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Governor Ducey Announces Antibody Tests For Health Professionals, First Responders

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, April 15, 2020
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Ambulance Transport and Referrals to Alternate Care Sites

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Society PA,

As hospitals and emergency departments hit a critical surge of ill patients, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) can keep medically appropriate patients at home or refer patients to alternative destinations to decrease the burden on acute care settings. On April 4, 2020, the State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee approved the implementation of the Treat and Keep Home and Treat and Refer guidelines. These strategies will reduce the number of patients seeking medical care at hospitals when hospitalization is not clinically necessary.  

The Arizona Department of Health Services recommends that healthcare providers and healthcare facilities do the following: 

  • Familiarize yourself with the guidelines available under Treat & Refer Resources on the EMS and 9-1-1 Resources
  • Share this HAN with healthcare partners across the healthcare spectrum, including hospitals, urgent care facilities, doctors’ offices, and all levels of long term care facilities.
  • Partner with your local EMS agencies in implementing these guidelines, as they will help decrease the burden on the acute care settings, conserve PPE, and limit further risk of spread of COVID-19.

Please contact the Bureau of EMS & Trauma System at EMSCOVID@azdhs.gov with questions regarding Treat & Refer.

Thank you,
Arizona Health Alert Network

Tags:  Legislative 

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Arizona PA Board Declaration

Posted By Administration, Sunday, April 12, 2020
Updated: Saturday, April 11, 2020

April 10, 2020

Arizona PAs,

As a follow-up to our last communication (3/31/20), we would like to update you on the Association’s activities as it relates to the COVID-19 public health emergency.  As previously cited, prior to COVID-19, Arizona was one of only 14 states that waived physician supervision requirements for PAs during emergencies or disasters (Arizona Revised Statues 32-2535).  ASAPA leadership has been working closely with our lobbyist team and the Arizona Regulatory Board of PAs (ARBoPA) for clarification of this statute to determine if any process needed to be followed in order for it to be enacted. 

ASAPA provided public comments during the ARBoPA teleconference meeting on April 2, as they considered recommendations to submit to the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) regarding PA licensing as it relates to responding to the current COVID-19 crisis. 

ASAPA has also been in communication with both the Governor’s Office and the ADHS requesting their prompt approval of the ARBoPA request to allow PAs to practice without supervision, as provided in A.R.S 32-2535. 

We are pleased to report that as of April 10, ARBoPA has released the following statement which has been approved by the appropriate authorities:

TEMPORARY LICENSURE FOR PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS DURING THE COVID-19 STATE OF EMERGENCY AND WAIVER OF SUPERVISION REQUIREMENT FOR LICENSED PAs

The Arizona Regulatory Board of Physician Assistants announces the following available temporary emergency licenses for Physician Assistants (PAs) to practice in Arizona and the waiver of certain requirements during the COVID-19 State of Emergency:

  • PAs licensed in another state are eligible to apply for temporary licensure in the State of Arizona using the emergency temporary licensure application. The application fee is waived and, if granted, the PA licensed in another state may practice in Arizona without physician supervision for the duration of the State of Emergency.
  • For PAs currently licensed in the State of Arizona, the requirement to have a written delegation agreement with a supervising physician during the State of Emergency is waived for those PAs wishing to providing care in response to the State of Emergency.
  • Recently graduated PAs, who have not yet taken and passed the PANCE, may apply for a temporary emergency license; however, the requirement to practice pursuant to a signed delegation agreement with an Arizona licensed Supervising Physician remains in effect.

Additionally, we would like to commend Governor Ducey, for proactively including the PA profession in the “Good Samaritan Order” released on April 9.

We would like to thank Arizona PAs for their support and patience as we worked with the appropriate entities to address the need for PAs to practice medicine without administrative barriers during a time of emergency. 

We hope you are all staying healthy as you navigate the many demands of your personal and professional lives during these unprecedented times.  We cannot thank you enough for contributing to the health of Arizona, and the nation, as we know some of you may be redeploying to other states in response to their public health needs.

Sincerely,

Arizona State Association of Physician Assistants Leadership


Tags:  Legislative 

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Arizona Vaccine News from the AZ Dept. of Health Services

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Society PA,

Please see below the attached Arizona Vaccine News.  The intent of Arizona Vaccine News is to summarize local, national, and international vaccine information that affects Arizona.

Feel free to distribute ADHS' Arizona Vaccine News to any of your partners who may be interested. 

Past issues of Arizona Vaccine News can be found at: http://www.azdhs.gov/phs/immun/vacNews.htm

 

Thank you,
Arizona Health Alert Network

 Attached Files:

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State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee: Guidance on Crisis Staffing and Pre-Hospital Triage

Posted By Administration, Monday, April 6, 2020

Society PA,

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) has convened the State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee (SDMAC).  On April 1, 2020, guidance for crisis staffing in short-term acute care facilities, healthcare staffing, and pre-hospital triage was approved.  

These measures will ensure we provide the best possible care and preserve capacity within our hospitals.

Recommendation: Acute Care Facilities should identify Triage Officer(s) and a Clinical Care Director. 

In order to operationalize the SDMAC recommendations, short-term inpatient acute care facilities will need staff available to review, coordinate and implement the rapidly changing, crisis-level guidance.  Triage Officer(s) will also be needed, ideally at the facility level, to implement the approved triage plans. Job Action sheets in the Arizona Crisis Standards of Care Plan are available.   

Recommendation: EMS should communicate contingency status, changes in transportation, and consider changes in deployment strategies.

The Arizona Office of 9-1-1 should distribute guidance to all PSAPS on how to communicate to callers that transport decisions will be based on the EMS assessment. In mild or moderate cases, patients may be permitted to stay at home with guidance or transported to an alternative destination.

The ADHS Bureau of EMS and Trauma System should communicate to all Arizona EMS agencies that the clinical and operational status of the Arizona healthcare system is anticipated to shift from contingency to crisis status as COVID-19 continues to spread and impact hospital surge capacity. EMS agencies should implement Treat-and-Keep-Home and Treat-and-Refer-to-Alternate-Care-Site guidelines, and fire-based EMS agencies should consider deployment strategies to increase utilization of 2-person response units for the next 60 days.  EMS agencies should implement the SDMAC approved guidelines specific to the management of patients with suspected COVID-19.

Recommendation: Facilities should develop and implement expanded staffing plans.

Healthcare organizations should establish expanded staffing plans that could integrate alternative healthcare staffing resources into their current model.  In addition, healthcare organizations should develop protocols for rapid, immediate onboarding of additional healthcare staff in their facility. Healthcare organizations should also develop just-in-time training for healthcare workers to provide care in departments outside of their own, under the supervision of a clinical supervisor.

More information on the SDMAC and the guidance reported here can be found on the ADHS website for SDMAC.

Thank you,
Arizona Health Alert Network

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Executive Order on Expanding Access to Pharmacies

Posted By Administration, Thursday, April 2, 2020
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Arizona Disaster Healthcare Volunteers

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Arizona Department of Health Services

If you are a healthcare provider with an active license, a public health professional, member of a medical disaster response team, or non-health community volunteer willing to be on-call to support Arizona in the event of a disaster - help support public health emergency preparedness and "Register Today."

Statewide registration is available for "The Arizona Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals (AZ-ESAR-VHP)," local "Medical Reserve Corps Units," "General Volunteers," and/or additional "Specialty Teams."

For more information and to register visit: https://esar-vhp.health.azdhs.gov/

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COVID-19

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Updated: Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Dear Arizona PAs,

We would like to start this message with a heartfelt thank you to all of the PAs on the front lines practicing medicine during the COVID-19 public health emergency.  We also appreciate the challenging work facing PA educators in the state of Arizona, as they work toward graduating more PAs with as little disruption as possible. 

We have received many inquiries from PAs regarding how ASAPA is responding, and what efforts are being made to ensure PAs can provide medical care in response to this emergency.  We are very fortunate in Arizona to have a PA practice act with minimal restrictions, and one that largely allows for PAs to practice medicine to their full scope of training and competence.  Additionally, prior to COVID-19, we were one of only 14 states that waived physician supervision requirements for PAs during emergencies or disasters (Arizona Revised Statues 35-2535).  ASAPA leadership has reached out to the Arizona Regulatory Board of PAs (ARBoPA) for clarification on this statue, and whether any official process needs to be followed in order to practice medicine without supervision under this law.  It is our hope that ASAPA and/or ARBoPA will be providing this clarification by the end of the week.

On a federal level, many of you have probably heard that CMS has announced expanded Medicare telehealth coverage; additionally, federal COVID-19 emergency legislation (the CARES act) has passed, permanently authorizing PAs to order home healthcare services for Medicare patients.  More locally, in Arizona, Governor Ducey has passed the following executive orders, which specifically impact PA practice:

  • March 25, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order requiring health care insurance companies to expand telemedicine coverage for all services that would normally be covered for an in-person visit.
  • March 26, 2020 – The Governor issued an executive order with the following provisions:
    • State agencies and boards will defer requirements to renew licenses that have an expiration date between March 1, 2020 and September 1, 2020 by six months from the expiration date;
    • State agencies and boards will suspend any rules that prevent or limit the amount of online or alternative learning hours permitted to issue or renew a license; and
    • State agencies and boards will issue provisional licenses to applicants who have met all other requirements of Arizona statute and administrative code but cannot take the exam remotely.

The American Academy of PAs has done a tremendous job keeping current, relevant resources available on their website (AAPA COVID-19 Resource Center); we encourage you to visit this site frequently.  Additionally, access to the most up-to-date recommendations regarding managing and treating COVID-19, along with recommended guidelines for health care providers, can be found on the CDC website.


Sincerely,

Arizona State Association of Physician Assistants Leadership

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Executive Order on the Expansion of Licensing Opportunities

Posted By Administration, Friday, March 27, 2020
Updated: Thursday, March 26, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 26, 2020

Governor Ducey Issues Executive Order To Expand Licensing Opportunities

PHOENIX—Today, Governor Doug Ducey issued an Executive Order helping licensed professionals in the state stay licensed and deferring certain requirements for six months.

Under the Executive Order, state agencies and boards will defer requirements to renew licenses that have an expiration date between March 1, 2020 and September 1, 2020 by six months from the expiration date, unless those requirements can be completed online. Additionally, they will defer requirements to complete continuing education by six months, unless those requirements can be completed online.

“The last thing we need now is for recurring licensing requirements to keep someone from working,” said Governor Ducey. “Many professionals are working from home or their office while following all guidance from public health officials. We want to make sure they have the opportunity to continue doing so and contributing to our economy, and that’s what this commonsense order does.”

Under today’s Executive Order, state agencies and boards will suspend any rules that prevent or limit the amount of online or alternative learning hours permitted to issue or renew a license and will make every attempt to implement electronic or remote format examinations for licensure. Additionally, state agencies and boards will issue provisional licenses to applicants who have met all other requirements of Arizona statute and administrative code but cannot take the exam because it isn’t provided via electronic or remote format.

View the Executive Order HERE.

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Enhanced Surveillance Advisory - EMResource

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 26, 2020

Society PA,

Dear Partner,

As you may have seen, Governor Ducey signed an executive order to issue an enhanced surveillance advisory related to COVID-19. Pursuant to  A.R.S. § 36-782(D).

Key provision of this order include the following:

  • Pursuant to the Enhanced Surveillance Advisory and A.R.S. §§ 36-782(B)(1) and (4), 36-783(A), (D) and (F), and 36-787(A), a hospital, as defined in Arizona Administrative Code R9-10-101, shall report the following through EMResource or alternative form to the Arizona Department of Health Services every twenty-four hours:
  • Per day staff call out;
  • Number of ventilators in use;
  • Number of ventilators available for use;
  • Number of ICU beds in use;
  • Number of ICU beds available for use;
  • Number of inpatient beds in use;
  • Number of inpatient beds available for use;
  • Number of ED beds in use;
  • Number of ED beds available for use;
  • PPE shortage (N95, surgical masks, gowns, etc.);
  • PPE surplus (N95, surgical masks, gowns, etc.):
  • Medical supply and equipment shortage (medications, fluids, O2 tanks, sanitizer, ECMO circuits, etc.); 
  • Medical supply and equipment surplus (medication, fluids, O2 tanks, sanitizer, ECMO circuits, etc.): and
  • Description of triage process currently established

Please ensure you are updating EMResource daily by 12:00pm. This is a critical surveillance tool for the current response and accurate numbers are crucial for federal assistance and statewide situational awareness.  

Attached is a toolkit for your reference.  
EMResource Link: 
https://emresource.juvare.com/login  

For any questions or assistance, please email: Amanda.Lusk@azdhs.gov and Cody.Curl@azdhs.gov

Thank you,
Arizona Department of Health Services

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