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Arizona Governor issues executive order to increase hospital capacity

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Order requires hospital to add beds, maximize resources

PHOENIX, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Govenor Doug Ducey, (R - Arizona), issued an Executive Order Thursday morning instructing hospitals to prepare for a potentially huge influx of coronavirus patients.

The order requires hospitals to increase their hospital bed capacity, to take steps to optimize staffing levels, and to maximize critical resources.

Executive Order requirements for Arizona Hospitals

  • Implement processes to re-route non-critical patients to other providers
  • Institute plans to optimize staffing levels
  • Increase bed capacity by 50 percent by April 24, with half of that increase implemented by April 10 
  • Report to ADHS the number of current licensed medical-surgical beds, ICU beds and the amount of increases required under this order

“Arizona is working day and night to ensure our hospitals are prepared while implementing measures to mitigate the spread of [coronavirus] COVID-19 as much as possible,” said Governor Ducey.

“Building additional capacity now, ahead of any increased demand is the responsible thing to do. I’m grateful to all the doctors, nurses, EMTs and administrative staff who are working around the clock to serve Arizonans. We’re going to continue working 24/7 to make sure they have the resources and medical supplies needed to do their jobs.”  said Ducey.

“As public health officials, we have a responsibility to prepare for the worst-case scenario to plan for a pandemic,” said Dr. Cara Christ, Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services.

“In Arizona, we are fortunate to have time to prepare, and we have a responsibility to bring additional hospital beds online, find needed supplies and identify critical equipment, including ventilators. We’re focused on working to make sure hospitals across the state build their capacity.” said Christ.

Thursday's Executive Order requires hospitals to activate their facility emergency plans. In addition, the order:

  • Requires pediatric hospitals to accept patients up to 21 years of age
  • Requires Medicaid insurance plans to cover services provided through the expanded capacity, and mandates insurers reimburse hospitals provided at rates equal to what would be provided without the expanded capacity

On Wednesday, Governor Ducey issued an Executive Order requiring health insurance companies to expand telemedicine coverage for all services that would normally be covered by an in-person visit. Ducey says this will ensure Arizonans who may be sick, under quarantine, or in a high-risk population, can access health care from home.

Arizona News / Coronavirus / State & Regional News / Top Stories

Lisa Sturgis

Lisa Sturgis recently returned to KYMA as its Digital Content Director, but she has a long history with the Desert Southwest.

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