AHCCCS News & Updates 
July 30, 2020

AHCCCS Receives Leadership in Policy Award for COVID-19 Response

On July 23, Director Jami Snyder accepted the 2020 Leadership in Policy Award from the ASU Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, AHCCCS made two commitments,” said Snyder, who accepted the award. “One, ensuring access to care for members during the public health emergency, and two, maintaining the ongoing viability of the provider network.”

Dr. Michael Franczak, Director of Population Health at Partners in Recovery, presented the award to the AHCCCS leadership team (who attended via webinar), specifically noting the policy changes implemented to address the COVID-19 public health emergency. Reading from the nomination submitted by Mary Jo Whitfield, vice president of behavioral health at Jewish Family & Children’s Service, he cited an extensive, including the agency’s ability to streamline provider enrollment, change the PASRR assessment process, provide continuous eligibility to enrolled members, waive member premiums and co-pays, provide COVID-19 testing reimbursement, and expand respite care.

Vicki Staples, Director of Outpatient Behavioral Health at Valleywise Health, co-presented the award, noting the agency’s extensive efforts to communicate with its stakeholders since the start of the public health emergency. She also highlighted the attention AHCCCS has focused on social determinants of health, how the agency sought to increase housing for homeless individuals, and how HealthCurrent, the Health Information Exchange, has been able to improve coordination of care.

Snyder credited AHCCCS employees with their ability to work quickly and collaboratively on behalf of members and providers. “I’m privileged to serve with the qualified and professional experts at AHCCCS, and on behalf of all AHCCCS employees, I thank ASU for this award and for recognizing our efforts,” she said.

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