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July 13, 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 unusually high flu cases in Arizona.

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.


Updated Draft Of BCRA To Be Released Soon
Greg Ensell, Vice President of Policy Development

Earlier this week, the Senate Majority Whip, Senator John Cornyn (SP), publically stated that the Senate majority will be releasing an updated draft of legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), as early as today.

While details have not been made public, the revised BCRA will possibly include an amendment offered by Senator Ted Cruz. This amendment would allow insurers on the market to offer policies that do not comply with requirements contained in the ACA as long as they offer one plan that does. Policies not complying with ACA requirements could exclude one or more essential benefits and policies that do not guarantee coverage of sicker individuals. While the Congressional Budget Office has yet to analyze the proposal, many experts believe the proposal would create an insurance “death spiral” as healthier individuals flock to sparser plans leaving those with the most expensive medical conditions pooled together.

AHCCCS Issues Draft DRG Proposed Rules
Jim HaynesSenior Vice President & COO

Recently AHCCCS released rulemaking amends and clarified rules specifying payments to hospitals for inpatient services under the DRG methodology. AHCCCS stated that the revision to the DRG rules are necessary to ensure that payments to hospitals for inpatient services satisfy federal Medicaid provisions, requiring that payments be “consistent with efficiency, economy, and quality of care and are sufficient to enlist enough providers so that care and services are available under the plan at least to the extent that such care and services are available to the general population in the geographic area.”

This rulemaking rebases the components of the DRG system using updated claims and encounter data as well as incorporates related changes to policy and service adjusters in an effort to maintain cost effectiveness. In addition, the rulemaking updates the All Patient Refined Diagnosis Related Group (APR-DRG) classification system established by 3M Health Information Systems will apply for dates of discharge beginning January 1, 2018. AHCCCS has not released reports illustrating the impact of the rates and policy adjusters for individual hospitals, nor the actual versus modeled impact of the DRG payment change made October 2014.  AHCCCS is currently working these reports and will share them when complete. A public hearing will be held on August 8th, at 1 p.m. and comments are due by 5 p.m. on August 8th. To access the latest rulemaking, click here.

Prop 206 Paid Sick Leave Compliance
Ann-Marie Alameddin, Vice President of Strategy & General Council

Arizona’s new paid sick leave law went into effect July 1, 2017. As a result, the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) issued 18 pages of FAQs. Some of the FAQs restate the draft regulations, while others provide useful examples applying draft supplemental regulations that were recently issued. Although the ICA warns that case law or statutory guidance may change some or all of its FAQs, all employers should strive to review and conform their policies and practices to the draft regulations. To help expedite that ongoing process, 10 of the most searched or most impactful employer policies and practices FAQ answers are covered here.

#DonateLifeECHO Twitter Chat
Shayna Diamond, Director of Community Affairs

Join Donate Life Arizona and AzHHA in our #DonateLifeECHO Twitter Chat July 18, 2017, at 10 a.m. This week marks the beginning of Donate Life Every Community Has Opportunity (ECHO) a national two-week outreach campaign focused on the importance of donation and transplantation in multicultural communities. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to learn more about donation and transplantation! Follow us on Twitter @DonateLifeAZ @AzHospitalAssn and don’t forget to use the hashtag #DonateLifeECHO.

Point of Pride: Raymond W. Bliss Army Health Center

This past month, our member, Raymond W. Bliss Army Health Center (RWBAHC) was recognized as an Army Safety and Occupational Health Star site. The Star site recognition is given to units that demonstrate a culture of safety and all members of the organization understand their role in promoting a safe environment. RWBAHC is one of the two Region Health Command-Central facilities to be awarded this recognition in 2017.