On all three measures, concerns were raised about the breadth of the language and unintended consequences of the bills as written.
We’re wrapping up the second to last week to hear bills in committee in their chamber of origin. The deadline to introduce bills in both chambers has passed. Additional bills can and will be introduced, but any additional introductions will require the permission of the Speaker of the House or the President of the Senate. To date, 1664 bills have been introduced. For reference, the total number of bills introduced last year was 1,774 on the day of sine die, 1,607 in 2020, and 1,318 in 2019.
It was a challenging week for hospitals at the Capitol. The Senate Health Committee held a hearing on Wednesday that convened at 8:30 a.m. and was still meeting at the time of this writing - around 10 p.m. Wednesday. The Committee advanced several measures over the strong opposition of hospitals, including SB1393, SB1514 and SB1567. On all three measures, concerns were raised about the breadth of the language and unintended consequences of the bills as written. The three measures passed on party-line votes, but several members of the majority committed to voting no on the floor if the bills were to move ahead in their current form. Many bills related to employers and COVID-19 vaccine requirements are continuing to move through the process, including HB2043 and HB2198. AzHHA will continue to work on all of these proposals to ensure that hospitals are protected.
FDA issues Class 1 recall on two COVID-19 tests
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a Class 1 recall of two COVID-19 tests not authorized or approved. Due to the potential for false results, healthcare providers and testing programs should consider retesting patients with an authorized test if they administered the CovClear COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test less than two weeks ago and suspect an inaccurate result or administered the ImmunoPass COVID-19 Neutralizing Antibody Rapid Test and suspect a recent or prior COVID-19 infection.
ADHS blog - Study finds mask use associated with reduced risk of contracting COVID-19
Data continues to show the proper use of face masks reduces the risk of contracting COVID-19. In a recent blog post, the Arizona Department of Health Services stated that “unvaccinated people were 4.1 times more likely to test positive for COVID-19, 24.4 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19, and 57.9 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than the fully vaccinated.” In addition, a study published February 4 demonstrates the effectiveness of masks in preventing COVID-19 infection, based on a randomly selected group of California residents tested for COVID-19 during 2021. We all play a crucial role when it comes to protecting ourselves and our loved ones. Information on different types of masks and the advantages of each is available at azhealth.gov/Masks.
Free webinar - Assist Medicare beneficiaries with finding the right plan
Patient Advocate, Patient Financial Services, Admitting, and Medicare Reimbursement Personnel: Join AzHHA member hospitals in a free webinar presented by Well Advised, an affiliated partner of AzHHA. This webinar will focus on improving patient access to care while simultaneously reducing bad debt. This is accomplished through technology that assists Medicare beneficiaries in selecting and registering for their optimal plan, one that best meets their clinical and financial needs. Click on the date to choose one of the two sessions we are offering: February 16, 2022, at 3 p.m. or February 17, 2022, at 10 a.m. If you cannot attend one of the sessions but would like more information on the services provided by Well Advised, contact AzHHA Vice President of Member Solutions, Laura Dickscheid.
Reminder: Changes for Medicare Advantage Plan Claims Started January 1
Providers who vaccinate or administer monoclonal antibody treatment to patients enrolled in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans on or after January 1, 2022, must submit claims to the MA Plan. Original Medicare will not pay these claims. More information is available here:
February 11 - The Hertel Report’s State of the State
Arizona healthcare leaders provide fresh insight and trends impacting our local managed care industry at The Hertel Report’s annual State of the State breakfast meeting February 11 from 8 - 10:30 a.m. at the Phoenix Art Museum – Singer Hall. Virtual and in-person registration options are available. As a community partner of The Hertel Report, AzHHA members receive $15 off registration. Register here.
Introduction to POLST
Interested in learning how to use the Arizona POLST form with your patients? The one-hour Introduction to POLST workshop equips healthcare professionals with knowledge and resources to begin using POLST, Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment, 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. To register for a workshop, click on a date below.