AzPHA Public Health Policy Update: February 21, 2018

Good Article about Community Health Workers from Rep. Carter

Representative Heather Carter wrote a very informative opinion piece in

the Capitol Times about how community health workers reduce healthcare costs and improve outcomes. Check it out!

 

AHCCCS Contract Award Schedule

Seven health plan contractors submitted bids to provide integrated physical and behavioral health services to the majority of AHCCCS members a few weeks ago. Awards will be announced by March 8 and implementation will begin October 1. Here’s the contract integration timeline.

 

Bidders include:

Banner – University Family Care Plan

Care1st Health Plan Arizona, Inc.

Health Choice Arizona, Inc. (Steward Health Choice Arizona)

Health Net Access, Inc.

Magellan Complete Care of Arizona, Inc.

Mercy Care

UnitedHealthcare Community Plan

 

Prior Quarter Coverage Waiver Open for Public Comments

AHCCCS is proposing a change in benefits for Medicaid members that would limit retroactive coverage to the start of the month of the person’s application.  Currently benefits are retroactive for the 3 months prior to the application.  AHCCCS is asking for comments from members, families, stakeholders and the public on the proposed change. Comments can be submitted by email to publicinput@azahcccs.gov.

Here’s the draft Prior Quarter Coverage Amendment.

 

The CDC has Recently posted Immunization Schedules online.

For Healthcare Professionals:

Immunization Schedules for Children & Adolescents

Immunization Schedules for Adults

 

For Everyone: Easy-to-Read Schedules

Children Birth through 6 years old

Pre-teens and Teens

Adults

 

Legislative Session Update

The following bills passed their house of origin and will be going over to the other chamber. Hearings in the other chamber will begin next week.

HB 2038 Drug overdose review teams; records                

HB 2071 Rear-facing car seats         

HB 2127 Children's health insurance program

HB 2208 Prohibition, photo enforcement (we’re against this one)

HB 2228 Annual waiver, applicability (tribes)

SB 1022 ADHS; homemade food products            

SB 1083 Schools; recess periods

 

Priorities for this Week

Last week our top priority was to get SB 1445 AHCCCS Dental care, pregnant women and SB 1245 Snap Benefit Match through the Senate Health and Human Services and Appropriations committees.  Fortunately, both received pass recommendations. Both still need to be heard by the Senate Rules Committee before going to the Senate floor.

HB 2324 Community health workers; voluntary certification passed through the House Rules Committee and is now ready for a floor vote.  HB 2389  Syringe access programs; authorization also received a pass recommendation from the House Health and the Rules Committees and is also ready for a floor vote.

So far we have one priority up for next week:

 

House Education Committee: Monday 2/26 2pm (HHR1)

SB 1083    Schools; recess periods

Under this Bill, district and charter schools would be required to provide at least 2 recess periods during the school day for pupils in grades K-5.  We’ve signed in support of this bill because there is good evidence that opportunities for physical activity at school are associated with improved health, behavior, and academic achievement of students.  Here is a good evidence review from the CDC entitled The Association Between School-based Physical Activity and Academic Performance.

 

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Remember to stay engaged and voice your opinion via the www.azleg.gov commenting system.  Click the following links for: Request to Speak account registration form; a Step-by-step use of the Request to Speak platform; and to Locate your Elected Officials

Below are the bills that we’re tracking and advocating for or against.  They’re in order of Bill number.  I included a colored comment to show where the bill is in the process.

 

House Bills

HB 2038 Drug overdose review teams; records                

Passed the House 57-0-2 – Going to Senate

Under this proposed Bill, law enforcement agencies would be required to provide unredacted reports to the chairperson of a local Drug Overdose Fatality Review Team on request.  All information and records acquired by a Team are confidential and not subject to subpoena, discovery or introduction into evidence in a civil or criminal proceeding or disciplinary action.  We’re signed up in support of this one.

 

HB 2064 Medical marijuana; packaging; labeling              

Ready for a Floor Vote

This Bill proposes that medical marijuana dispensaries be prohibited from selling a marijuana product that’s packaged or labeled in a manner that’s "attractive to minors". Due to voter protection, this legislation requires the affirmative vote of at least 3/4 of the members of each house of the Legislature for passage.  We’re supporting this bill. It’s ready for a floor vote in the House.

 

HB 2071 Rear-facing car seats         

Passed House 33-25-1 – Going to Senate

This Bill would require kids under 2 years old to be in a rear-facing restraint system unless the child weights at least 40 pounds or is at least 40 inches tall.  We’ve signed up in support of this bill.  This Bill cleared the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee last Wednesday.

 

HB 2084 Indoor tanning; minors; restricted use

Passed House Health, Waiting for Rules Committee

Under this proposal, tanning facility operators would be prohibited from allowing a person under 18 years of age to use a "tanning device". Tanning facilities are prohibited from advertising or distributing promotional materials that claim that using a tanning device is free from risk or will result in medical or health benefits. We’ve signed on in support of this. It received a Do Pass recommendation from the House Health Committee last week but failed to get on the Rules Committee agenda- so this is likely dead.

 

HB 2109 Tobacco possession; sale; age; signage                

Waiting on a Hearing in Commerce Committee

This Bill would prohibit furnishing a tobacco product to a person who is under 21 years of age. The definition of "tobacco product" is expanded to include "electronic smoking devices". We’ve signed up in support. It received a Do Pass recommendation from the House Health Committee three weeks ago but the Commerce chair hasn’t put it on the agenda, so it’s effectively dead.

 

HB 2127 Children's health insurance program

Passed House 46-12-1 – Going to the Senate

This Bill removes the trigger that automatically freezes the KidsCare program if FMAP (the federal contribution) drops below 100%.  It allows the state to freeze it if costs are more than the state or federal allotment. The bill does not require the state to appropriate any money for a state share. 

 

We’ve signed up in support of this bill because it provides a pathway to keep KidsCare if the federal government drops its contribution level. 

HB 2197 Health professions, workforce data

Ready for a Floor Vote in the House

This Bill would require AZ health licensing boards to collect certain data from applicants (beginning January 2020) to get better data about health professions workforce distribution and needs.  The data would be confidential.  This bill passed all of its committees and is ready for a floor vote.

 

HB 2208 Prohibition, photo enforcement

Passed the House 31-27-1 – Going to the Senate

This Bill would prohibit cities and other jurisdictions from having photo enforcement of red light and speeding violations.  While nobody likes getting a ticket in the mail, the data suggest that photo enforcement saves lives and prevents injuries (especially red-light photo enforcement).  We’ve signed up in opposition to the bill.  This bill passed the House 31-27 last week and is moving on to the Senate.

 

HB 2228 Annual waiver, applicability

Passed the House 58-0-1 – Going to the Senate

This Bill would direct AHCCCS to exempt tribes from their directed waiver requests to CMS asking permission to implement work requirements for some Medicaid members.  The recently submitted Waiver request includes an exemption for American Indians, however, this would place the exemption into statute.

 

HB 2324 Community health workers; voluntary certification

Ready for a Floor Vote in the House

This Bill is a top priority for us. It would charge the ADHS with developing a voluntary certification program for community health workers.  The Department rulemaking would include certification standards including qualifications, core competencies, and continuing education requirements. We’ve signed up in support of this bill.  It received a Do Pass recommendation from the House Health Committee two weeks ago and the Rules Committee this week. It’s ready for a floor vote.

 

This would be a very good week to reach out to your State Representatives and Senator and let them know you support this measure as it will go to a Floor vote soon.  You can find their contact information at www.azleg.gov.

 

Senate Bills

SB 1022    DHS; homemade food products            

Passed Senate 30-0 – Going to the House

Under this Bill, ADHS would be required to establish an online registry of food preparers that are authorized to prepare "cottage food products" for commercial purposes. Registered food preparers would be required to renew the registration every three years. This is a sensible addition to the current cottage industry food law and we’ve signed up in support.

 

SB 1083    Schools; recess periods

Passed Senate 26-3-1 – Going to the House

Under this Bill, district and charter schools would be required to provide at least 2 recess periods during the school day for pupils in grades K-5.  We’ve signed in support of this bill because there is good evidence that opportunities for physical activity at school are associated with improved health, behavior, and academic achievement of students.  Here is a good evidence review from the CDC entitled The Association Between School-based Physical Activity and Academic Performance.

 

SB 1245 Snap Benefit Match

Ready for a Floor Vote in the Senate

This Bill would appropriate $400K to ADES to develop the infrastructure for a produce incentive program within the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for members to buy Arizona-grown fruits and vegetables.  It would also provide matching funds to SNAP-authorized vendors as an incentive to participate in the fruits and vegetable program.  It passed the Health and Human Services Committee and the Appropriations Committee. We’ve signed up in support of this Bill. 

 

SB 1261 Texting while driving

Passed Transportation Committee- Ready for a Floor Vote

This bill was introduced last week and would prohibit drivers from “using a portable wireless communication device to read, write, or send an electronic message while driving” (unless the car is stopped).  The first violation would be a petty offense with a fine between $25 and $99.  It has passed its committees and is ready for a floor vote.

 

SB 1377 Dental therapy, licensure, regulation

Passed HHS, Education & Rules Committee – Ready for a Floor Vote

This Bill was introduced last week and would set up a new licensed class of dental professionals called a Dental Therapist.  Their scope of practice would be somewhat less than a DDS, but they could do some procedures like filling cavities. This has been a somewhat controversial bill as there are stakeholders of both sides that are quite passionate about their position on this Bill. 

 

SB 1394 Abortion reporting

Ready for a Floor Vote

This Bill would require the ADHS to collect and report additional data regarding abortions that are performed in AZ. The data would be collected and reported by providers and would include the reason for the abortion (economic, emotional health, physical health, whether the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest, or relationship issues etc.).  It has passed its committees.

 

SB 1420 medical marijuana; inspection; testing; appropriation

Passed Governance & Rules Committees – Ready for a Floor Vote

This Bill would require the ADHS to set up testing standards for medical marijuana and begin enforcing the standards beginning in 2019.  We’re supporting this legislation.  It received a Do Pass recommendation from the Senate Government Committee last week.

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