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Connection newsletter - this week's health news highlights for the Arizona healthcare community

Read about this week’s legislative recap, why some AHCCCS providers are scheduled for termination and our Crisis Standards of Care workshop series

Legislative update – week seven

This week is known as crossover week, and the vast majority of committees don’t meet to ensure there is adequate time for floor consideration of bills. In the House, days have been very long with members on the floor for up to 12 or 13 hours voting on bills. The only committee that met this week was the Senate Committee on Director Nominations, a newly formed special committee to evaluate Governor Hobbs’ nominees to lead state agencies. There were three nominations on the agenda—the Department of Transportation (ADOT), the Department of Administration (ADOA), and the Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ)—but only the ADOT and ADOA nominees were considered, and only the ADOT nominee was recommended for a vote by the full Senate. After the Senate Committee voted against former ADHS Director nominee Dr. Theresa Cullen and with the record from this week’s hearing, we can expect a challenging road ahead for all of Governor Hobbs’ nominees.

Thousands of AHCCCS providers to be terminated for non-compliance

During Arizona’s public health emergency, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) suspended the enrollment requirements for providers who did not fulfill the revalidation process. Since the state public health emergency ended, AHCCCS began the process to revalidate registered providers, with the first group of providers receiving letters in November 2022. They were asked to revalidate in the AHCCCS Provider Enrollment Portal (APEP) within 90 days.

According to AHCCCS, an alarming 92% of providers who have been asked to take action thus far to maintain their registered status have failed to do so resulting in more than 5,000 to be disenrolled and any claims which they submit to AHCCCS will be denied. If providers are interested in continuing to participate with AHCCCS, they must take action within the noted time frames.  For more information, please visit the AHCCCS website.

Hospital Assessments and HEALTHII payments 101

On Feb. 22, AzHHA staff held a member webinar providing an overview of the two hospital assessments and HEALTHII payments. Members were provided an overview of why these programs were created, the process, payment amounts, timing, CMS requirements, quality metrics and much more. AzHHA members who are interested in viewing this webinar, the slide deck or the white paper may contact Amy Upston, Director of Financial Policy and Reimbursement, [email protected]. AHCCCS will resume the hospital assessment workgroup next month, and AzHHA will keep members apprised of potential changes to the hospital assessment and HEALTHII payments.

AHCCCS publishes Medicaid renewal toolkit

Earlier this month, AHCCCS published a toolkit for health plans, providers, and community organizations to use to amplify awareness about the return to the regular Medicaid renewal process. For the past three years, AHCCCS has been unable to disenroll individuals who no longer qualify due to income eligibility requirements. Consequently, AHCCCS enrollment has increased by about 637,000 since the beginning of the pandemic. Beginning in April, AHCCCS will begin disenrolling members who no longer meet eligibility requirements or have failed to submit updated information when requested. Providers can help ensure continuous coverage by spreading the word that AHCCCS members should ensure that their contact information is up-to-date and that it is imperative that they respond to AHCCCS regarding renewing AHCCCS coverage. AHCCCS anticipates that the redetermination process will take approximately 12 months to complete and as many as 600,000 individuals will no longer qualify for coverage.      

Crisis Standards of Care workshop series

Mark your calendar starting March 21 for a series of virtual workshops focused on refining your Crisis Standards of Care (CSC) plans. Join a collaborative discussion on CSC with doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, clinical experts, and other healthcare professionals during the series March 21 – April 12.

Workshop 1: Preparing for Crisis Standards of Care
Workshop 2: Staying in Contingency
Workshop 3: Activating, Implementing & Collaborating on Crisis Standards of Care
Workshop 4: Supporting Staff and De-Activating Crisis Standards of Care

Learn more and register here.

International Prenatal Infection Prevention month

February is Prenatal Infection Prevention month, a time to spread awareness and help prevent prenatal infections all year long. Group B Strep International offers information, resources and social media toolkits to help spread the word. Infections, if not caught early, can often lead to sepsis. Learn more and view the following nursing continuing education credits from the Sepsis Alliance: Phenotypes in Pediatric Sepsis and the Importance of Personalized Care | Maternal Sepsis in 2022 and Beyond | The Sepsis Alliance Institute (


HR Professionals: Join us for a Webinar on Background Screening Challenges in 2023

As hospitals and healthcare organizations face increasing challenges in meeting workforce demands, AzHHA is working with our endorsed vendor and affiliated partner, Universal Background Screening, to bring compliance updates and useful tips to members. Join us on March 9, 2023, at 11 a.m. for a review of recent consumer reporting industry changes and regulations regarding employment background screening and drug testing.  The presentation will target healthcare facilities and will cover the following topics:

  • Best practices for screening  
  • Increase in screening litigation and how to avoid the pitfalls
  • Increase in license fraud / Primary Source verification importance
  • Ban the Box, Fair Chance regulations and expungement / redaction of information at courts
  • Changes in THC / marijuana drug testing laws

To receive an invitation to this members-only meeting, email our Vice President of Member Services, Laura Dickscheid.

March 2 - AzCHER Radiation Surge Annex Training and Tabletop Exercise

AzHHA’s Arizona Coalition for Healthcare Emergency Response (AzCHER) team will conduct a Radiological Surge Response Training and an HSEEP-compliant tabletop exercise to train and test key elements within the Radiation Surge Annex. Completion of either format will leave you with a better overall understanding of the response to an incident involving radiological materials, the Radiation Surge Annex and how to implement it into your agency’s emergency response plans. Register for the virtual session.

March 14 – Introduction to POLST workshops

Join physician orders for life-sustaining treatment paradigm (POLST) for their one-hour virtual workshops equipping healthcare professionals with knowledge and resources to begin using POLST 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.

Upcoming workshops:

Additional events:

March 21 – AzCHER Crisis Standards of Care Workshop series

March 23 – AzCHER Annual Conference

March 31 – Save the Date: Arizona Healthcare Workforce Summit

May 2 – Save the Date: Health Equity Organizational Assessment (HEOA) Collaborative Conference



Medicaid enrollees largely unaware of upcoming redeterminations, survey finds | Healthcare Dive

Labor costs continue to rise amid ongoing staff shortages: 8 things to know (

The 20% Medicare cut coming for hospitals (

Medicare Advantage plans deny the most inpatient level-of-care claims: report (

Lawmakers stress urgency of healthcare worker shortage | Healthcare Dive