MACPAC Proposes Phasing in Medicaid DSH Cuts, Restructuring Allotments by AzHHA

Debbie Johnston, Senior Vice President of Policy Development

Last week the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) recommended that Congress phase in the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) reductions over a longer period and restructure the DSH allotment methodology based on the number of low-income individuals in a state. The commission also recommended that Congress require the Department of Health and Human Services to apply the reductions to unspent DSH allotments first. These cuts were scheduled to be implemented from FY 2018 to FY 2025. AzHHA will continue to urge our delegation to delay the ACA’s Medicaid DSH reductions until more substantial coverage gains are realized. Without a delay, Arizona’s rural safety-net hospitals stand to lose millions of dollars in future financial support.

AzHHA Legislative Update by AzHHA

Greg Ensell, Vice President of Government Relations

Today marks the 18th day of legislative session and the Capitol is awash with activity as the state faces a hard deadline of to pass critical water legislation. The legislature has until 11:59 pm Thursday, January 31st to vote to join the three-state Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan (DCP) or face prospective relatively larger cuts to the state’s share of Colorado River water if the current drought continues.

While many have been hard at work on the DCP, the legislature is proceeding with normal business. To date, more than 900 bills have been introduced – approximately 100 of those are health related. The Senate and House health committees have heard bills ranging from requiring AHCCCS to cover chiropractic care for its members to clarifying technical provisions of last year's opioid legislation. One issue of note is maternal mortality.

The US has the highest maternal mortality rate of any developed country. The number of deaths in Arizona jumped from around 10 in 2015 to about 30 in 2016. The last year for which AZDHS has posted data. SB 1040 sponsored by Senator Brophy McGee would require AZDHS to create a 15-member advisory committee on maternal fatalities and maternal morbidity. The committee will then submit recommendations concerning the improvement of information collection concerning the incidence and causes of maternal fatalities and severe maternal morbidity by the end of 2019. SB 1040 will also require that a review and report of data through 2019 is completed by the end of 2020. Earlier this week, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee unanimously passed SB1040.

This Friday AzHHA will be holding its bi-weekly legislative update calls to available AzHHA members. If you would like to participate in the weekly legislative update calls, please contact Greg Ensell.

MSP Locums Program Offered at No Cost to AzHHA Members by AzHHA

John Koeneke, Vice President of Business Development

If you are looking for an easier and more cost-effective way to engage Locums look no further. The AzHHA MSP Locums Program is designed to assist our members with a more cost effective and efficient way to source and engage Physicians and Mid-level practitioners. This program is delivered at no cost to AzHHA members and will provide the following benefits: 

  • Access to Top Locum Agencies - Gain access to our full network of
    participating Locum Agencies committed to servicing AzHHA members.

  • Competitive Pricing - AzHHA members can leverage buying power to drive favorable terms and fair market pricing.

  • AzHHA Account Management - One point of contact for communications with hiring managers and agencies to ensure quality fit, faster turnaround times and easier onboarding process for engaging Physicians and Advanced Practice Healthcare providers! 

If your organization has not already signed up to gain access to the program, please click here AzHHA Locums MSP Program  or contact Julie O’Keefe at 760-274-7696 or email:  and someone will contact you to get you enrolled. 

Professional and Community Training on Having the End of Life Conversation by AzHHA

Sandy Severson, Vice President of Care Improvement

Education is crucial to developing the skills necessary to having quality conversations about advance care planning. Following great success in 2018, AzHHA’s Thoughtful Life Conversations (TLC) program will continue to provide training to communities this year. These trainings provide individuals and healthcare professionals with the skills necessary to have quality conversations about advance care planning and to build a diverse understanding of palliative and end-of-life care.

Join Thoughtful Life Conversations for these upcoming opportunities to expand your knowledge and expertise. Click here to view the community education dates and here to view the healthcare professional education dates. Don’t see a training listed in your community? Contact In the mean time here are some resources on how to start the conversation with you loved ones.

The Thoughtful Life Conversations Program has been gaining attention for its work. Next month at the American Case Management Association’s Conference, Dr. Emmalee Kennedy, MD, FAAHPM, will review the development of Arizona Provider Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (AzPOLST), including information on the Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) pilot in Northern Arizona. For more information on the conference, click here.

Equity of Care Award Applications Being Accepted by AzHHA

Hospitals and health systems may now apply for the 2019 AHA Equity of Care Award, which recognizes organizations participating in the AHA's #123forEquity campaign for extraordinary success in advancing diversity and equity through data collection, leadership, cultural awareness and partnerships. The awards will be presented at the AHA Leadership Summit in San Diego this July. To learn more and apply, click here. For “A Toolkit for Achieving Success and Sharing Your Story”, click here.