Hospital Topics

Overview

2014 Ballot Initiatives
Two initiatives of great importance to California hospitals

CHA has taken positions on two ballot initiatives — listed below with links to their campaign sites. The most recent updates on ballot measures are displayed below.

  • Oppose Proposition 45, which would grant the state Insurance Commissioner the authority to regulate health plan and insurance company premium rates.
    www.stophighercosts.com
  • Oppose Proposition 46, which would quadruple the non-economic damages cap on California’s Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act.
    www.micra.org
CHA News Article

Proposition Numbers Assigned to Rate Regulation, MICRA Ballot Initiatives

The California Secretary of State’s Office on Monday assigned proposition numbers to the six ballot initiatives that will appear before voters on the Nov. 4 general election ballot. Among the measures are Proposition 45, which would grant the state Insurance Commissioner the authority to regulate health plan and insurance company premium rates, and Proposition 46, which would quadruple the non-economic damages cap on California’s successful Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act.

CHA News Article

Campaign to Defeat Anti-MICRA Ballot Initiative Will Host Media Trainings

Representatives from the campaign coalition working to defeat the anti-Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) initiative on the November ballot will conduct speaker’s bureau and media trainings next month throughout the state.

CHA News Article

Anti-MICRA Initiative Qualifies for November Ballot
Oppose to protect access to quality health care

The California Secretary of State announced yesterday that a ballot initiative that would increase the cap on pain-and-suffering damages in medical malpractice lawsuits and require hospitals to drug and alcohol test doctors qualified for the November 2014 ballot.

Overview

CDPH Licensing & Enforcement

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Licensing and Certification surveyors may visit a hospital at any time to determine whether the hospital is in compliance with state licensing requirements. Visits may result from a complaint by a patient, employee or other third party; a newspaper article; or a report by the hospital itself regarding an unusual occurrence, privacy breach or adverse event.

CHA News Article

CDPH Guidance Emphasizes CDC Ebola Recommendations

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued the attached All Facilities Letter (AFL) to acute psychiatric hospitals and general acute care hospitals, sharing recent recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for Ebola preparedness and recourse.

CHA News Article

CDPH Launches Open Data Portal

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has launched its Open Data Portal, a tool that allows user-friendly access to the data it collects about important health issues. The first data tables available through the portal include birth profiles, poverty rates, the location of vendors who accept vouchers from the Women, Infants and Children program, health care facilities data, and surveillance for West Nile virus and asthma. Upcoming data will include newborn screening disorders, licensed medical device retailers and leading causes of death. Eventually, CDPH will offer data from other state departments within the California Health and Human Services Agency. For additional information, visit the CDPH Open Data Portal.

CHA News Article

CDPH Issues AFL on 2014-15 License Renewal Fees

The California Department of Public Health has issued an All Facilities Letter (AFL) on fiscal year 2014-15 license renewal fees set to take effect July 1. A renewal notice and application will be sent to the licensee of each facility 45-120 days prior to the license expiration date. Licensees that do not receive a notice within 45 days of the expiration date should contact the Grant and Fiscal Assessment Unit at RCollection@cdph.ca.gov, or by telephone at (916) 552-8700 or (800) 236-9747. All fees must be paid in full on or before the license expiration date even if the renewal notice was not received. Late payment penalties cannot be waived. For more information, see the attached AFL.

Recording

Responding to Licensing and Certification Deficiencies Webinar
New CDPH penalties, working with surveyors, plans of correction, appeal process

Webinar Recorded Live on May 21, 2014

Overview

You’ve received a licensing violation. You may have been expecting it from a recent survey, or it may have come as a complete surprise. One thing is for certain, survey activity — and subsequent violations — will be more common now that California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued new regulations for hospital penalties, including non-immediate jeopardy violations.

CHA News Article

CDPH Explains Informed Consent Process for SNFs

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued an All Facilities Letter (AFL) to skilled-nursing facilities (SNFs) explaining the informed consent process. The letter supplements previously issued guidance and reflects revisions that include physician assistants in the process of obtaining informed consent in SNFs. The AFL also reaffirms that when admitting a patient to a SNF with unchanged preexisting orders for psychotherapeutic drugs, physical restraints or the prolonged use of a device that may lead to the inability to regain use of a normal bodily function, the SNF must verify that the patient’s health records contain documentation that the patient gave informed consent for the ordered treatment. A preexisting order is an order written by the attending licensed health care practitioner (including nurse practitioners and physician assistants) prior to and encompassing the admission of a patient to a SNF. For more information, see the attached AFL and its accompanying FAQ regarding informed consent.

Overview

Community Benefit Programs
Hospitals give back to their communities

Health care is undergoing tremendous change and uncertainty as California implements the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA). Hospitals are working to ensure there will be enough beds and an adequate supply of health care professionals to meet the demands of the millions of Californians who are signing up for health insurance coverage under the ACA. In addition, California hospitals are meeting the needs of their communities through locally developed community benefit plans by supporting health care programs that provide preventative care to those in need.

Tax-Exempt Status of Nonprofit Hospitals

The tax-exempt status of nonprofit hospitals is being reviewed by policymakers, regulators and public interest groups. There are various proposals to impose burdensome and inflexible standards on nonprofit hospitals in order to obtain tax-exempt status and financing. CHA supports the development of appropriate guidelines that are not unduly burdensome and will allow sufficient flexibility to ensure nonprofit hospitals are able to carry out their mission. They must be based on broad measures of community benefit without establishing rigid formulaic thresholds.

CHA News Article

CHA Highlights Innovative Mobile Health Van Threatened by AB 503
Services for underserved at risk

CHA issued the attached press release today highlighting CareVan, a mobile health van that provides free health care services throughout San Joaquin County. The program — along with community benefit programs throughout the state — is threatened by AB 503 (Wieckowski, D-Fremont; Bonta, D-Alameda).

News Release

Innovative Medical Career Program Sponsored by Bay Area Hospital at Risk if AB 503 is Enacted
New Video Profiles Medical Biotechnology Academy at John Muir Hospital in Concord

SACRAMENTO (June 9, 2014) -  The California Hospital Association (CHA) today released a new video highlighting a successful community benefit program that is designed to expose students to possible careers in the medical and health care field.  The program, operated jointly by John Muir Hospital in Concord and Mt. Diablo High School’s Medical Biotechnology Academy, is designed to place students on a career path through a rigorous, hands-on internship program.  Its future is threatened, however, by Assembly Bill (AB) 503 (Wieckowski/Bonta).

News Release

New Study by Economist and Former Finance Director Tom Campbell Shows Access to Care At Risk from Mandates
Thousands of Californians Could be Shut Out From Needed Health Care if Legislation Is Passed

(SACRAMENTO – January 16, 2014) – Former Congressman and State Finance Director Tom Campbell released results today of a new study that warns that thousands of Californians could be shut out of the health care they need, even if they have health coverage, if new regulations and mandates are approved by the state Legislature.  

Overview

Clinical Care

Clinical care touches every aspect of hospital operations. Policies and procedures surrounding clinical care are of the utmost importance in meeting regulatory, legal and licensing requirements. CHA has numerous area-specific groups — including specialty centers and committees — that address the many aspects of clinical care. Some areas of clinical care are subject to rapid changes in public policy and regulations, creating additional challenges for hospitals. In addition to providing representation and advocacy to address these challenges, CHA focuses on the unique needs of certain facilities, and the services and programs they offer their communities.

Recording

Principles of Consent and Advance Health Care Directives Webinar
A program for those new to health care or professionals seeking to refresh their knowledge

Webinar Recorded Live on October 1, 2014

Overview

Consent is more than a signature on a form
Patients have the right to make treatment decisions, but ensuring that they understand their options and associated risks is not easy. And while the responsibility for obtaining informed consent falls to physicians, your hospital is responsible for making sure that consent was obtained and documented.

Education event

Advanced Decision Making for EMTALA Webinar
EMTALA principles, case scenario learning, surveyor compliance tips

November 14, 2014
10:00 a.m. – Noon, Pacific Time

Whether you are a sending or receiving hospital, many factors must be considered when dealing with a potential EMTALA situation. Knowing the right thing to do isn’t easy, especially in a stressful or busy emergency department. Health care professionals are encouraged to attend this advanced session on complex, but common, EMTALA issues.

Recording

Responding to Licensing and Certification Deficiencies Webinar
New CDPH penalties, working with surveyors, plans of correction, appeal process

Webinar Recorded Live on May 21, 2014

Overview

You’ve received a licensing violation. You may have been expecting it from a recent survey, or it may have come as a complete surprise. One thing is for certain, survey activity — and subsequent violations — will be more common now that California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued new regulations for hospital penalties, including non-immediate jeopardy violations.

Recording

Using ED Overcrowding Assessment Tools to Improve Care and Throughput Webinar
Learn about the Dignity Health Emergency Department Overcrowding Scale (DEDOCS)

Webinar Recorded Live on May 29, 2014

Overview

When an ED becomes crowded, the entire hospital can suffer
In 2011, CHA’s EMS/Trauma Committee partnered with Dr. Steven Weiss to develop CEDOCS — the Community Emergency Department Overcrowding Scale — to measure and rate ED crowding.

General information

Emergency Department Toolkit
Behavioral health resources for the emergency department

Special resource toolkit developed by CHA’s EMS/Trauma Committee and the Center for Behavioral Health.  Designed to help staff provide support to patients in the ED with psychosis and/or substance abuse disorders, this toolkit provides access to articles, policies, management techniques, assessment tools and more. Click the topic tabs below to access resources and information.

Overview

Construction / Renovation

In the area of construction and renovation, CHA assists hospitals by reviewing and commenting on proposed regulations, attending all Hospital Building Safety Board (HBSB) meetings, nominating hospital representatives to the HBSB Board and serving as liaison between hospitals and the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development’s (OSHPD) Facility Development Division when issues need to be resolved.

CHA News Article

Categorical Waivers now Available for Power Strips in Patient Care Areas

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that it will permit categorical waivers for hospital power strip requirements under certain circumstances (the issue of power strips in patient care areas was detailed earlier this year in CHA News). CMS has determined that power strip provisions for health facilities in the National Fire Protection Association 101 Life Safety Code (LSC) may create unreasonable hardship for providers or suppliers. The CMS announcement notes that the 2012 edition of the LSC also offers an adequate alternative level of protection. The categorical waivers will be allowed for the use of power strips in existing and new health facility patient care areas if the provider/supplier complies with all applicable 2012 LSC power strip requirements, and with all other 2000 LSC electrical system and equipment provisions. To use the waiver, hospitals must supply written documentation that they have chosen to do so and notify the LSC survey team during its entrance conference. The policy change is effective immediately. For more information, visit the American Society for Healthcare Engineering website.

CHA News Article

Architects Present 6th Annual Health Facility Conference

The American College of Healthcare Architects and the American Institute of Architects California Council will host an all-day forum Oct. 9 at the Marriott City Center in Oakland. Themed Overcoming Uncertainty – What the Future Holds, the forum includes a distinguished faculty of hospital designers and construction managers who will cover the impact of the Affordable Care Act, developing technologies, budget and financing requirements, evolving project delivery methods, and changing patient expectations on the planning and design of health care facilities. For more information and to register, visit www.healtharchitects.org/Education/California_Forum.asp. Deadline to register is Sept. 28.

CHA News Article

OSHPD Announces “Hot Topics” Seminar

The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) Facilities Development Division has announced  it will hold one-day seminars, featuring current “hot topics,” Oct. 9 in Anaheim and Oct. 30 in Concord. Seminar sessions will include information on the functional program; defining “materially altered;” the use of standard details; preapproved details; the electronic services portal; and an update on Code Application Notices and Policy Intent Notices. Seating is limited at both locations. To register, see the attached registration information. For more information about the program, contact OSHPD at (916) 440-8453 or FDD.seminar@OSHPD.CA.gov.

CHA News Article

FCC Requires Hospitals to Register Wireless Telemetry Devices With ASHE

All hospitals using wireless medical telemetry service (WMTS) devices must register them with the American Hospital Association’s American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) to avoid possible harmful interference with the operation of their equipment. As the designated WMTS coordinator, ASHE maintains a database of WMTS users, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires registration with ASHE before an organization operates a WMTS system in the TV channel 37 band (and in the upper bands of 1395-1400 MHz and 1427-1432 MHz). If a WMTS system is not registered, the FCC considers it to be unlicensed and not entitled to protection from interference caused by other transmitters.

CHA News Article

New Regulations Seek to Eliminate Toxins From Hospital Furniture
Webinar to focus on new statewide standards for flame retardant furnishings

The Healthier Hospitals Initiative (HHI) and Health Care Without Harm invite hospitals to a free webinar on the health impacts of flame retardants, the implications of the new regulations for health care, and the opportunities for hospitals to create healthier interior spaces through the elimination of harmful chemicals in furnishings while reducing costs.

Overview

Emergency Preparedness
Is your hospital prepared?

CHA provides expertise in health care emergency management to support member hospitals and health systems. In this area, members can find articles issued through the daily CHA News, including recently released state and federal Ebola-related guidance, and member resources such as CHA Ebola planning team contacts, talking points and FAQs (member log-in required). CHA has also developed a public Emergency Preparedness website at calhospitalprepare.org, created through the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Office of Preparedness and Emergency Operations, Hospital Preparedness Program grant.

CHA News Article

HHS to Host Call on Ebola Preparedness for Hospitals and Health Systems
Call will be held Oct. 31 from noon - 1 pm (PT)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) invites hospital executives, emergency management directors and safety officers to participate in a conference call on preparing health care systems to protect health and safety if they are required to care for an Ebola patient. The call, to be held Oct. 31 from noon – 1 p.m. (PT), will include leaders from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Intergovernmental and External Affairs and Department of Transportation. To join the call, dial (800) 857-0664 and enter participant passcode 8614132. Audio streaming for the call is also available.

CHA News Article

CDPH Ebola Waste Guidelines Updated

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Medical Waste Management Program has updated its Interim Ebola Medical Waste Management Guidelines, attached. The updated guidelines provide additional information on disinfecting agents, packaging onsite treatment, transportation from the isolation room to onsite storage and waste container issues.

CHA News Article

CDPH Issues Risk-Based Ebola Quarantine Order and Guidelines for Counties
State to assess individuals returning from Ebola-affected regions; updated federal guidelines recommend also monitoring those potentially exposed in U.S.

While there are no reported or confirmed cases of Ebola in California, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH)  took action Oct. 29 to help prevent any potential spread of the disease in the state by issuing a quarantine order and guidelines that require counties to assess individuals at risk for Ebola and tailor an appropriate level of quarantine as needed.

CHA News Article

CDC Issues ED Ebola Guidance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released guidance to help hospital emergency departments (EDs) evaluate and manage patients with symptoms that could indicate Ebola.

CHA News Article For Members

CHA Ebola Webinar Recording Now Available
Oct. 24 briefing included CDPH, EMSA and Cal/OSHA

On Friday, Oct. 24, CHA hosted a webinar briefing titled “Ebola Update: What California Hospitals Should Know.”

Overview

Finance

Hospital finance is complicated, and California hospitals operate in a challenging environment. Hospital executives are faced with the task of developing financial strategies that contain costs yet allow for the provision of health care to the state’s large uninsured population.

Education event For Members

ACA Employer Mandate and IRS Reporting Obligations Webinar
Learn about key deadlines, data to collect, reporting requirements, potential penalties

November 17, 2014
10:00 – 11:30 a.m., Pacific Time
A CHA members-only event

The Affordable Care Act requires all large employers (50 or more full time employees) to offer health insurance to employees. Beginning Jan. 1, hospitals must begin to gather data on whether or not an employee elected to take advantage of employer-sponsored health insurance coverage. The data for each employee must be formally reported to the IRS in 2016. Register today and learn what you need to do to comply with this new requirement. 

CHA News Article

Governor Signs Bill Revising Charity Care Law

Governor Brown has signed SB 1276 (chapter 758, statutes of 2014), revising the existing law for hospital fair pricing policies. The bill changes the definition of a person with high medical costs to include those who have third-party coverage. While current charity care and discount payment policies provide hospitals and patients with the flexibility to negotiate the terms of a payment plan, this bill requires hospitals to consider the patient’s family income and essential living expenses. The bill also requires hospitals to agree to a default “reasonable payment plan” that is not more than 10 percent of a patient’s income, excluding deductions for essential living expenses, in the event the hospital and patient cannot agree on the terms of a payment plan. This bill goes into effect Jan. 1, 2015.

CHA encourages hospitals to work with their legal counsel when updating their charity care and discount payment policies. The bill is attached.

Recording

Hospital Presumptive Eligibility Program Webinar
A vital tool for providing potentially-eligible individuals with on-the-spot Medi-Cal coverage

Webinar Recorded Live on June 19, 2014

Hospitals can play an important role in reducing the number of uninsured through the Hospital Presumptive Eligibility (HPE) program. The HPE program will allow all hospital Medi-Cal providers — including any clinic on a hospital’s license — to provide potentially-eligible individuals with temporary, full-scope Medi-Cal benefits.

CHA News Article

CHA Leadership Meets with CMS Deputy Administrator Sean Cavanaugh

Yesterday, as part of the California Congressional Action Program, CHA board leaders and staff met with CMS Deputy Administrator and Director for the Center for Medicare Sean Cavanaugh; Liz Richter, deputy director, Center for Medicare; and Niall Brennan, director, Center for Enterprise Management. Over the past year, CHA has been working with CMS and the Office of Inspector General to identify the regulatory pathways for hospitals to move forward in adopting Modern Pricing, an initiative that supports hospitals in voluntarily adjusting their charges to make them more meaningful to patients and communities. CHA will host a members-only webinar on Modern Pricing May 30; members are encouraged to participate to learn more about the initiative.

General information

Video Describes Vital Role Nonprofit Hospitals Play in Their Communities

In opposition to AB 975 (Wieckowski/Bonta), CHA has embarked on a comprehensive public advocacy campaign to increase awareness of the importance of not-for-profit hospitals and the diverse array of community benefit programs they provide throughout California.  A new video (below) describes the vital role nonprofit hospitals play in the communities they serve. 

AB 975 would establish a “guilty until proven innocent” presumption for hospitals that report an operating margin of more than 10 percent.Under current law, nonprofit hospitals are required to invest their funds int

Overview

Health Care Reform

Our nation’s health care system has entered a new era with the enactment of federal health care reform. This landmark legislation is resulting in many changes in how health care is financed and delivered for years to come. For nearly two decades, CHA has been at the forefront in advocating for meaningful health care reform — and we will continue to help shape the future of hospital care far into the future. CHA’s vision of an “optimally healthy society” is now a reality within reach.

CHA News Article

Issue Brief Outlines Maternity Care Patient Engagement Strategies
Publication to support California Health Care Innovation Plan’s Maternity Care Initiative

The Integrated Healthcare Association (IHA) has released the attached brief outlining patient engagement strategies in maternity care and the strategies that enable pregnant women to make informed decisions to improve their care, their health and the heath of their babies. The brief, titled Maternity Care Patient Engagement Strategies, focuses on California’s Maternity Care Initiative – one of the four initiatives included in the state’s Health Care Innovation Plan (Innovation Plan) submitted to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on July 18 for a three-year state innovation model (SIM) testing grant. IHA has provided technical assistance on the Maternity Care Initiative to the California Health and Human Services Agency. The publication was developed to support this work.

Education event For Members

ACA Employer Mandate and IRS Reporting Obligations Webinar
Learn about key deadlines, data to collect, reporting requirements, potential penalties

November 17, 2014
10:00 – 11:30 a.m., Pacific Time
A CHA members-only event

The Affordable Care Act requires all large employers (50 or more full time employees) to offer health insurance to employees. Beginning Jan. 1, hospitals must begin to gather data on whether or not an employee elected to take advantage of employer-sponsored health insurance coverage. The data for each employee must be formally reported to the IRS in 2016. Register today and learn what you need to do to comply with this new requirement. 

CHA News Article

Coordinated Care Initiative Stakeholder Call Scheduled for Tomorrow

To continue its dialogue with stakeholders about the implementation of the Coordinated Care Initiative (CCI), the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) will host the next monthly stakeholder update call tomorrow, Oct. 21, from 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. (PT). The call will cover January CCI enrollment and new funding for the Cal MediConnect Ombudsman program, and DHCS will solicit questions and feedback from stakeholders on their experience with CCI implementation in their local counties. Registration for the call is available online, and meeting materials are available on the CalDuals website. Questions and/or comments can be directed to info@calduals.org.

CHA News Article

Report Outlines ACA Effect on Medicaid Spending, Enrollment Growth
Focus on fiscal years 2014 and 2015

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) has released a report that provides an overview of Medicaid spending and enrollment growth during state fiscal years (FY) 2014 and 2015, as well as an overview of Medicaid financing. The report, titled Implementing the ACA: Medicaid Spending & Enrollment Growth for FY 2014 and FY 2015, details findings based on interviews and data provided by state Medicaid directors as part of the 14th annual survey of Medicaid directors in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Conducted by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured with Health Management Associates, the report examines changes in overall enrollment and spending growth and compares expansion and non-expansion states.  

CHA News Article

GAO Report Finds Integration of Medicare, Medicaid Benefits May Not Lead to Expected Medicare Savings

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a report showing that Medicare cost savings from integrating benefits for disabled Medicare/Medicaid dual-eligible individuals were lower than anticipated. The GAO reports that relatively few fully integrated dual-eligible (FIDE) plans demonstrated significant Medicare savings. The report also indicates that while greater integration of benefits did not lead to reduced Medicare savings, plans tailored to dual-eligible individuals demonstrated moderately better health outcomes.

Overview

Health Information Management & Technology

Hospitals are moving away from paper-based records to electronic medical records and electronic health records to retain patient-care data. Electronic formatting facilitates data capture in a “real-time” environment, and allows many users to access the data at the same time.

CHA supports the capture and availability of secure patient-care data through the use of health information technology (HIT) across the continuum of care. CHA believes HIT will serve as a tool to enhance patient safety, promote information for preventative health and reduce health care costs.

CHA News Article

CMS Intends to Reopen Application for EHR Hardship Extensions Until Nov. 30
Establishes reconsideration process for payment penalties; deadline Oct. 31

This week, CMS made two important announcements. First, it intends to reopen the submission period — until Nov. 30 — for hardship applications for eligible professionals and hospitals to avoid the federal fiscal year (FFY) 2015 Medicare payment penalties for not demonstrating meaningful use of certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT). Previously, the hardship exception deadline was April 1, 2014, for hospitals and July 1, 2014, for eligible professionals. CMS said it will only consider applications from hospitals that were unable to fully implement 2014 Edition Certified EHR Technology due to delays in CEHRT availability, and that were unable to attest under the flexibility options provided in the recent 2014 Edition CEHRT flexibility rule. Second, CMS announced that hospitals that believe they are subject to a payment penalty in error for FFY 2015 may apply for payment adjustment reconsideration by Oct. 31.

Recording

Principles of Consent and Advance Health Care Directives Webinar
A program for those new to health care or professionals seeking to refresh their knowledge

Webinar Recorded Live on October 1, 2014

Overview

Consent is more than a signature on a form
Patients have the right to make treatment decisions, but ensuring that they understand their options and associated risks is not easy. And while the responsibility for obtaining informed consent falls to physicians, your hospital is responsible for making sure that consent was obtained and documented.

Recording

Privacy for Patients with Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Webinar
Clarifying laws and regulations, what you can and can’t disclose, breach reporting

Webinar Recorded Live on September 11, 2014

Overview

Health care providers are often afraid to share patient information — even when doing so would be good for the patient and perfectly legal. Not being comfortable with the rules, they hold back. Sometimes that’s not in the best interest of the patient — especially patients with mental health or substance use disorders who often need extra support.

Education event

Advanced Decision Making for EMTALA Webinar
EMTALA principles, case scenario learning, surveyor compliance tips

November 14, 2014
10:00 a.m. – Noon, Pacific Time

Whether you are a sending or receiving hospital, many factors must be considered when dealing with a potential EMTALA situation. Knowing the right thing to do isn’t easy, especially in a stressful or busy emergency department. Health care professionals are encouraged to attend this advanced session on complex, but common, EMTALA issues.

CHA News Article

Glitch Reported in CMS Attestation System for EHR Incentive Program

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a final rule that grants flexibility to certain eligible providers and hospitals, including critical access hospitals, who are unable to fully implement the 2014 Edition certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) for the 2014 EHR reporting period, due to delays in the technology’s availability. The rule allows these providers and hospitals — who are required to attest by Oct. 1 — to use the 2011 Edition CEHRT or a combination of the 2011 and 2014 Editions of CEHRT for the 2014 EHR reporting period (See CHA News article).

Overview

Human Resources

California hospitals and health systems employ more than half a million people — from entry-level positions to senior executives. Many health care human resources (HR) departments are responsible for a wide range of issues, such as recruitment, staffing, compensation, benefits, labor/employee relations and employee health. Navigating the complex regulatory environment, while monitoring how it applies to HR in the health care setting, can be a challenging and dynamic task.

Representing hospitals and health systems in California, CHA provides leadership in HR policy on state and federal levels. In addition, CHA advocates on behalf of hospitals and health systems before the federal and state legislatures, federal and state administrative agencies and the public. CHA also provides educational opportunities, such as the annual Labor & Employment Law seminar, to help hospital leaders sharpen their skills and knowledge in health care HR. CHA members also participate on an HR executive e-mail list and receive periodic informational memoranda. 

Education event For Members

ACA Employer Mandate and IRS Reporting Obligations Webinar
Learn about key deadlines, data to collect, reporting requirements, potential penalties

November 17, 2014
10:00 – 11:30 a.m., Pacific Time
A CHA members-only event

The Affordable Care Act requires all large employers (50 or more full time employees) to offer health insurance to employees. Beginning Jan. 1, hospitals must begin to gather data on whether or not an employee elected to take advantage of employer-sponsored health insurance coverage. The data for each employee must be formally reported to the IRS in 2016. Register today and learn what you need to do to comply with this new requirement. 

Education event

Labor and Employment Law Seminar
Updates on wage and hour, safe patient handling, high-profile union agreement

November 5, Glendale
November 13, Sacramento

This program is for executives of CHA-member hospitals only

Every year the HR landscape changes. Hospital employers need to stay on top of new laws and regulations, important case decisions and shifting enforcement positions that will impact operations and employee relations policies. There’s a lot to know. Expert faculty at the annual Labor and Employment Law seminar will do the analysis for you, explaining the issues in the context of health care operations.

Recording

New California Pregnancy and Disability Regulations Webinar DVD
What the new regulations mean to hospitals and employees

Webinar Recorded Live February 28, 2013

Recently, California’s Fair Employment and Housing Commission issued new regulations to guide compliance with pregnancy and disability laws. Some aspects of the new regulations confirm what we “thought” the rules meant. Others impose entirely new standards to follow and raise the bar on existing obligations. It’s imperative for employers to closely review and understand the new state regulations.

Publication

Employee Handbook and Personnel Policies Manual
Covers the full range of policies

Designed for all employers, this manual covers the full range of policies included in personnel handbooks. It is a must-have for employers who want to avoid common pitfalls.

Please note: This manual is available to members only and is offered at a special CHA discount.

730 pages (12th edition, 2011)

 

Publication

Employment Discrimination and EEO Practice Manual for California Employers
A complete, nontechnical guide

Human resources professionals will learn how to comply with applicable state and federal employment discrimination laws and the cost of noncompliance.

Please note: This manual is available to members only and is offered at a special CHA discount.

780 pages (9th edition, 2009)

Overview

Legal

CHA’s legal department advocates vigorously before the courts on behalf of California hospitals, both as a party in litigation and as amicus curiae in important appellate cases. In addition, the CHA legal department prepares legal memoranda and manuals to help hospitals understand and comply with state and federal laws. The CHA legal department also supports CHA staff in their advocacy efforts before the state legislature and regulatory agencies.

CHA News Article

California Supreme Court Denies Review in Hospital Case Against Blue Cross
Case focused on calculating payment for authorized post-stabilization emergency medical services

Yesterday, the California Supreme Court denied review in Children’s Hospital Central California v. Blue Cross of California, and denied a request that the Court of Appeal’s decision be “depublished.” The case arose from a dispute between the hospital and Blue Cross over the basis for calculating the amount Blue Cross owed the hospital for authorized post-stabilization emergency medical services provided to beneficiaries enrolled in Blue Cross’ Medi-Cal managed care plan during a 10-month period when the parties were not in contract. Under the appellate court’s decision, hospitals may be paid less by non-contracted plans for authorized post-stabilization emergency medical services.

Recording

Principles of Consent and Advance Health Care Directives Webinar
A program for those new to health care or professionals seeking to refresh their knowledge

Webinar Recorded Live on October 1, 2014

Overview

Consent is more than a signature on a form
Patients have the right to make treatment decisions, but ensuring that they understand their options and associated risks is not easy. And while the responsibility for obtaining informed consent falls to physicians, your hospital is responsible for making sure that consent was obtained and documented.

Education event

Advanced Decision Making for EMTALA Webinar
EMTALA principles, case scenario learning, surveyor compliance tips

November 14, 2014
10:00 a.m. – Noon, Pacific Time

Whether you are a sending or receiving hospital, many factors must be considered when dealing with a potential EMTALA situation. Knowing the right thing to do isn’t easy, especially in a stressful or busy emergency department. Health care professionals are encouraged to attend this advanced session on complex, but common, EMTALA issues.

CHA News Article

California Supreme Court Extends Deadline for Deciding Whether to Review Hospital Case Against Blue Cross

Last week, the California Supreme Court extended its deadline from Sept. 16 to Oct. 16 to decide whether to grant review in the Children’s Hospital Central California v. Blue Cross California case. The case arose from a dispute between the hospital and Blue Cross of California over the basis for calculating the amount Blue Cross owed the hospital for authorized post-stabilization emergency services provided to beneficiaries enrolled in Blue Cross’s Medi-Cal managed care plan while the hospital and Blue Cross were not in contract.

Recording

Responding to Licensing and Certification Deficiencies Webinar
New CDPH penalties, working with surveyors, plans of correction, appeal process

Webinar Recorded Live on May 21, 2014

Overview

You’ve received a licensing violation. You may have been expecting it from a recent survey, or it may have come as a complete surprise. One thing is for certain, survey activity — and subsequent violations — will be more common now that California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued new regulations for hospital penalties, including non-immediate jeopardy violations.

Overview

Quality & Patient Safety

CHA is committed to helping hospitals improve quality, reduce medical errors and adverse events, and maximize patient safety.

CHA’s vision is an “optimally healthy society.” CHA’s goal is for “every Californian to have equitable access to affordable, high-quality, medically necessary health care.”

CHA News Article

New Initiative to Support Clinicians in Quality Improvement Strategies

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has launched the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative, which will provide up to $840 million over the next four years to support clinicians in sharing, adapting and further developing comprehensive quality improvement strategies. CMS will award cooperative agreement funding to applicants participating in one of two network systems.

CHA News Article

Data Submission Period for OQR Measures Approaching
Web-based measures to be submitted by Nov. 1

CHA reminds hospitals that the data submission for web-based outpatient quality reporting (OQR) measures ends Nov. 1 at 11:59 p.m. (PT). Data submitted for these measures should cover the reference period of Jan. 1, 2013 – Dec. 21, 2013. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued tips for submitting OP-22 (ED Patient Left Without Being Seen) and OP-26 (Hospital Outpatient Volume on Selected Outpatient Surgical Procedures).

CHA News Article

Registration Open for CMS Call on HCAHPS Star Ratings
CMS also to host call on dialysis star ratings

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will host a national provider call Oct. 8 from 10:30 a.m. – noon (PT) on its planned star rating system for survey data from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS). As noted last week in CHA News, CMS is currently conducting a dry run of the rating system for hospitals on Hospital Compare, scheduled to end Oct. 14. During the dry run, hospitals can preview how their HCAHPS data would appear in the star rating system and provide feedback to CMS on how to improve the system at the QualityNet portal. At the same time, they can preview and validate their quality data to be added to the Hospital Compare website in December. The five-star ratings are not scheduled to appear on Hospital Compare until April 2015. For assistance accessing preview reports, contact HospitalCompare@hsag.com. Online registration is available for the national provider call.

CHA News Article

CMS to Host Dry Run Call on Heart Failure and Pneumonia Measures
Dry run for HCAPHS star rating systems also announced

As an educational component of its “dry run” for measures in the hospital inpatient quality reporting program, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will host a national provider call on heart failure and pneumonia payment measures Sept. 16 from noon – 1:30 p.m. (PT). The call will present hospitals with an overview of the measures and guidance on interpretation of measure data and results. To participate, hospitals must pre-register on QualityNet’s website. The dry run of heart failure and pneumonia payment measures was initiated Sept. 8 and will run through Oct. 7. 

CHA News Article

CMS Extends Review and Corrections Period for Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has extended the review and corrections period for the federal fiscal year 2015 hospital readmissions reduction program to 11:59 p.m. (PT) on Sept. 22. During this time, hospitals may access their hospital-specific report (HSR), which contains detailed information about their excess readmission ratios, prior to public reporting of the data.

Overview

Reimbursement

California hospitals’ revenue stream is critical to their overall mission of providing care and cures in the communities they serve. While over half of hospitals’ revenue, nearly $30 billion a year, is derived from government-funded programs, including Medicare, Medi-Cal, Healthy Families and county indigent programs – Private Insurance revenues are also significant.

CHA believes that hospitals should be reimbursed adequately to cover the cost of care for enrollees.

CHA News Article

Noridian to Host Open Door Coverage Meeting Sept. 16

Noridian will hold a public Part A open door coverage meeting Sept. 16 from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in Los Angeles. Discussion will include information on the Recovery Audit Contractor program; local coverage determinations in various stages; medical review; comprehensive error rate testing; contractor medical director updates; and a question-and-answer period.

CHA News Article For Members

CHA Summary Details Payment, Policy Provisions of FFY 2015 IPPS Final Rule

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) estimates that national hospital inpatient payments will decrease by 0.6 percent in FFY 2015 as compared to FFY 2014, despite a positive market basket update. CHA estimates that total payments to California hospitals will increase by 0.8 percent, or approximately $90.7 million, compared to FFY 2014. While overall the impact for California is positive, this masks the continued reductions for documentation and coding, the devastating cuts to Medicare DSH payments, and significant penalties for readmissions and hospital acquired conditions that many hospitals will experience when the policies take effect Oct. 1. Details of the impacts are outlined in the attached CHA summary of the inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) final rule for federal fiscal year (FFY) 2015.

CHA News Article

DHCS Announces Fix for Certain Erroneously Denied Medi-Cal Claims

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has announced that Medi-Cal has fixed an issue with an erroneous denial of All Patient Refined Diagnosis Related Group (APR-DRG) type of bill code 121.

CHA News Article

Hospitals Encouraged to Complete RACTrac Surveys by Tomorrow’s Deadline

The American Hospital Association’s (AHA) RACTrac survey data is used specifically to analyze the impact of the Medicare Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) program on hospitals and helps to guide CHA’s advocacy for important and necessary changes in the RAC program. AHA membership is not required to participate in RACTrac; CHA encourages all hospitals to participate regardless of AHA membership status. As part of the survey, participants are asked include information on the number of claims withdrawn from appeal to rebill for Part B payment. For registration information, contact AHA’s RACTrac support at (888) 722-8712 or ractracsupport@providercs.com. For more on the survey, including the latest results, visit www.aha.org/ractrac.

CHA News Article

HRSA Releases Interpretive Rule on 340B Orphan Drug Discounts

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) have issued the attached interpretive rule on the 340B Drug Pricing Program. The rule continues to allow hospitals subject to the “orphan drug” exclusion to purchase those drugs through the 340B program when the drugs are not used to treat the rare conditions for which the orphan drug designation was given. In May, a federal court vacated HHS’ adoption of a regulation to implement the orphan drug exclusion policy. The interpretive rule is effective July 23.

Overview

Workforce

California Hospitals are concerned about the need for an adequate supply of highly skilled health professionals to meet the demands for health care services now and in the future. Numerous studies have been completed that validate the need to address critical health professional shortages in nursing and the allied health occupations.  However, efforts to implement recommended strategies have been hindered by a lack of a coordinated statewide effort involving health employers, as well as other necessary partners. 

Education event

Labor and Employment Law Seminar
Updates on wage and hour, safe patient handling, high-profile union agreement

November 5, Glendale
November 13, Sacramento

This program is for executives of CHA-member hospitals only

Every year the HR landscape changes. Hospital employers need to stay on top of new laws and regulations, important case decisions and shifting enforcement positions that will impact operations and employee relations policies. There’s a lot to know. Expert faculty at the annual Labor and Employment Law seminar will do the analysis for you, explaining the issues in the context of health care operations.

CHA News Article

President Obama Signs Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

This week, President Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). WIOA is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training and support services to succeed in the labor market, and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy.

CHA News Article

OSHPD Seeks Primary Care Residency Task Force Members

The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) has formed a new Primary Care Residency (PCR) Task Force and is soliciting applications from interested individuals. Task force members will serve as subject matter experts to help develop recommendations and implement the PCR program for a two-year commitment ending in June 2016. An application and a complete list of roles and responsibilities are available on the OSHPD website. Applications are due July 23. For more information about the PCR Task Force contact Melissa Oman, program administrator, at (916) 326-3753, or email questions to SongBrown@oshpd.ca.gov.

CHA News Article

Health Careers Training and Workforce Development Grants Available

The Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is now accepting applications for its Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) Skills Training and Health Workforce Development of Paraprofessionals grants. The $2 million in grants will be available from Sept. 1, 2014, through Aug. 31, 2017, to train and expand the health paraprofessional workforce to meet community employment needs.

CHA News Article

Hospitals Can Apply for Residency Slots From Closed Teaching Hospital
Applications are due Sept. 2

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) this week announced that hospitals can apply for a portion of 27 Medicare residency slots made available after the closure of Long Beach Medical Center in New York. The Affordable Care Act authorizes CMS to redistribute residency cap slots after a hospital that trained residents in an approved medical residency program closes. Guidelines for submitting applications are available on the CMS website. Applications must be received in the CMS Central Office by Sept. 2, and hospitals must notify CMS of their mailed submissions by email.

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