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June 15, 2017

Connection is a weekly e-newsletter from the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association. You can subscribe to our daily blog where we discuss pressing healthcare topics, such as the ongoing negotiations on the healthcare bill.

In This Week's Issue of Connection:

In The News

Stay up to date with the Arizona daily news on our website and our blog's RSS feed.


Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona and Centene Will Remain in the Marketplace for 2018
Shayna Diamond, Director of Community Affairs

Last year Arizona was the center of attention as health insurance compaines started to leave the marketplace. At the end of 2016 there were only two marketplace options for the state and in some counties there was only one choice. It seems that 2018 will not be much different as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona and Centene have each filed paperwork with the Arizona Department of Insurance signalling their intent to sell Affordable Care Act insurance next year. As a matter of fact, some reports indicate that rates are expected to decrease for 2018.

Opioid State of Emergency: Enhanced Surveillance Advisory Issued
Debbie Johnston, Senior Vice President of Policy Development

Last week Governor Doug Ducey declared a Public Health State of Emergency due to the opioid epidemic. In his declaration Governor Ducey appoints the Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS) as the lead in the statewide emergency response. AZHDS has issued a letter which specifies the reporting requirements for healthcare providers, licensed healthcare facilities, law enforcement agencies, EMS agencies, medical examiners and pharmacists. The new requirements for reporting will go into effect June 15, 2017.

Thoughtful Life Conversations Supports the Patient Choice & Quality Care Act Legislation
Sandy Severson, Vice President of Care Improvement

AzHHA’s statewide program to improve end of life care in Arizona, Thoughtful Life Conversations, supports the newly proposed bill, The Patient Choice & Quality Care Act. This proposed legislation will help to ensure that individuals with advanced illness and their families receive high quality, comprehensive advanced illness care that is consistent with their goals, values, and wishes. It also directs the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to conduct an Advanced Illness Coordination Services demonstration, enhances coverage of advance care planning services, standardization of support tools, and grants for increasing public awareness. This demonstration will allow an interdisciplinary team to provide early palliative care and wrap-around, home-based services to individuals with multiple and complex chronic conditions. In addition, the bill will also support advance care planning. You can find more details about this bill here.

AzHHA Submits Comments on LTCH Provisions to CMS
Debbie JohnstonSenior Vice President of Policy Development

This week AzHHA submitted a comment letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid on the FY 2018 LTCH PPS Proposed Rule. In this letter AzHHA expresses its concern over several provisions including the proposal to extend the current moratorium on full implementation of the 25% Rule for an additional 12 months, beginning October 2017. If you would like to view the letter, click here.

Annual Leadership Conference Sponsorship Opportunity
John Koeneke, Vice President of Business Development

Are you interested in becoming a sponsor for AzHHA’s Annual Leadership Conference this October? Don’t miss this opportunity to meet and network with over 200 Arizona healthcare CEO’s, executives, trustees and community partners. Please contact John Koeneke at 602.445.4313 with any questions regarding sponsorships. To view the meeting prospectus, click here.

Point of Pride: Donor Network of Arizona

As a leader in organ, eye and tissue donation efforts, our member, Donor Network of Arizona organized the 7th annual Health Care for Hope, a campaign that aims to spread education about donation and encourage people across the state of Arizona to register as donors. These efforts have the potential to save more than 16,000 lives, and gives hope to the more than 118,000 people on the national organ transplant waiting list. Interested in making a difference? Click here.