Hospital Topics

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 Re-Issues AFL Related to California Hospital Fair Pricing Policies
Outlines recent changes to law under SB 1276

On Dec. 4, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) re-issued an All Facilities Letter (AFL) notifying hospitals of recent changes to hospital fair billing policies — including charity care and discount payment plans — as a result of the enactment of SB 1276 (Chapter 758, Statutes of 2014). CDPH’s previous AFL 14-25 (dated Nov. 3) inaccurately stated that SB 1276 expands the availability of charity care and discount payment plans to all patients with high medical costs, including patients with third-party coverage. Under current hospital fair pricing policies, all uninsured patients or patients with high medical costs who are at or below 350 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) are eligible to participate under a hospital’s charity care or discount payment policy (Health & Safety Code Section 127405(a)(1)(A)). The revised AFL clarifies the meaning of “patients with high medical costs” as “a person whose family income does not exceed 350 percent of the federal poverty level.”

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.

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 Updates Title 22 Licensing Fee, Diesel Generator Regulations

The California Department of Public Health has updated sections of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations related to licensing fees and diesel generator testing so they conform to changes previously enacted in statute. Because the changes were enacted through statute, they do not have a “regulatory effect” and are not required to go through the standard regulatory development process. A list of the affected Title 22 sections that have been amended or repealed is attached. Also attached are the updated sections.

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

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

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

Webinar Recorded Live on November 14, 2014

Overview

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.

Recording

Minors Health Care — The Basics of Consent, Privacy and More Webinar
Learn about the rules, exceptions to the rules, practical solutions to common problems

Webinar Recorded Live on October 29, 2014

Overview

This scenario plays out in hospitals every day: grandmother, teacher, neighbor or concerned friend brings a minor to the hospital. No parent in sight. Now what?

Can you treat the minor? Whose consent do you need? Who should you talk to about the minor’s treatment options? These are all too common questions that often challenge the most seasoned health care providers.

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.

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

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

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

Hospitals Should Conduct Risk Assessments When Lowering OR Humidity Below 30 Percent
Report identifies issues, offers guidance

The attached report, Relative Humidity Levels in the Operating Room Joint Communication to Healthcare Delivery Organizations, January 2015, was developed by a broad group of interested stakeholders to identify issues hospitals may confront and offers assessment guidance for lowering the operating room relative humidity (RH) below 30 percent.

CHA News Article

ARB to Host Refrigerant Management Webinar Dec. 11
Annual reports due March 1 to Refrigerant Management Program

Hospitals with medium and large refrigeration systems, refrigerant distributors and refrigerant reclaimers are required to submit their 2015 annual reports to the California Air Resources Board’s (ARB) Refrigerant Management Program by March 1, 2015. In addition, facilities with large and medium refrigeration systems must pay their annual implementation fee by March 1. To review the requirements and procedures for filing annual reports and pay fees using ARB’s online Refrigerant Registration and Reporting tool (known as R3), ARB will hold a free webinar Dec. 11 from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. (PT). The webinar will also highlight and demonstrate recent updates to the R3 tool. To register, visit https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/125965233. The webinar will be recorded and posted to the program web page and will be repeated Jan. 13, 2015, at 1 p.m. (PT).

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.

Overview

Emergency Preparedness
Is your hospital prepared?

Visit CHA’s Emergency Preparedness website at calhospitalprepare.org

About

Through the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Office of Preparedness and Emergency Operations, Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) grant, CHA has created a web site specifically devoted to Emergency Preparedness at www.calhospitalprepare.org.

   
CHA News Article

2014 California Hospital Emergency Code Survey Results Available

CHA has announced that its 2014 Hospital Emergency Code Survey results are now available. While most health care facilities use some form of emergency code system to relay urgent information to hospital personnel during emergency incidents, the application of the codes is not always consistent between facilities. Standardizing hospital emergency codes is vital to reducing confusion and allowing staff to appropriately respond to emergency incidents. The third survey conducted in the past five years, this year’s report incorporates data from the previous surveys (2009 and 2011). The findings — including statewide data as well as data for the three Regional Associations — reveal sustained progress in hospital emergency code implementation among California health care facilities.

CHA News Article

Disaster Planning Conference Fortifies Hospital Preparedness

More than 800 people — including hospital staff, local, state and federal officials – gathered this week in Sacramento (see photo gallery) to strengthen hospital disaster preparedness and build collaboration to ensure continuity of care. The conference theme – Get Ready, Stay Ready – highlighted readiness and resilience in the aftermath of a disaster.

CHA News Article

September Is National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month – a time when individuals, businesses and communities are encouraged to plan and prepare for a disaster. This year’s theme, “Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare,” underscores the importance of developing a plan to employ when a disaster occurs – such as the recent 6.0 magnitude earthquake in Napa Valley and numerous wildfires across California.

CHA News Article

CHA Reminds Hospitals to Complete Emergency Code Survey
Deadline is Aug. 15

Last month, CHA and the Regional Associations launched a hospital emergency code survey.  The associations urge those who have not yet completed the brief survey to do so by the Aug. 15 deadline. All information collected will be summarized and made available to hospitals and health systems.

CHA News Article

CHA Launches Hospital Emergency Code Survey
Deadline to respond is Aug. 15

CHA, in partnership with the Regional Associations, is conducting a survey of hospital emergency codes in California. The associations recognize that many hospitals and health systems may be in the process of updating their organizations’ emergency codes. Periodic surveys provide aggregate data revealing current trends that may be helpful in updating the codes.

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.

CHA News Article

Governor Unveils 2015-16 State Budget

Gov. Jerry Brown has released his $113 billion budget plan for 2015-16. In this year’s budget, elimination of the retroactive rate reductions imposed on hospital-based skilled-nursing facilities pursuant to AB 97 in 2011 remains a top priority for CHA.

Education event

Hospital Compliance Seminar
New IRS and state financial assistance policy requirements, breach reporting law, disclosures and the 60-day rule

February 3, 2015 Long Beach
February 10, 2015 Sacramento

The compliance officer has a role to play in most areas of hospital operations. This year’s program will provide compliance professionals with information and practical guidance to stay compliant within our increasingly complex health care delivery system. All attendees receive a free copy of the 2015 California Hospital Compliance Manual.

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.

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

Governor Appoints New DHCS Director

Gov. Jerry Brown announced yesterday that he has appointed Jennifer Kent to replace Toby Douglas as director of the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS). Douglas announced his retirement in late 2014. Kent has been executive director at Local Health Plans of California since 2013, and was a principal at Health Management Associates from 2011 to 2013. She served as associate director at DHCS in 2011, where she was also deputy director of legislative and governmental affairs from 2004 to 2007. Kent also served as a deputy legislative secretary for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger from 2008 to 2010, associate secretary of legislative affairs at the California Health and Human Services Agency from 2007 to 2008, and director of government and external affairs at the California Optometric Association from 1999 to 2004. CHA looks forward to working with Kent to find solutions that improve the state’s Medi-Cal program. Her appointment requires Senate confirmation.

CHA News Article

Stakeholder Session on 1115 Waiver Renewal and Proposed Shared Savings Initiative Set for Jan. 30
DHCS engages stakeholders in 1115 waiver renewal process

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) will hold a stakeholder session Jan. 30 from 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. in Sacramento  — and concurrently via webinar — to discuss its proposed federal-state shared savings initiative, a key concept of recent 1115 waiver renewal discussions. The initiative would maximize federal financial investment in California’s public safety net and allow the state to implement other waiver initiatives that incentivize delivery system transformation that can result in optimal health outcomes for Medi-Cal members. The session is open to the public, and stakeholders may submit comments in person or through a web-based portal. Meeting materials and an agenda will be posted to the DHCS website in advance of the meeting, and online webinar registration is available.

CHA News Article

New Cal MediConnect Enrollment Data Available

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has released new Cal MediConnect enrollment data through Jan. 1. The updated data include total active enrollments by county, projected enrollments by plan, total active enrollments by plan, the DHCS Health Care Options (HCO) mailing schedule of enrollment materials to beneficiaries, HCO call center statistics, opt-out requests by month and by county, and a monthly opt-out trend for the most recent three months. In addition, DHCS has released a comparison chart of Cal MediConnect enrollment, opt-out and disenrollment data by county.

The Cal MediConnect program is part of California’s larger Coordinated Care Initiative (CCI). For more information about the CCI, including information for providers, visit the CalDuals website at www.calduals.org.

CHA News Article

DHCS to Host CCS Program Redesign Stakeholder Advisory Board Meeting

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) will hold a California Children’s Services (CCS) Redesign Stakeholder Advisory Board (RSAB) meeting Jan. 23 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. in Sacramento. The RSAB, composed of individuals from various organizations and backgrounds with expertise in both the CCS program and care for children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN), will provide feedback to DHCS as it explores potential program improvements and design changes to improve access to health care for CYSHCN and eliminate fragmentation in the current health care delivery system. Topics for discussion include goals and considerations for the CCS redesign; an update on current program data; program vision, survey results and technical workgroup topics; program successes based on survey results, Stanford data analysis and RSAB input; and additional information necessary to make decisions.

CHA News Article

Next Monthly CCI Stakeholder Call to be Held Jan. 16

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) will conduct its next monthly Coordinated Care Initiative (CCI) stakeholder call Jan. 16 from 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. (PT). DHCS is scheduled to cover the January transition and enrollment dashboard, as well as offer stakeholders the opportunity to hear from two new members of DHCS leadership – Claudia Crist, deputy director, health care delivery systems, and Hannah Katch, assistant deputy director, health care delivery systems. DHCS is also interested in hearing feedback from stakeholders about CCI implementation progress in their counties and will include time for stakeholder questions. Interested participants should register online for the call. For more information about the CCI, visit www.calduals.org.

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 Plans to Modify EHR Incentive Programs to Reduce Provider Burden

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today in a blog post that it intends to engage in rulemaking this spring to revise the Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record (EHR) incentive programs to make them less burdensome for providers. CMS states it is considering proposals to shorten the 2015 reporting period to 90 days, realign hospital reporting periods to the calendar year, and modify additional aspects of the program to match long-term goals, reduce complexity, and lessen providers’ reporting burden. CHA supports the goals that CMS has laid out and is looking forward to engaging members in responding to the specifics proposed in future rulemaking.

CHA News Article

CDC to Release Information on Infection Ratios Tomorrow
CHA to provide hospital talking points

Tomorrow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will release health care-associated standardized infection ratios for central line-associated bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, surgical site infections, and methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus and clostridium difficile infections. CDC will compare rates from 2012 to 2013 and from 2008 (or the earliest year data were reported on a measure) to 2013 in its report, which will include national data, as well as a “progress report” tracking specific infections by state. CHA will include details of the CDC announcement and provide member hospitals with talking points in tomorrow’s CHA News.  

CHA News Article

ONC Issues 2015-20 Strategic Plan Focusing on Interoperability of Health IT

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has issued its Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020. The plan describes the government’s strategies to achieve five goals: expand the adoption of health information technology (IT); advance secure and interoperable health information; strengthen health care delivery; advance the health and well-being of individuals and communities; and advance research, scientific knowledge and innovation. Federal partners, in coordination with federal advisory committees — including the Health IT Policy and Standards Committees, interagency groups and ONC — will implement the plan and review progress for each goal, including identifying milestones, measurement and reporting tools, and risk mitigation. ONC is accepting public comments on the plan, which are due by Feb. 6. The full plan is available for download on ONC’s website.

Recording

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

Webinar Recorded Live on November 14, 2014

Overview

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.

CHA News Article

Applications for EHR Hardship Exception Due Nov. 30

CHA reminds members that the submission period for hardship exception applications for eligible professionals and hospitals to avoid the federal fiscal year 2015 Medicare payment penalties for not demonstrating meaningful use of certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) has been reopened until Nov. 30. Eligible hospitals that have never met meaningful use may apply for the hardship exception application submission period if they meet both of the following criteria: 1) the provider was unable to attest by July 1, 2014, and 2) the provider has been unable to fully implement 2014 Edition CEHRT by the July 1 deadline due to delays in 2014 Edition CEHRT availability. If approved, the hardship exception is valid for one payment year only. The hardship exception application is available along with more information at the CMS website.

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

Understanding Unemployment Insurance Risk in the Health Care Setting
How CAHHS UID’s hospital-focused program can better protect your organization

February 25, 2015
10:00 – 11:00 a.m., Pacific Time
A complimentary, CHA members-only webinar

Hospitals are exceptionally complicated businesses employing hundreds to thousands of individuals. No organization understands this diverse workforce better than the CAHHS Unemployment Insurance Division (UID). This complimentary program will introduce CHA members to CAHHS UID and offer practical, straightforward strategies to minimize unemployment insurance risk within your hospital-based organization or health system. 

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)

Publication

Wage and Hour Manual for California Employers
A guide on legal requirements affecting wage and hour practices

Covers state and federal wage and hour laws, the Fair Labor Standards Act, Industrial Welfare Commission wage orders and Labor Commission policies.

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

900 pages (16th edition, 2013)

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.

Education event

Hospital Compliance Seminar
New IRS and state financial assistance policy requirements, breach reporting law, disclosures and the 60-day rule

February 3, 2015 Long Beach
February 10, 2015 Sacramento

The compliance officer has a role to play in most areas of hospital operations. This year’s program will provide compliance professionals with information and practical guidance to stay compliant within our increasingly complex health care delivery system. All attendees receive a free copy of the 2015 California Hospital Compliance Manual.

Recording

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

Webinar Recorded Live on November 14, 2014

Overview

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.

Recording

Minors Health Care — The Basics of Consent, Privacy and More Webinar
Learn about the rules, exceptions to the rules, practical solutions to common problems

Webinar Recorded Live on October 29, 2014

Overview

This scenario plays out in hospitals every day: grandmother, teacher, neighbor or concerned friend brings a minor to the hospital. No parent in sight. Now what?

Can you treat the minor? Whose consent do you need? Who should you talk to about the minor’s treatment options? These are all too common questions that often challenge the most seasoned health care providers.

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.

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

Submission Deadline for HAI Data and PC-01 Approaching for IQR Hospitals
Hospitals must submit data through QualityNet by Feb. 15

CHA reminds hospitals participating in the inpatient quality reporting (IQR) program that the submission deadline for clinical and health care-associated infection (HAI) data and for the perinatal care web-based measure (PC-01) is Sunday, Feb. 15 at 11:59 p.m. (PT). Eligible IQR hospitals with an active IQR Notice of Participation are required to upload clinical data and complete the PC-01 submission using the Web-Based Measures data entry tool through the QualityNet Secure Portal. Hospitals that do not deliver babies must enter a zero for PC-01 each discharge quarter, rather than leave the field blank. To verify the status of a clinical data submission, hospitals should run their Provider Participation Report, Case Status Summary Report and other applicable reports. To verify the status of a PC-01 submission, run the Provider Participation Report or check the Inpatient Web-Based Measures summary screen. Hospitals with questions should visit the inpatient questions & answers tool at https://cms-ip.custhelp.com.

CHA News Article

CMS Seeks Comments on Measure Selection Criteria for Hospital Five-Star Quality Ratings
CHA seeks member input for comments due Feb. 25

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued the attached report for public comment following the first of three technical expert panel (TEP) meetings on the development of a five-star quality rating system for hospitals. The report provides background on the hospital quality star ratings project, as well as an overview of the steps involved in developing the methodology. It also describes measure selection criteria and includes a list of measures under consideration for inclusion in and exclusion from the star rating system. CMS specifically seeks comments on the TEP’s measure selection criteria. CHA will submit comments, due to CMS by Feb. 25, and is interested in member input. Please submit comments to CHA as well as directly to CMS at cmsstarratings@lantanagroup.com.

CHA News Article

HHS Announces Plan to Expand Alternative Payment Models, Tie Reimbursement to Quality

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today a plan for shifting 30 percent of traditional Medicare fee-for-service reimbursements to alternative payment models − such as accountable care organizations (ACOs) or bundled payment arrangements − by 2016, and to 50 percent by the end of 2018. Acknowledging that not all providers will be able to participate in ACOs or other alternative payment models, HHS also announced it will seek to link 90 percent of all fee-for-service payments to quality metrics through programs such as hospital value-based purchasing by 2018. Some of the changes would require congressional action prior to implementation.

CHA News Article

CDC to Release Information on Infection Ratios Tomorrow
CHA to provide hospital talking points

Tomorrow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will release health care-associated standardized infection ratios for central line-associated bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, surgical site infections, and methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus and clostridium difficile infections. CDC will compare rates from 2012 to 2013 and from 2008 (or the earliest year data were reported on a measure) to 2013 in its report, which will include national data, as well as a “progress report” tracking specific infections by state. CHA will include details of the CDC announcement and provide member hospitals with talking points in tomorrow’s CHA News.  

CHA News Article

IPF Quality Reporting Data Available for Preview Until Jan. 29
Save the date for monthly IPFQR updates

CHA encourages organizations participating in the inpatient psychiatric facility quality reporting (IPFQR) program to preview their hospital-based inpatient psychiatric services data through Jan. 29. The Hospital Inpatient Value, Incentives, and Quality Reporting (VIQR) outreach and education support contractor has prepared an IPFQR program guide, which includes instructions for accessing the preview reports. Questions regarding the IPFQR preview report or program may be directed to the IPF support contractor by emailing IPFQualityReporting@HCQIS.org or calling (866) 800-8765, Monday-Friday from 5 a.m. – 5 p.m. (PT). Additionally, the IPF support contractor will hold monthly webinars on the third Thursday of each month at 11 a.m. (PT). To receive materials and information to participate in the webinars, join the IPFQR listserv on the QualityNet portal.

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

Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Claims Held Until Jan. 14

To correct technical errors discovered after publication of the calendar year (CY) 2015 Medicare physician fee schedule (PFS) final rule and to process claims correctly, Medicare Administrative Contractors will hold claims containing 2015 services paid under the PFS for the first 14 calendar days of January 2015 (Jan. 1 – Jan. 14). The hold should have minimal impact on provider cash flow as, under current law, clean electronic claims are not paid sooner than 14 calendar days (29 days for paper claims) after the date of receipt. PFS claims for services rendered on or before Dec. 31, 2014, are unaffected by the 2015 claims hold and will be processed and paid under normal procedures and time frames. 

CHA News Article

VA Issues Interim Final Rule Implementing Veterans Choice Program
Establishes payment rates, eligibility criteria for participating non-VA health care providers

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has released the attached interim final rule implementing provisions of the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014. The final rule establishes payment rates and methodologies for reimbursing participating non-VA health care entities and providers furnishing care and services through the Veterans Choice Program. The final rule also establishes the scope of the program, including the types of care and services that are covered, and defines eligibility criteria both for veterans and non-VA health care providers. In addition, the rule establishes a claims processing system to be managed by the Veterans Health Administration’s chief business office. The interim final rule will be effective Nov. 5, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will accept comments for 120 days. CHA is currently reviewing the rule and will provide a detailed summary in the coming weeks.

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.

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. 

CHA News Article

OSHPD Offers $4 Million for Primary Care Residency Funding
RFA to be released this week

The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) has announced $4 million in state funding to support new primary care residency slots. Eligible residency programs include family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) and pediatrics. Additional state funding of $2.84 million is available to expand the Song-Brown Program to include internal medicine, OB/GYN and pediatric residency programs. OSHPD expects to release the RFA Jan. 14.

For additional information about applicant registration and submission, webinars, application instructions/guidance and meeting dates, www.oshpd.ca.gov/HWDD/Song_Brown_Prog.html.

CHA News Article

HRSA to Offer Grant Funding for Advanced Nursing Education

The Health Resources and Services Administration has announced a funding opportunity to support the enhancement of advanced nursing education and practice. It is anticipated that projects will develop and test innovative academic-practice partnership models for clinical training in graduate nursing education programs that prepare students to provide safe, quality care within the complex practice-based environment of the nation’s evolving health care system. Awardees will create one or more innovative partnerships between academic institutions and rural or underserved clinical practice sites to improve the quality of clinical sites and preceptors, improve preceptor training and promote students’ readiness to practice when they graduate.

CHA News Article

OSHPD Financial Incentive Program Deadlines Are This Month

Two important application deadlines are upcoming for the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development financial incentive programs. The State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP), which assists with the repayment of qualified educational loans for health care professionals who provide services in federally designated California Health Professional Shortage Areas and in SLRP certified eligible sites, is accepting applications until Nov. 15. For information on how to apply or to learn about eligibility requirements, visit http://oshpd.ca.gov/HWDD/SLRP.html.

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

CHA Releases Health Facility Work-Based Learning Program Guide

CHA, in partnership with the California Department of Education, has created the Health Facility Work-Based Learning Program Guide in response to requests from hospitals for information, tools and tips for partnering with local K-12 educational institutions. The guide’s purpose is to provide a resource for all health care employers (not just hospitals) seeking work-based learning partnerships with local K-12 institutions. Not only is it intended to be used by employers developing new partnerships, it can also serve as a valuable tool for existing work-based learning programs. The guide features a spectrum of model employer/K-12 partnerships that serve as real life examples of successful programs. It also includes turn-key forms and documents that can be used when developing a program, as well as links to additional information. The guide is attached.

Commands