The Arizona state legislative session has reached day 137 with no end in sight. It is widely speculated that since we didn’t see a budget in advance of the Memorial Day holiday, we shouldn’t expect a final budget until June 30, which was the 2021 sine die date. The state fiscal year begins on July 1, so if a budget isn’t completed by June 30, the state runs the risk of needing to shut down state-funded services and state agencies. If the Legislature runs until June 30, session will be 172 days, one day longer than in 2021. We are also just over 60 days from the August primary, which will take place on August 2.
An important bill AzHHA is tracking that addresses hospital visitation, HB2633, is ready for a final vote in the Senate. The measure, sponsored by Representative Nguyen (R-LD1), requires hospitals to develop a policy that allows for in-person visitation, but hospitals can require compliance with health and safety protocols. An amendment was added on the Senate floor to exempt behavioral health hospitals from this requirement. AzHHA, as well as other healthcare organizations, are supporting the measure as a balanced approach that protects the interests of patients and families while ensuring hospitals can manage infection control and protect staff. We expect this measure to head to Governor Doug Ducey’s desk before session adjourns for the year.
Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine shows strong immune response in children under 5
Pfizer and BioNTech announced this week that its COVID-19 vaccine booster for children under 5 was 80.3% effective and well-tolerated in a clinical trial involving over 1,600 children who received the 3-microgram dose at least two months after the primary vaccine series at a time when the omicron variant was predominating. The companies plan to submit the data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its emergency use authorization application.
Surgeon General Murthy issues advisory focused on addressing health worker burnout
Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, M.D. issued an advisory that calls for a whole-of-society approach to address healthcare workforce burnout. The report calls for reducing administrative burdens, improving workplace and learning environments, increasing access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment, addressing workforce shortages, preventing workplace violence, and promoting peer support and team-based care models. To read the full advisory, click here.
Purchase your license to access AzHHA’s updated consent manual
The 2020 AzHHA Consent Manual, reviewed and updated by Coppersmith Brockelman’s Health Care Practice Group, is 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.
EMTALA Manual - 2022 Edition
The updated Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) 2022 manual is available to Arizona hospitals to provide practical education and recommendations to improve EMTALA compliance. AzHHA commissioned Coppersmith Brockelman’s Health Care Practice Group to update the manual and we are pleased to share the 2022 edition to assist hospitals with nuanced protocol including COVID-19 testing in the emergency department and interfacility patient transfers. As the federal penalties for violating EMTALA are severe, including civil monetary penalties, exclusion from the Medicare program, and potential exclusion from other federal healthcare programs, hospitals must continue to comply with their EMTALA obligations.
AzHHA offers the 2022 EMTALA Manual to those signing its License Agreement. Click here to sign the agreement and download your copy.
June 14 – Annual Arizona Rural Health Conference
For the past 47 years, the Arizona Center for Rural Health has hosted the Annual Arizona Rural Health Conference in collaboration with the Arizona Rural Health Association, making it one of the longest continually running rural health conferences in the United States. The Arizona Rural Health Conference provides an environment for networking and dissemination of pertinent information among professionals and community members from rural Arizona and the Southwest. Register here.
June 21- 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. Register here.
October 19-21 - Save the Date: AzHHA Annual Leadership Conference
Mark your calendars for the 2022 Annual Leadership Conference October 19-21, 2022. After two years of putting the conference on pause to focus on the pandemic response, we will meet in the majestic Lowes Ventana Canyon in Tucson. The AzHHA Annual Leadership Conference brings together hundreds of healthcare CEOs, leaders, legislators and community partners from across the state for two and a half days of education, recognition and networking. Registration will become available in the coming months.
In the News
AHA urges FTC to investigate certain pharmacy benefit manager practices
American Hospital Association