Health Care

Art therapy requirements put in place, still largely unregulated

Art therapist Natalie Foster looks through some of the art in her office made by patients. (Photo by Jenna Miller/Arizona Capitol Times)

Modern terms such as binge-watch, face-palm and photobomb recently joined the pages of the Merriam-Webster dictionary. In Arizona, art therapy won an official definition this year as well.

Art therapists use creativity and artistic practices to help process emotions and heal trauma. In August, legislation went into effect that requires people in Arizona who use the job title of art therapist or offer art therapy services to be certified with the national Art Therapy Credentials Board. This certification comes with significant educational and training requirements.


Turf wars plentiful in health care practice expansion process

(Photo by Ellen O'Brien/Arizona Capitol Times)

The sunrise review process is one of the more obscure proceedings at the Arizona Legislature, but it’s also the battleground for recurring turf wars.

It was designed to allow medical professions to bring legislative attention to necessary regulations.

Instead, Arizona lobbyists argue that the process is now used to block applications by lower-level health care providers and to stifle change.


Lawmakers should reject Pew proposal for ‘dental therapists’

Dr. Eric Curtis

An out-of-state interest group is again pushing a questionable experiment to provide second-rate oral care to some Arizonans.

Dr. Sabah Kalamachi

The Pew Foundation and its allies of convenience want the Legislature to green light “dental therapists.” They say this will improve dental health care for poor and rural Arizonans.

Yet these dental therapists, empowered to do irreversible surgeries such as pulling teeth, will have minimal training – nothing at all like what dentists, pediatric dentists and oral surgeons receive before they see their first patient.


Beyond the noise: health care’s journey to clarity

Paul Barnes

It may sound ridiculous to remind everyone that we only have one body, with many parts. Yet we’ve created a system of health care that serves distinct parts carved out from each other – mind, body, teeth.

This fragmentation has created a maze of confusion.

For the past few years, health care mavericks have been on a mission to bulldoze the maze and build a system of care that puts people first.


Repeal and replace offers way out of ACA’s limited choices

Sen. Nancy Barto

It should come as no surprise that I am not a proponent of the Affordable Care Act. It created a forced marketplace that failed to address affordability, and, at its inception, it set up a system that was doomed to fail.

Our state has already enabled innovative care models, such as Direct Primary Care practices and Health Care Sharing Ministries. By lifting the regulatory burdens that create barriers to health care choice, these models have met the needs of thousands in Arizona, and the number of participants is growing annually.


Investing in preventative health care would pay huge dividends

Will Humble

If I had one wish for the future of health and health care, it would be a simple one. Lawmakers and agency policymakers would use evidence to develop public policy. Policy decisions and resource allocation would be driven by data and prioritized by long-term return on investment.

For one thing, that would lead to placing a higher priority on preventing, rather than treating illnesses.


Rural hospitals continue to provide quality care, despite facing challenges

Roland Knox

Hospitals are a vital community resource, nowhere more than in rural Arizona.

In our town of Willcox and communities like it across the state, the local hospital is not just a provider of health care. We are a landmark, a community pillar and economic driver. As CEO of Northern Cochise Community Hospital, hardly a week passes that I’m not approached by a community member who relays a story about how our hospital has positively impacted their family.

This is why we love our work. At the same time, it is undeniable that being a small, rural health care facility means greater challenges.


Congress needs to do its job – renew funding for children’s health insurance

Dana Wolfe Naimark

The federal deadline to renew the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) came and went over a month ago without action from Congress.  The failure to renew this popular, bipartisan insurance coverage for children in working families is unprecedented since its creation 20 years ago. Called KidsCare in Arizona, CHIP now covers more than 23,000 children across our state.  It has helped bring the rate of Arizona children with health insurance to a historic high at 92.7 percent.

Instead of celebrating, families have been thrown into uncertainty as the fate of their children’s health care hangs in the balance.


Nurses are playing a more prominent role in providing safe, quality care

Robin Schaeffer

Nurses exist to help patients – that’s our top priority. So, when we look at the state of health care in 2017, it’s through the lens of whether it is getting easier or harder for patients to access the care they need.

The answer is, it’s a mixed bag.

Arizona nurses are playing a more prominent role in providing safe, quality care. But not all of the news is good; uncertainty swirls around health care policy in Arizona and nationally.