the ALTCS program. AHCCCS is also seeking to extend its current authority to implement AHCCCS Works (which has not yet been implemented) and to continue the current waiver of prior quarter coverage. Public comment should be emailed to [email protected] by November 30, 2020. Contact Liz Lorenz at [email protected] for more information.

PPE preservation planning toolkit

The U.S. Health and Human Services released a toolkit from the COVID-19 Health Care Resilience Working Group on PPE Preservation Planning. It includes a fact sheet and an Excel worksheet that help users understand types of PPE preservation strategies and calculate how using those strategies can increase the duration of a specified PPE supply.

Today – HHS guidance for hospital data reporting webinar

Following the updated guidance on hospital data reporting earlier this month, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Intergovernmental Affairs will host a webinar today, October 22 at 10 a.m. The new guidance is imperative as the federal government is constantly looking to enhance response efforts and supply shipments. The administration’s subject matter experts will detail the new requirements and the CMS reinforcement process. To register, click here.

National suicide hotline bill is signed into law

President Trump signed into law the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2020 last week designating 988 as the nationwide phone number to connect people experiencing mental health crises to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The Lifeline is a network of 163 crisis centers across the U.S. that have answered more than 2.2 million calls and 100,000 online chats last year alone. The Federal Communications Commission earlier this year designated the number for this purpose, meaning telecommunications carriers and one-way Voice over Internet Protocol service providers must direct 988 calls to 1-800-273-TALK (8255) by July 16, 2022. Under the bill, the Department of Health and Human Services must also develop a strategy to provide access to competent, specialized services for high-risk populations such as LGBTQ+ youth, minorities and individuals in rural communities.

Calling all Arizona HIE participants – take the Health Current survey today

Health Current, Arizona’s Health Information Exchange (HIE), is conducting its annual survey of healthcare organizations who participate in the HIE. If your organization actively uses the HIE to access critical 

real-time patient data in your healthcare setting, Health Current wants to hear from you.

The survey represents an opportunity for you to impact the future of the Arizona HIE, and by doing so, improve how the HIE can better meet your organization’s needs. It is now open and ends Friday, October 30, 2020. To provide valuable input on your level of satisfaction with HIE services, click here.

If your organization is not already connected to the Arizona HIE, contact Health Current at 602-688-7216 or email [email protected].

Healing@Home expands program criteria

The Healing@Home Care Transitions Program is providing COVID-19 to patients ages 18-59 with a disability or age 60+ with comprehensive care transitioning services.

Healing@Home will focus, for a period of at least 30 days and up to 90 days based on need, on providing timely access to in-home social support, psychosocial support services and health care coordination services based on need.

Eligibility is limited to older adults aged 60 and older and adults aged 18-59 with disabilities who:

  1.  Tested positive for COVID-19 and are experiencing symptoms OR
  2.  Were discharged with a COVID-19 diagnosis from a hospital or Skilled Nursing Facility OR
  3.  Are at risk of getting COVID-19 due to having chronic conditions and prior exposure to another family member with COVID-19. *New eligibility criteria*

Read more

Former Valleywise Health CEO is inducted to the Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame

In a virtual celebration yesterday Betsey Bayless, former chief executive officer of Valleywise Health formerly known as MIHS, along with several other admirable women were inducted to the Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame. The Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame honors women who have played significant roles in shaping our state’s history. To view the virtual ceremony or view the full list of inducted women, click here.

Upcoming Events

October 26 at 10:30 a.m. - Valleywise Health Leads Safety-Net Hospitals in Urgent Plea for Action Amid National Rise in COVID-19

A Facebook Live event with front-line health care workers from a dozen essential hospitals— led by Valleywise Health in Phoenix -- makes an urgent call for people to continue practicing preventive actions to combat the spread of COVID-19. As deaths from the virus exceed 220,000, leaders from Valleywise Health and other hospitals serving the most vulnerable populations are imploring the public to double down on safety measures to keep at-risk people and health care workers safe. Register for the event here.

October 30 – Arizona Public Health Association’s Fall Conference: 6th Annual Adolescent Health and Wellness Summit

The Arizona Public Health Association will be hosting its 6th Annual Adolescent Health and Wellness Summit virtually on October 30 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This year’s guest speaker is Superintendent Kathy Hoffman. To learn more or register, click here.

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.

In Other News

Arizona releases its COVID-19 vaccination plan
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COVID-19 cases in Arizona continue to creep back up
AZ Big Media

CDC reports nearly 300,000 'excess deaths' in the U.S. amid pandemic