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Connection Newsletter - October 8, 2020

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar has extended the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) for the third time. The renewal is effective October 23, 2020 for 90 days. The Section 1135 Waivers authorized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are tied to the duration of the federal PHE and are therefore also extended. The Section 1135 waivers issued by CMS can be viewed here.

EMS ground ambulances rulemaking in progress

The Arizona Department of Health Services is convening a stakeholder group to discuss draft revisions to the ground ambulance rules. The revisions reflect the findings of a five-year rule review and are a significant rework of the existing regulations. Preliminary comments on the draft rules indicate disagreement over proposed changes to response and arrival times, particularly in urban vs. rural areas. AzHHA will be attending the stakeholder meetings and encourages members to share their thoughts on the proposal with us. For more information contact Debbie Johnston.

OPPS Proposed Rule comments submitted

AzHHA and the American Hospital Association (AHA) submitted formal comments this week to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) CY2021 Proposed Rule on changes to the outpatient prospective payment system.  Among other comments, AzHHA and the AHA reiterated opposition to payment reductions for 340B drugs, opined that payment cuts for hospital outpatient clinic visits threatens access to care, opposed the proposed elimination of the Inpatient-Only List, and strongly supported the proposal to permanently establish general supervision as the minimum required supervision level for all non-surgical extended duration therapeutic services. Additionally, AzHHA echoed the AHA’s support for many of CMS’s proposed changes to Hospital Star Ratings and encouraged CMS to consider alternative approaches to a single, overall rating of hospital performance to increase the relevancy of rating information to consumers. Contact Debbie Johnston or Liz Lorenz for more information.

Ransomware Prevention Best Practices

Cyberattacks—known as ransomware attacks—against hospitals have been increasing and can severely impact business processes when they lose data needed to provide patient care. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency recently published a Ransomware Guide, stating it is a “one-stop resource with best practices and ways to prevent, protect and/or respond to a ransomware attack.”

Arizona hospitals affected by a ransomware attack may use the following contacts to report the incident:

Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center – Phone: 877-272-8329 or 602-644-5805, or visit https://azactic.gov/contact

FBI CYWATCH - Email: cywatch@fbi.gov Phone: 855-292-3937

Coding clinic updates for health information management professionals

AzHHA’s affiliated partner, NJHA Healthcare Business Solutions is offering AzHHA members access to its 2020 Coding Clinic Updates: Everything you really need to know on October 14 at 1 p.m. EST. As part of its partnership with AzHHA, NJHA Healthcare Business Solutions offers members exclusive webinars for health information management professionals throughout the year. Click here to sign up for the 2020 Coding Clinic Updates webinar or click here to view all upcoming events from NJHA Healthcare Business Solutions.

HHS Secretary extends COVID-19 public health emergency

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar has extended the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) for the third time. The renewal is effective October 23, 2020 for 90 days. The Section 1135 Waivers authorized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are tied to the duration of the federal PHE and are therefore also extended. The Section 1135 waivers issued by CMS can be viewed here.

Register your flu vaccination clinics or events on VaccineFinder

With the flu season upon us, you can help your community access your flu vaccination clinics or events by registering for VaccineFinder.org. VaccineFinder’s goal is to make it simple for individuals to find a nearby location to receive a flu vaccine. VaccineFinder allows your organization to post information about your vaccination services, whether it’s a curb-side clinic or a mass vaccination event. 

Registration in VaccineFinder will be required for those who wish to provide the COVID-19 vaccine(s) once available.

For more information about VaccineFinder see the CDC’s VaccineFinder Provider Factsheet.

Arizona will receive $31.6 million in federal funds to combat opioid crisis

The Arizona Health Care Cost and Containment System (AHCCCS) announced this week in a news release that the state will be receiving more than $31.6 million per year for two years to provide prevention, treatment and recovery services to individuals affected by opioid use disorders and/or stimulant use disorders. The two-year grant, State Opioid Response II, provided by the Department of Health and Human Services will be administered by AHCCCS. Other state agencies, contracted health plans and community partners’ efforts will focus on populations that have identified unmet needs, including individuals in rural and isolated areas; veterans, military service members and military families; pregnant women and parents with opioid use disorder; individuals experiencing homelessness; tribal populations; individuals who have experienced trauma, toxic stress or adverse childhood experiences and individuals re-entering the community from correctional settings.

AzCHER requests for project proposals

The Arizona Coalition for Healthcare Emergency Response seeking consultants for the following:

All proposals are due by 5 p.m. October 28, 2020. Please send submissions to Laura Dix, executive director of AzCHER.

 


Upcoming Events

October 15 – Arizona Health Equity Conference

There is still time to register for this year’s Arizona Health Equity Conference. This year’s keynote Dr. Veenod L. Chulani, MD, MSED, FSAHM, CEDS, will address Racism and its Impact on Child and Adolescent Health: from Awareness to Action. The Arizona Health Equity Conference will bring together hundreds of individuals across the state to discuss, promote, and take action towards health equity. Whether you are a care provider, researcher, professor, community leader, social worker, community health worker, student or simply passionate about health equity, the Arizona Health Equity Conference is the event for you.

October 22, 1 p.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.

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.


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