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November 2 2017

Proposed Rule for ACA Exchange 2019
Debbie Johnston, Senior Vice President of Policy Development

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) last Friday issued a proposed rule for the Affordable Care Act's (ACA's) exchanges for the 2019 coverage year. In the rule, CMS proposes the benefit and payment parameters for qualified health plans selling on the Exchange, as well as policies intended to increase state flexibility and reduce regulatory burden. CMS in the 365-page rule proposes a number of changes to the individual market and the Small Business Health Options Program, including:

  • Giving states additional flexibility to define essential health benefits
  • Easing rate review requirements
  • Allowing states to reduce the ACA's medical-loss ratio requirements
  • Allowing states using the federally-facilitated marketplace to set their own network adequacy rules, including minimum contracting with essential community providers
  • Expanding the types, but reducing the required number, of organizations that could serve as navigators to help consumers enroll in exchange coverage.

While many of these proposals will undoubtedly ease the regulatory burden on health plans, they could negatively impact consumers by reducing benefit coverage, access to provider networks, and consumer assistance.

AzHHA 2018 Board Chair- Steve Purves!
Gina Hillis, Director of Governance and Special Assistant to the President

At their October 26 meeting, the AzHHA Board of Directors voted to accept the Nominating Committee’s recommendations for the 2018 Board slate. We are proud to announce that Steve Purves, president and CEO of Maricopa Integrated Health System, will lead the Board and this Association as its new chair into the New Year. 

2018 Board Officers will include Immediate Past Chair Ron McArthur, CEO of Summit Healthcare Regional Medical Center; Secretary/Treasurer Neal Jensen, CEO of Cobre Valley Regional Medical Center; and Greg Vigdor, president of AzHHA.

The Board also approved two new Board Members—Karen Mlawsky, Sr. VP/COO of TMC HealthCare, and Meridell Sloterbeek, Regional Vice President for Select Specialty Corporation. Congratulations to our new Chair and Board members!  We look forward to working with this dynamic Board as we move forward into 2018.

Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Update
Debbie Johnston, Senior Vice President of Policy Development

Beginning October 16, 2017, an Arizona prescriber is required to review a patient’s Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) record before prescribing a controlled substance, pursuant to ARS 36-2606. To make the process more efficient for prescribers and pharmacists, the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy received funding to integrate the PMP directly into electronic healthcare records (EHR) and pharmacy dispensing systems statewide. Health Systems and other organizations interested in integrating the PMP into their EHR system can find more information on the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy Integration webpage. The American Hospital Association has developed a new toolkit to provide guidance and information to hospitals and health systems on how they can work with their patients, clinicians, and communities to stem this epidemic.

Learn How Your CME Program is Meeting Commendation Criteria
Shayna Diamond, Director of Community Affairs

Is your organization's continuing medical education (CME) program meeting the commendation criteria? Join your Arizona colleagues and the Arizona Medical Association (ArMA) November 6 and learn how your program can achieve commendation level criteria under the new commendation menu. For more information about this event or to register, click here.

“Hospital Board Trustees and Advisory Board Members 101” Program a Big Success
Gina HillisDirector of Governance and Special Assistant to the President

Last week’s Annual Leadership Conference was kicked off on Wednesday afternoon with the special session, “Hospital Board Trustees and Advisory Board Members 101.” National healthcare speaker Dr. Steve Berkowitz provided an energized educational program for over 40 trustees and advisory board members. AzHHA VP of Government Relations Greg Ensell also addressed the group on state legislative and advocacy issues.

Point of Pride: Maricopa Integrated Health System

Congratulations to Maricopa Integrated Health System’s Heather Jordan, MSN, RN, MIHS Adult Emergency Department manager, on receiving the 2017 Cele Cohen Nursing Excellence Award from the Arizona Public Health Association (AzPHA). Ms. Jordan was recognized for her outstanding contributions to public health by leading implementation of routine opt-out HIV testing for all patients at Maricopa Medical Center's Adult ED. Since its implementation in 2011, more than 200 individuals who did not know they were HIV positive have been linked to care.

In The News

Stay up to date with Arizona news on our website and our Healthiest State blog.