For Payer and Plan Entities

As a Valleywise Health partner, we value your contributions and want to make sure you stay up-to-date on our latest response efforts to COVID-19. We know it can be challenging to keep up with the many changes taking place as we work to ensure the safety of our patients, guests and staff. We hope the Frequently Asked Questions section below will serve as a beneficial resource for you and your team. Please check back frequently as the information continues to be updated.


Is Valleywise Health anticipating any closures?

  • Valleywise Health is not anticipating any closure of any facilities.

Has Valleywise Health reduced or expanded hours?

  • Valleywise Health has not reduced or expanded hours of any facilities.

Is COVID-19 screening occurring at Valleywise Health’s medical center or community health centers prior to entrance?

  • All patients coming to a Valleywise Health facility are screened before entering. If the guest is reporting symptoms, they are immediately masked and taken to their appointment. If possible, we put them in a room immediately. Otherwise, we are segregating the waiting rooms to sick/well. If a patient calls to schedule a visit for COVID-19, they are asked to call when they arrive at the clinic. A nurse is dispatched to their car, masks them and brings them inside.

Are there restrictions on visitors or support persons?
In an effort to keep patients and staff as safe as possible, the following visitor restrictions will be enforced starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020 until further notice. As a Valleywise Health team member, we’re asking you to remain vigilant to ensure everyone is abiding by the new, temporary guidelines.
Valleywise Health Medical Center

  • 1 (healthy) adult visitor per 1 adult patient
  • 2 (healthy) adult visitors per newborn or pediatric patient
  • No sibling visitors for newborn patients
  • No visitors with cold or flu-like symptoms
  • No children under 16 except under exceptional circumstances
  • No overnight visitors except under exceptional circumstances (NICU/Pediatric patients)

Valleywise Community Health Centers / Valleywise Community Health Center – Phoenix

  • 1 visitor in exam room with patient at a time
  • No visitors with cold or flu-like symptoms
  • **Note: Visitors with compromised patients may be subject to additional restrictions and be asked to stay in the waiting room**

Valleywise Behavioral Health Centers

  • 1 (healthy) adult visitor per 1 adult patient

Has Valleywise Health recently made any changes to the organizations hours of operation as a result of COVID-19?

  • No

What is Valleywise Health’s current bed capacity? ICU Beds? General Med/Surg?

  • Licensed Acute Care Beds = 325. If and when the number of COVID-19 patients increase, hospital beds will be converted to aid in patient care management
    • ICU – Licensed beds: Adult: 52; Peds/NICU: 38
    • Added 19 beds under current waiver converting an Emergency Department Area to an ICU.
      Med/Surg – Adult/Burn Med Surg: 151

What is Valleywise Health’s ability to staff these beds?

  • Valleywise Health has developed a staffing plan to manage the current state as well as planning for a surge in volume. This is a joint effort with the Human Resources team.

Are there designated unit(s) for COVID-19 Inpatients?

  • Valleywise Health has established designated units in their facilities to isolate and care for COVID-19 patients.

Does Valleywise Health have the capability to expand for more beds?

  • Valleywise Health is working to build additional bed capacity in response to Governor Ducey’s order to increase bed capacity by 50%.

How many ventilators do you have?

  • The Health System has 37 ventilators with some currently in use.

Is Valleywise Health limiting behavioral health admission to account for possible medical/isolation bed needs?

  • Valleywise Health is not limiting Behavioral Health admission. Instead, Valleywise Health is establishing processes/procedures to test and cohort the population to prevent spread among the hospitalized population.

How many days of PPE do you have on hand?

  • Valleywise Health is maintains a daily dashboard which is closely monitored throughout a 24 hours period. Due to supply and demand, the shortage depends on the individual item. There is a range 6 – 29 days and above. PPE that remains critically low is: isolation gowns, surgical masks with eye shields, and regular N95 masks.

How is your supply of antibiotics and inhalers?

  • Pharmacy is having some challenges receiving and maintaining supply of inpatient inhalers. Outpatient retail pharmacy has sufficient supplies of antibiotics and inhalers.

Has the discharge process changed?

  • Discharging process is unchanged.

How are you handling patient facing clinical areas?

  • The Care Coordination staff are following standard policy/process. However, staff are not entering patient care rooms. Business is being conducted via phone to the patient and/or family. Confirmation of emergency contacts and pharmacy.

How is discharge to lower level of care managed?

  • Valleywise Health is following established protocols.

Is there difficulty finding beds to discharge to lower level of care?

  • At this time, there are few post-acute care challenges other than what is usually found. Leadership is developing a COVID-19 clearance form to ensure facility to facility discharges prevents transmission of the virus. Transportation issues are increasingly becoming a challenge.

Is ACO Pop Health Staff being redeployed?

  • The ACO was initially deployed to triage incoming calls from patients who reported COVID-19 symptoms. As the process has stabilized, Valleywise Health is working to establish processes to address patients with chronic diseases, preventive care i.e. EPSDT, immunizations, etc.

Is the ACO Staff still providing CM/DM/TCM?

  • The Care Managers are completing outreach to their high risk patients to ensure continuity of care. They are assessing access to meds and need for prescriptions, SDOH, and other risk factors to ensure stability. When appropriate, referrals to the health plans is completed.

Do you have onsite COVID-19 Testing?

  • Yes

Are testing kits available to the public?

  • No, you must be a Valleywise patient.

Is Valleywise Health utilizing Telehealth? Through our Epic EMR?

  • Valleywise has implemented telehealth visits utilizing a video chat platform as well as telephone encounters alongside the Epic EMR.

What virtual technology platform is Valleywise Health utilizing?

  • Valleywise Health is using the video visit platform and telephonic services.

Is telehealth available for new and established patients?

  • Yes, telehealth is available for both new and established patients, with open discussion about best utilization of virtual care among new patients to our system.

How are we advising members of telehealth option?

  •  We are proactively reaching out to patients with existing appointments to alert them of these new virtual options; we are putting thought into those patients that are best served with an in-person visit.

Do Telehealth visits apply to both PCP and Specialty?

  • Initial piloting was in Primary Care Clinics including FM, IM, OB/GYN and Peds, and has been extended to Specialty Care including cardiology and medicine subspecialities, behavioral health, and surgical subspecialties ; widespread use is not observed in both areas.

How is Valleywise Health directing patients on telehealth that need to be seen?

  •  As mentioned above, we have scripting for patients with existing appointments, and are working closely with our Patient Access Center (PAC) to craft new visits into the right virtual modality where possible.

Where is Valleywise Health directing patients via telehealth that need to be tested for COVID-19?

  • We are actively working on clinical processes involving triage and care of patients with concerns or symptoms consistent with COVID-19; for now we are handling those urgent visits utilizing our emergency service areas.

Are members still being seen in-person?

  • Yes

How is the telehealth capability being utilized?

  • Audio and interactive audio/video, with active development of both personal health record chat visits (MyChart e-visits) and brief phone check-ins; as our virtual care model matures we are having early discussion about use of in-home technologies to support more robust virtual care with an extension to our population health services.

AHCCCS has requested Mercy Care obtain information from our providers on any technology assistance they may be providing to members during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, any assistance in with telephones, tablets, MiFi, laptops, or anything else that can assist members in staying connected virtually.

  • Covid-19 impacted clinical areas have been provided smartphones and non-smart phones by the VH IT team for helping inpatients communicate with their families as well as with internal team members (psychiatrists, social workers, attorneys, etc.).

Explain how Valleywise Health will manage this unexpected event?

  • Valleywise Health staff have extensive training in emergency operations management. The Valleywise COVID-19 Command Center was set-up on March 14, 2020. HICS Incident Action Plan developed. Incident Management Team was established. Surge planning is in process.

Does Valleywise Health have a Business Continuity Plan (BCP)?

  • Yes

Have you implemented any part of Valleywise Health’s plan due to the COVID-19 concerns?

  • Yes

Do the AHCCCS Plans have a copy of Valleywise Health current plan?

  • No

Can a copy of Valleywise Health plan be shared with the AZ Health Plan Association?

  • Available upon request.

Does Valleywise Health have contingency plans in place for staff shortages?

  • Yes