Shortages are expected to last until June.
The House gaveled in on Monday, then promptly adjourned until May 16. More than 10 members were either absent or excused from business. The Senate also gaveled in on Tuesday, considered fewer than 10 bills, and following those actions, adjourned until next week. Monday marked the 120th day of legislative session, which is the last day of regular per diem payments under A.R.S. 41-1104. Beginning Tuesday, per diem reimbursements are dramatically cut for members. The House did send HB2429 to Governor Doug Ducey. This measure, sponsored by Representative Amish Shah (D-24) and supported by AzHHA, allows health professionals to participate in mental health wellness programs without the obligation to report their participation to their respective licensing boards.
As we look ahead to a potential budget deal, if the process mirrors the 2021 session and the budget vote takes place on the final day of the fiscal year (June 30), session would be 172 days long. The longest session on record is 173 days. Rumors abound about what is holding up budget negotiations, but one persistent rumor centers around the state’s plan for increasingly dire water predictions. The Governor’s budget called for a $1 billion investment in a new organization—the Arizona Water Authority—but as is always the case, the devil is in the details.
Contrast media shortage
Hospitals nationwide are reporting shortages of GE Healthcare's iohexol and iodixanol intravenous contrast media products for computed tomography imaging. The shortage has been attributed to COVID-19 related lockdowns in Shanghai, China where the iodinated contrast media is manufactured. While the facility has reopened, the current shortage is expected to continue through June.
In the meantime, hospitals have begun to look to conservation strategies and alternative product options. The Supply Chain Resource Council, an arm of the American Hospital Association, has issued this Special Report.
AzHHA welcomes two new hospital members
We are pleased to share two new hospitals have become members of AzHHA. Sonora Behavioral Health in Tucson and Oasis Behavioral Health in Chandler – both affiliated with Acadia Healthcare – were approved for membership by the board of directors for 2022. The two hospitals have a combined bed capacity of just under 250, serving the acute behavioral health and substance abuse needs of children, adolescents and adults. Welcome Sonora and Oasis Behavioral Health Hospitals!
FDA updates EUA for Janssen COVID-19 vaccine
Emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine was updated by the U.S. Drug Administration (FDA) on May 5. Under the revised EUA, the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is limited use for
- individuals 18 years of age and older for whom other FDA-authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccines are not accessible or clinically appropriate.
- individuals 18 years of age and older who elect to receive the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine because they would otherwise not receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
The update comes after the agency determined the risk of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome warrants limiting the use of the vaccine. An updated fact sheet for healthcare providers is available here.
CMS updates COVID-19 coverage and reimbursement guidance
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services updated its guidance on COVID-19 vaccination coverage and reimbursement on May 6. Changes to the guidance help Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program and Basic Health Program policymakers identify and address related issues during and after the public health emergency.
Maternal mental health hotline is now available
Expecting and new mothers experiencing mental health challenges have a free resource available at 1-833-9-HELP4MOMS. The hotline creates a safe space for expecting and new moms experiencing maternal depression, anxiety or other mental health concerns. Callers will have access to trained counselors who provide brief intervention and referrals as needed. Moms needing mental health support may call or text 1-833-9-HELP4MOMS.
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.
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.
October 19-21 - Save the Date: AzHHA Annual Leadership Conference
Mark your calendars the 2022 Annual Leadership Conference will be held 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 days of education, recognition and networking. More information and registration will become available in the coming months.
In the News
Pfizer 'intensively researching' long-lasting COVID-19 vaccine
Becker’s Hospital Review