5 Things Arizona: Trends and issues in LTSS, Progress on VBC, Courts and health policy


Eli Kirshbaum


The wait is over—we are holding the 2022 Arizona State of Reform Health Policy Conference in person in Phoenix this week! We are so excited to see everyone there and to hear the valuable conversations that we’ve scheduled for the day.

This newsletter features a rundown of just a few of the exciting sessions we’re looking forward to hosting on Thursday the 26th. If these conversations pique your interest and you haven’t registered to be with us yet, be sure to do so here!

Thank you and we hope to see you there!

Eli Kirshbaum
State of Reform


1. Trends and issues in long-term services and supports

The provision of care to individuals in need of long-term services and supports is a key topic for Arizona health policy stakeholders. The state has a robust care system for these Arizonans—but is current LTSS policy satisfactory, or does more need to be done to care for the growing population who rely on these services?

Hear from Dana Kennedy, State Director of AARP Arizona, Cindy Leach, Vice President of Long-Term Care at Mercy Care, and Mary Lynn Kasunic, CEO & President of the Area Agency on Aging, Region One, as they hash through this topic and explore ways to improve LTSS care delivery.


2. The progress and future of value-based care

Value-based payment models are seeing increased prevalence in Arizona as payers in the state’s health sector opt to pay providers for achieving quality standards as opposed to paying a fixed amount per patient. So, how successful have these models been? And how might we expect them to proliferate and change shape in the future?

To tackle this complicated and timely topic, we’ve convened Renee Clarke, SVP of Managed Care at Valleywise Health, Lori Mallory, VP of Transformation Strategy at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, and Kyle Edrington, Managing Director of Edrington Health Consulting, an HMA company. Be sure to tune in to what’s sure to be an informative conversation!


3. Strategies to address workforce challenges

While many impacts of the pandemic are considered to have decreased in intensity over the last two years, the health care workforce has continually been strained as it faces an unprecedented number of patients, crippling stress, and burnout that often leads to their departure from the field.

This cross-silo panel will examine the needs of Arizona’s health care workers and offer insight on what more can be done to strengthen the workforce amidst the ongoing pandemic. In this panel, hear from Sarah Hauck, Workforce Development Administrator at Mercy Care, Floribella Redondo, President of the Arizona Community Health Workers Association, and Samantha Sabo, DrPH, Association Professor at the NAU Center for Health Equity Research.


4. What the data tells us about the social determinants

Collecting accurate health data for all Arizonans is paramount to addressing the social determinants of health. These include factors such as housing, income, and race/ethnicity, and often impede an individual’s ability to receive sufficient health care. Therefore, efforts to collect and evaluate this data are of the utmost importance.

Melissa Kotrys, CEO of Contexture, and Sandra Brightwell, EdD, President of the Arizona Health Information Management Association, are two respected experts in this field. Attend this panel to hear their insights on current health data collection initiatives and how Arizona can leverage this data to close gaps in care.


5. The courts and their impact on health policy

In recent months, a number of critical health policy issues have fallen to the judicial system at both the state and federal level. Whether it’s the constitutionality of public health mandates or the legitimacy of laws banning gender-affirming care, the courts will play a key role in determining what future health policy looks like in Arizona.

In this panel, join Len Kirschner, MD, Former Director of AHCCCS, Sam Coppersmith, Former US Congressman and Partner at Coppersmith Brockelman, and Jennifer Piatt, Research Scholar at the ASU Center for Public Health Law and Policy, for a conversation on how the courts’ decisions on these pressing issues might impact Arizona stakeholders.