With respiratory illnesses increasing, Arizona hospital capacity is once again strained. This webpage provides links to resources to assist hospitals in managing surge.
CMS Blanket Waivers
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued blanket waivers that allow hospitals to screen or triage patients off site; provide care in temporary expansion sites to boost surge capacity; and more easily transfer patients between facilities. These flexibilities are available to address emerging concerns, including the spread of RSV and flu, when a provider determines that – as a result of the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 emergency – standard regulatory requirements could not otherwise be met. Click here for more information on these and other available flexibilities.
State Licensing FAQs for Addressing Public Health Emergency Incidents
The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), Office of Medical Facilities Licensing, has updated their Frequently Asked Questions guidance for hospitals managing patient surge during high demand public health incidents. These FAQs outline regulatory flexibilities available to hospitals in the absence of a state level emergency declaration and subsequent state regulatory waivers.
Pediatric Specific Resources
ADHS sent a memorandum to all acute care facilities on December 12 the outlining resources available to hospitals as they manage surges in pediatric patients. The memorandum includes information on transfer resources and triage and care coordination recommendations, including links to clinical and pharmaceutical guidance, and pediatric surge resources from the federal Department of Health and Human Services.
The Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center has launched the Arizona Resource Equity & Access Coordination Hub (AZ REACH). AZ REACH will provide voluntary 24/7 service to coordinate acute medical transfers out of Arizona IHS, PL 93-638, and critical access hospitals. On a temporary basis for the next few weeks, AZ REACH will also offer transfer coordination services for pediatric transfers from all hospitals in Arizona. AZ REACH is funded by a federal grant, and currently will not provide transfer coordination services for behavioral health patients and patients needing post-acute care. For more information, contact [email protected].