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Legislative Update: Over 180 introduced bills impact hospitals

AzHHA Priority Legislation

Senator Vince Leach (R – Saddle Brook) introduced SB1377 CIVIL LIABILITY; PUBLIC HEALTH PANDEMIC. SB1377 will protect businesses, governments, health providers and healthcare institutions from prospective frivolous lawsuits stemming from their response to COVID-19 occurring between March 11, 2020 and December 30, 2022. Specifically, the bill will increase the burden of proof to “clear and convincing” of “willful misconduct or gross negligence” for actions or omissions taken in “good faith.” This will apply to both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients. This effort is supported by the Governor and the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry among other groups. AzHHA joined more than 30 organizations to send a letter supporting the legislation to key legislators.

Status: The bill was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee. No hearing date has been set; however, it could be heard as early as February 4.


HB2454 TELEHEALTH; HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS; REQUIREMENTS, was introduced by Representative Regina Cobb (R- Kingman). The bill requires non-Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) commercial insurers reimburse for telehealth services at the same rate as in-person services, expands the definition of telehealth to permit the use of audio-only telephone encounters and prohibits restrictions on where telehealth services can be provided. The bill also allows providers not licensed in Arizona to provide telehealth services so long as they hold a valid license in their home state.

Status: The bill was assigned to the House Health and Human Services Committee. It will likely be heard in Committee on February 8.


Other Key Legislation

HB2069: GENETIC TESTING; PRIVATE PROPERTY was introduced by Representative Brett Roberts (R-Saddle Brook) to make genetic testing and information derived from genetic testing the exclusive private property of the person tested, unless otherwise required by state or federal law.

Status: The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee. It has not been assigned a hearing date.


Introduced by Senator Nancy Barto (R-Cave Creek), SB1059 MENTAL DISORDERS; CONSIDERATION; INVOLUNTARY TREATMENT, would expand the conditions in which individuals with a serious mental illness (SMI) and substance use disorder (SUD) can be involuntarily screened, evaluated and treated if a court determines they are a danger to themselves or others. Specifically, it allows involuntary screening, evaluation and treatment if SMI persists after a reasonable period of detoxification.

Status: The bill was passed by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on January 20.


Senator Nancy Barto introduced other legislation to create a new midlevel provider called an associate physician, SB1271: ASSOCIATE PHYSICIANS; LICENSURE; COLLABORATIVE PRACTICE. To qualify as an associate physician an individual must have graduated from medical school but not completed a medical residency. Additionally, they must enter into a collaborative practice agreement with a licensed physician to practice primary care in a medically underserved area.

Status: The bill was assigned to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. It is likely to be heard on February 3.


Representative Quang Nguyen (R-Prescott) introduced HB2575: HOSPITALS; VISITATION to govern hospital visitation policies, including during a pandemic. The bill prohibits hospitals from denying a patient visitation from clergy for religious purpose. Additionally, it requires hospitals to allow clergy visitation at any time of day in an end-of-life situation.


AzHHA members are encouraged to join our weekly legislative update calls held on Fridays for an in-depth review of priority and key bills as well as opportunity to express your feedback on specific legislation. If you have not received your invitation and are a member, send your request including your name, email, title and organization to [email protected].


Questions or comments regarding specific bills can be emailed to Greg Ensell, vice president of government affairs.