AHCCCS Solicits Comments on Proposed EPSDT Revisions by AzHHA

Debbie Johnston, Senior Vice President of Policy Development

The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) recently released edits to Chapter 400 of the AHCCCS Medical Policy Manual affecting maternal and child health. The changes specifically impact Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) Services. The public comment period closes January 31st. Comments can be submitted through this link.

Legislative Session: What Can We Expect by AzHHA

Greg Ensell, Vice President of Government Relations

On Monday, Governor Ducey was sworn in for another four years as Arizona Governor and welcomed two Democrats into the ranks of statewide officeholders with a message of bipartisanship. The 2019 session will set the stage, especially among urgent issues such as water and education funding.

This year the state has the largest projected budget surplus in a decade, which Governor attributes to economic growth and economic development efforts. One of the key items that AzHHA will be keeping a watchful eye on this session will be the state budget as well as telemedicine parity.

Starting on January 18th AzHHA will be holding its weekly legislative update calls to available AzHHA members. If you would like to participate in the weekly legislative update calls, please contact Greg Ensell.

Federal Judge Stops 340B-Related Payment Cuts by AzHHA

Debbie Johnston, Senior Vice President of Policy Development

A federal judge December 27th ruled in favor of the American Hospital Association, Association of American Medical Colleges, America’s Essential Hospitals and hospital plaintiffs saying that the Department of Health and Human Services “adjustment” by nearly 30 percent of 2018 Medicare payment rates for many hospitals in the 340B Drug Pricing Program was unlawful. AzHHA and our member 340B hospitals are immeasurably pleased with the ruling, which will allow hospitals and health systems in the 340B Drug Pricing Program to serve their vulnerable patients and communities without being hampered by deep cuts to the program.

For more than 25 years, the 340B program has helped hospitals stretch scarce federal resources to reach more patients and provide more comprehensive services—this was Congress’ clear intent for the program. The court’s ruling will help ensure 340B can continue supporting access to affordable health care for our most vulnerable communities. 

Sierra Tucson is AzHHA’s Newest Member by AzHHA

Gina Hillis, Director of Governance and Special Assistant to the President and CEO

AzHHA is pleased to announce its newest healthcare member, Sierra Tucson. For 35 years, Sierra Tucson has been the premier residential treatment center in the nation, offering rehab programs for drug addiction, alcohol abuse, and mental health concerns. Located on a 160-acre campus, experienced professionals provide integrative, evidence-based care to help men and women achieve lasting recovery from addiction and mental illness. AzHHA welcomes Sierra Tucson to the Association and looks forward to working together in the future.

Point of Pride: Maricopa Integrated Health System by AzHHA

Last month, Maricopa Integrated Health System elected Mark Dewane as Charmian of the Maricopa County Special Health Care District Board of Directors. Board unanimously elected Dewane to lead the five-member elected body that oversees the Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS), the community’s public teaching hospital and safety net system of care. Mr. Dewane has been a strong advocate for MIHS’ mission and vision for years as well as served on its board of directors since 2012.