The California Hospital Association provides member hospitals and
health systems with representation and advocacy in the
legislative and regulatory arenas. CHA advocates to
maintain and improve access to high-quality, cost-effective, safe
hospital and hospital-related services.
Whether policy is being shaped at the state or federal level, the
power and impact of our collective voices strengthen CHA’s
effectiveness. CHA’s dynamic team works collaboratively to
maintain a unified statewide network for legislative action,
educating and advocating on behalf of hospitals.
CHA-sponsored AB 900 (Alejo, D-Salinas), which would reverse
pending cuts implemented by AB 97 in 2011, today passed out of
the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The bill, which previously
had been expanded to include many provider groups, was reportedly
amended to focus on cuts to distinct-part skilled-nursing
facilities. CHA will provide additional information as soon
as it becomes available.
CHA also learned today that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
has denied CHA’s motion for an en banc review of the December
2012 decision that cleared the way for state implementation of
the Medi-Cal cuts. In the attached CHA media
statement on the court’s decision, CHA President/CEO C. Duane
Dauner states that “We are evaluating next steps in terms of the
judicial process. Today’s decision only reinforces CHA’s effort
as part of a bipartisan statewide coalition to reverse the cuts
as part of the state budget process.”
Issued weekly during the legislative session, the Key State
Issues report provides an insider’s view on the progress of
high-priority health-related bills moving through the legislative
process. For more information, please see the
attached May 23 Key State Issues.
CHA has released a new online video illustrating the vital role that nonprofit hospitals play in the communities they serve. The video profiles an innovative mobile medical clinic program in Los Angeles County that would be jeopardized by the passage of AB 975 (Wieckowski, D-Fremont).
CHA is a member of the statewide We Care for California
coalition – an organization that is coordinating the largest
ever health care gathering on June 4 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at
the front of the State Capitol. With help from CHA members,
thousands of hospital employees, physicians, dentists, insurers,
hospital administrators, first-responders, elected leaders and
others will gather at the rally to call on legislators and the
Governor to restore $1 billion in funding that was cut from the
Medi-Cal budget. The June 4 rally complements CHA’s public
advocacy campaign to enact AB 900 and SB 640, which are aimed at
reversing the Medi-Cal cuts to hospital distinct-part
skilled-nursing facilities and other providers.
Described by Gov. Brown’s administration as “the most stable
fiscal footing in well over a decade,” the May revision of the
state’s 2013-14 budget was released May 14, maintaining a $1.1
billion reserve. The revision does not include a reversal of
the Medi-Cal cuts to distinct-part skilled-nursing
We Care for California (WCCA), a statewide coalition of health care leaders, is mobilizing the largest Sacramento gathering of health care providers, workers, first responders and payers in the history of California to show support for AB 900 and SB 640. The June 4 rally — 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the state Capitol — is a crucial piece of a larger campaign
CHA members representing facilities throughout the state began
meeting with members of Congress yesterday to discuss federal
policies vital to hospitals this year. Participating in CHA’s
California Congressional Action Program in conjunction with the
American Hospital Association’s Annual Meeting, teams of
California executives met in the Congressional offices of many
lawmakers to advocate for such key issues as preventing payment
cuts to California’s disproportionate share hospitals; improving
the Medicare Recovery Audit Contractor program; ensuring access
to care for California’s low-income seniors and disabled people
who are enrolled in both Medi-Cal and Medicare; and preserving
funding for the Hospital Preparedness Program. Members will
continue their meetings and issue discussions today. See
tomorrow’s CHA News for additional updates and photos.
The California Hospital Association (CHA) applauds today’s
bipartisan 17-0 vote by the Assembly Health Committee to approve
AB 900, which would reverse devastating Medi-Cal cuts to health
care providers. Although these reductions amount to a 10
percent reduction for doctors and most other health care
providers, the payment cuts are much deeper – averaging 25
percent or greater – for hospital-based skilled-nursing units.
CHA member Sara Steinhoffer, vice president, government
relations, for Sharp HealthCare in San Diego, has been awarded
the American Hospital Association’s prestigious Grassroots
Champion Award at its 2013 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. In
partnership with the state hospital associations, AHA recognizes
one individual from each state for their exceptional leadership
in generating grassroots and community activity for their
hospital’s mission. Winners are honored for their effectiveness
in educating elected officials on how major issues affect the
hospital’s vital role in the community, and for broadening
community support for their hospital and its patients.
Steinhoffer currently serves on the CHPAC Board of Directors and
CHA’s Public Advocacy Task Force.
CHA has created a toolkit to help members gain allies in the
fight against pending Medi-Cal cuts and impact the legislative
and budget negotiations taking place in Sacramento. The toolkit
is part of a comprehensive grassroots advocacy effort to defeat
Hospital executives along with their staff and patients joined a
bipartisan coalition of Democrat and Republican legislators, as
well as county and labor leaders, at a press conference April 10
to support AB 900 (Alejo, D-Salinas), a CHA-sponsored bill.
Citing California’s moral obligation to maintain the safety net
for its most vulnerable residents, participants from around the
state called on the Legislature to spare hospital-based
skilled-nursing facilities from destructive Medi-Cal cuts.
Amendments published today to SB 631 (Beall, D-San Jose),
sponsored by the California Nurses Association, would create new
requirements for hospitals related to the utilization of
observation and ambulatory care beds. The bill’s sponsor is
concerned that, with the advent of the Affordable Care Act,
hospitals are inappropriately using observation and ambulatory
care status and endangering patients. The new amendments insert
statutory language changing what was formerly a spot bill
containing only intent language to add sweeping changes to and
new requirements for observation patients, observation units, and
nurse-patient ratios for outpatient clinics doing any procedures
using more than local anesthesia. CHA has been closely
following this bill and, with the addition of today’s amendments,
needs member input and assistance to oppose the bill. CHA is
currently drafting opposition language and will notify members as
soon as it is available.
A press conference highlighting AB 900 (Alejo, D-Salinas) — a
CHA-sponsored bill that would rescind rate cuts to hospital-based
skilled-nursing facilities — will be held April 10 at
10 a.m. in room 317 at the State Capitol. The event will include
legislators, hospital representatives and others in an attempt to
raise awareness of the devastating impact the cuts will have on
patients and communities. As the kick-off for CHA’s efforts to
build support for AB 900, the press event is part of a grassroots
advocacy campaign to engage community and opinion leaders. Other
components of the campaign will include member impact videos, a
media tool kit and suggestions for additional ways members can
participate in legislative advocacy. CHA encourages all members
interested in tomorrow’s press conference to attend.
Last week Thomas Priselac, president and CEO of Cedars-Sinai
Health System, testified at a joint
informational hearing of the California Senate Health
Committee and the Senate Business and Professions Committee
regarding the importance of developing long-term sustainable
financing for graduate medical education (GME) in the state.
More than 200 hospital executives gathered March 13 to
hear details of CHA’s key legislative priorities and meet with
their lawmakers to discuss health care policy as part of Health
Policy Legislative Day.
CHA is finalizing its preparations for Health Policy Legislative Day on March 12–13 in
Sacramento. In addition to the education program and legislative
visits on Wednesday, March 13, 30 legislators are planning to
attend the breakfast reception with hospital members.
Gov. Jerry Brown issued a proclamation yesterday calling for a
special session of the Legislature to convene Jan. 28 “to
continue the work of implementing the federal Patient Protection
and Affordable Care Act.” In his proclamation, the Governor
states he is asking lawmakers to consider and act on legislation
to implement California’s private health coverage market,
specifically the individual and small group plans related to
guaranteed coverage, pre-existing condition exclusions and rating
restrictions. The Governor also wants lawmakers to address
Medi-Cal changes needed to implement federal law, including
requirements for eligibility, enrollment and retention. In
addition, he wants the Legislature to approve low-cost health
coverage options within Covered California, for individuals who
have incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level. For
the full proclamation, go tohttp://gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=17909.
Gov. Jerry Brown released Jan. 10 his proposed fiscal year (FY) 2013-14
state budget, which reflects $97.7 billion in spending,
including the creation of a $1 billion reserve. The projections
used to develop the 2013-14 budget are expected to achieve
balanced budgets in future years, but only by a narrow margin.
Under the Governor’s proposal, the state’s debt is expected to be
reduced by $4.2 billion.
President Obama has signed compromise legislation — H.R. 8 — to
partially avert the “fiscal cliff.” The measure was passed
by the House and Senate Jan. 1. The health care related
provisions in H.R. 8 include a twelve-month fix to avoid a 27
percent cut in payments to physicians for Medicare
CHA has finalized the 2012 Report on Legislation, which
summarizes important state health care legislation enacted during
the second year of the 2011-12 legislative session. Statutory
changes become effective Jan. 1, 2013, unless otherwise noted.
The report is available for members at www.calhospital.org/2012-report-legislation.