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CHA News
The core of CHA member benefits: the latest information for members

CHA provides timely information to its members on a daily basis through CHA News, issued at 3 p.m. every day, Monday through FridayThis section contains a chronological listing of CHA News articles. For information by topic, please visit the Hospital Topics section.

CHA News Article

CDPH Issues AFL as Guidance for Northern California Heat Wave

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued the attached All Facilities Letter (AFL) as guidance to health care facilities following an excessive heat warning for parts of Northern California from the National Weather Service. The heat advisory is in effect until 8 a.m. tomorrow. The AFL outlines precautionary measures for keeping individuals safe and comfortable during extreme weather conditions and reminds providers that CDPH requires all facilities to have a contingency plan that addresses loss or lack of air conditioning. Health care facilities are required to report all emergency/disaster-related occurrences to the CDPH Licensing and Certification Program.

CHA News Article

Submission Deadlines Approaching for IQR Program
Deadlines include population and sampling data, PC-01 measure

CHA reminds members that important submission periods and deadlines are approaching for hospitals participating in the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) program. The submission period for the perinatal care web-based measure (PC-01) runs from July 1 through Aug. 15, with a deadline of Aug. 15 at 11:59 p.m. (PT). Eligible IQR hospitals with an active IQR Notice of Participation are required to 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.

In addition, population and sampling data must be submitted by Aug. 1 at 11:59 p.m. (PT). Hospitals must submit the quarterly aggregate Medicare and Non-Medicare population and sample counts for the required IQR measure sets — including acute myocardial infarction, global stroke and venous thromboembolism — to meet IQR requirements and receive their full annual payment update. Hospitals with questions should visit the inpatient questions and answers tool at https://cms-ip.custhelp.com.

CHA News Article

GAO Report Finds Medicaid Managed Care Service Utilization Varies Widely Among States

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report this week that examined the level of services provided to Medicaid managed care beneficiaries, as requested by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee. GAO found that states varied considerably in how service utilization was distributed within service categories. Service utilization for both adult and child beneficiaries also varied by the length of enrollment. California was excluded from the GAO analysis due to unreliable data. The full report is available at www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-481.

CHA News Article

Two Mental Health Parity Resources Announced

This month, two resources have been launched to assist consumers, advocates and providers in addressing mental health parity issues. The Parity Implementation Coalition has collaborated with the Kennedy Forum to release the second edition of its resource guide for the federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. Titled Simplifying the Appeals Process: Strategies for Winning Disputes with your Health Plan, the free guide is intended to help individuals and families when their access to behavioral health services is denied or when their health plans refuse to pay after they have received treatment. In addition, the Kennedy Forum has also developed a web-based tool called ParityTrack to inform consumers about their rights under both state and federal parity laws by providing analysis of legislation, regulatory actions and litigation.

CHA News Article For Members

CMS Issues CY 2016 OPPS Proposed Rule
Includes proposed changes to two-midnight rule; comments due Aug. 31

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued the attached proposed rule updating the outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) for calendar year (CY) 2016. CMS estimates that overall payments for hospitals paid under the OPPS will decrease by 0.2 percent compared to CY 2015.

In addition to the payment and quality reporting provisions expected in the rule and discussed below, CMS proposes changes to the two-midnight policy — specifically to the requirements for the expectation of two midnights. However, CMS makes no changes to the presumption that any patient who remains in the hospital for two midnights is deemed to have a medically necessary stay. Further, CMS proposes to change its approach to education and review of patient status claims and give more authority and oversight to the quality improvement organizations.

News Release

CNA Bill Harms the Affordable Care Act and Community Benefit Programs
Similar politically motivated proposals have been defeated at the Capitol in the past two years

California’s not-for-profit hospitals would find their ability to carry out successful community benefit partnerships greatly harmed if Senate Bill (SB) 346 were passed and signed into law.  SB 346 by Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) would compromise the resources used by hospitals to tailor a wide array of community benefit programs to meet the specific health needs of their community. The bill would replace collaboration and flexibility with arbitrary formulas and rigid requirements that conflict with the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

News Release

New Legislation Enhances “Mission of Service” by California’s Not-For-Profit Hospitals
New Video Profiles Community Benefit Programs Offered Across California to Meet Local Needs

California’s not-for-profit hospitals support a diverse array of community benefit programs across the state that are tailored to meet specific local health care needs. Those programs would be strengthened by Assembly Bill (AB) 1046 by Assemblymember Matt Dababneh (D-Encino), which provides greater transparency and accountability in the reporting of these programs. These community benefit programs, which provide help to millions of vulnerable Californians, are the subject of a new video produced by the California Hospital Association.

News Release

San Diego Hospitals Seek “Bright Spots of Health” with Popular Teaching Kitchen Program
New Video Profiles Interactive Cooking Lessons Designed to Cultivate Healthy Lifestyles

Breaking down cultural barriers and preventing chronic disease just might be easier in the kitchen. That is the idea behind a hands-on Teaching Kitchen program in San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood that is the subject of a new video produced by the California Hospital Association.

News Release

Northern California Kaiser Executive Elected 2015 Board Chair of California Hospital Association
Gregory A. Adams Will Guide CHA in Coming Year

Gregory A. Adams, executive vice president and Northern California region president for Kaiser Permanente, has been elected 2015 chair of the California Hospital Association (CHA) Board of Trustees. 

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

Image of New Study by Economist and Former Finance Director  Tom Campbell Shows Access to Care At Risk from Mandates

(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.  

News Headlines

Today’s News Headlines

News Headlines Article

Study Predicts Huge Toll Of Hepatitis C Drugs On California Budget
Kaiser Health News

California taxpayers could be on the hook for billions of dollars to treat hepatitis C patients in various state-funded programs, according to a report released Tuesday by an insurers’ trade group.

The analysis commissioned by the California Association of Health Plans estimates that paying for the patients’ high-priced hepatitis C medications in prisons and state hospitals, or through Medi-Cal and other state programs, could range from $512 million to $5.1 billion. The wide-ranging estimates depend on how many patients are treated and how much the drugs are discounted by manufacturers.

Charles Bacchi, president and CEO of the association, said the report underscores what is to come in the near future when more costly prescription drugs are approved. The high costs aren’t sustainable for health plans, consumers or taxpayers, Bacchi said.

News Headlines Article

Doctors seek cause behind dramatic increase in ER trips for kids with food allergies
Hanford Sentinel

The rate of emergency room visits and hospitalizations of children with severe food allergy reactions nearly tripled in Illinois over five years, a recently released study by Northwestern Medicine reported, raising questions about the cause of such a dramatic upswing and offering an especially comprehensive data that may supply insights for what is a growing nationwide issue.

Increases in visit frequency were found across all ages and ethnicities studied, the report states, even among groups that in the past had relatively low levels of allergy problems.

News Headlines Article

The Future of Healthcare Could Be in Concierge Medicine
Healthline

Kurt Mosley was speaking to a group of physicians when the subject of concierge medicine came up. He asked one of the doctors what they charge their patients for this type of guaranteed care.

The doctor told him $157.50 a month.

Mosley thought that was kind of arbitrary. Why the extra 50 cents?

“How did you arrive at that number?” Mosley asked.

News Headlines Article

Ebola Returns To Liberia With A Mysterious Case Near Monrovia
National Public Radio

Almost two months after Liberia was declared Ebola-free, the disease has cropped up again — this time in a rural town outside the capital city.

So far, there’s only one new case, but health officials are rushing to stop its spread.

Liberia’s deputy health minister, Tolbert Nyenswah, said Tuesday that a 17-year-old boy died of Ebola at his home in Nedowein, a village near the country’s international airport.

“There is no need to panic. The corpse has been buried, and our contact tracing has started work,” Nyenswah told Reuters. Health officials have already started quarantining homes near where the body was found.

News Headlines Article

AMA Delegate Blasts ICD-10 Implementation Requirements
HealthLeaders Media

Physician groups have led much of the resistance against ICD-10 implementation. At its June Delegates meeting, the American Medical Association approved a resolution from W. Jeff Terry, MD, for a two-year grace period to protect physicians from errors and mistakes related to the code set.

Terry also authored an AMA resolution to delay ICD-10 in November 2011 which led to postponing implementation until October 1, 2014. Terry has practiced urology in Mobile, Alabama, since 1985 and has served as president of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama, president of the Alabama Urology Society, president of the Mobile Young Physician Society, and chairman of the Alabama Independent Physicians Association.

News Headlines Article

California Mandates Vaccines for Schoolchildren
New York Times

California on Tuesday became the largest state in the country to require schoolchildren to receive vaccinations unless there are medical reasons not to do so, as Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that ended exemptions for personal or religious reasons.

Mr. Brown, a Democrat, signed the bill after it was passed by significant margins in the State Legislature. The new law was the subject of a long and heated debate in reaction to a strong movement among some parents who refuse to vaccinate their children against infectious diseases like measles.

News Headlines Article

California Ends Personal Belief Exemption for Vaccines
KQED Radio

Legislation ending personal belief exemptions for vaccines is now a done deal. Gov. Jerry Brown has signed SB277into law, and California now has one of the strictest mandatory vaccination laws in the nation. It also becomes the third state after Mississippi and West Virginia to disallow exemptions for religious reasons.

“The science is clear that vaccines dramatically protect children against a number of infectious and dangerous diseases,” Brown said in an accompanying signing statement. “While it’s true that no medical intervention is without risk, the evidence shows that immunization powerfully benefits and protects the community.”

News Headlines Article

California nurses lose bid to expand practices
Sacramento Bee

Legislation that would have authorized “nurse practitioners” to treat patients without the supervision of a physician, including prescribing drugs, was rejected Tuesday by the Assembly Business and Professions Committee.

The lopsided, 8-4 vote against the measure, Senate Bill 323, was a climax to this year’s version of the Capitol’s perennial war among medical factions over “scope of practice.”

News Headlines Article

Nurse practitioner autonomy bill fails in state Assembly (updated)
Southern California Public Radio

A bill that would have given California’s nurse practitioners more autonomy died in an Assembly committee Tuesday.

The vote in the Assembly Committee on Business and Professions was 9 to 4 with one abstention against SB 323. The bill, which cleared the Senate last month, would have allowed nurse practitioners to work independently, without a doctor’s supervision, as long as they contracted with a medical group.

Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with masters or doctorate degrees and additional certifications.

News Headlines Article

Why right-to-die advocates are focusing rallies on 3 Latino assemblymen
Los Angeles Daily News

Terminally ill Michael Saum stuttered as he explained the incessant pain plaguing a body he hopes to escape Wednesday.

The 35-year-old didn’t use to fumble words, but he can’t help it now that an inoperable tumor grips his brain. Stage 4 glioblastoma multiforme — “the Terminator” of cancers — and palliative medication have begun to shut down his body. Saum’s throat inexplicably closes, his nose forgets to breath, and his body can’t regulate its own temperature. Saum’s two best friends fanned the transgender man as he sat in Assemblyman Roger Hernandez’s air-conditioned office.

News Headlines Article

SEIU merges home-care, nursing home workers into one unit
Sacramento Bee

The Service Employees International Union will announce Tuesday that long-term care workers from three California locals have combined to create the largest such union in the country.

The move unites some 280,000 home-care and nursing home workers from more than 37 counties into the new statewide SEIU Local 2015. Union officials said it will help them lead the nationwide fight for a $15 minimum wage and to bolster their bargaining power for improved wages and workplace conditions.

News Headlines Article

Clinton: fight obesity on many fronts
San Diego Union-Tribune

As a new mother, Chelsea Clinton said Tuesday that she is coming to understand the nation’s obesity epidemic on a new level.

Clinton spoke in a packed ballroom at the 8th Biennial Childhood Obesity Conference, which is set to run through Thursday at the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center in Mission Valley.

She holds a master’s degree in public health and, as vice chair of the Clinton Foundation, has led the organization her parents created in its focus on health programs.

News Headlines Article

U.S. doctors, hospitals reap $6.5 billion from drug and device makers: report
Yahoo! News

U.S. doctors and research hospitals collected nearly $6.5 billion in payments for services rendered to pharmaceutical and medical device companies in 2014, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Open Payments report released on Tuesday.

The report, in its second year, lists 11.4 million payments to 607,000 physicians and more than 1,100 teaching hospitals made by 1,444 companies.

News Headlines Article

Elderly heart valve patients have new life-saving option at Dominican
Santa Cruz Sentinel

The first thing that 88-year-old Lee Fitzgerald noticed when he woke up from a surprisingly brief nonsurgical procedure to put a new valve in his heart was that the unremitting pain of angina that had limited his movement for the last year was gone. He could breathe better.

“When the operation was over, the first thing I felt was, ‘Oh God, there’s no pain,’” he said. “The chest pain was really confining. I couldn’t walk from one room to the next without pain.”

News Headlines Article

L.A. County approves new pact for troubled nursing home inspection program
Los Angeles Times

Amid criticism of past oversight efforts, Los Angeles County supervisors approved a new contract Tuesday that redefines state and local responsibilities for inspecting nursing homes and other health facilities and investigating complaints of abuse, neglect or inadequate care of patients.

The new contract will give the county more money and scale back its duties.

Los Angeles County is the only local government in the state that is contracted to inspect health facilities. Elsewhere, the state handles licensing duties and investigates complaints.

News Headlines Article

South L.A. may get a trauma center again
mynewsLA.com

The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to look at ways to bring a Level I trauma center back to South Los Angeles.

At the recommendation of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the board directed staffers to come up with options, including a timeline, within 90 days.

“Ensuring quality trauma care is a priority for me,” Ridley-Thomas said. “We need more information and analysis to get a complete picture of the county’s trauma care needs.”

News Headlines Article

Kaiser to open medical offices in Manhattan Beach
The Beach Reporter

Kaiser Permanente announced today it has begun construction of medical offices at 400 S. Sepulveda Blvd. in Manhattan Beach to meet the demands of increased beach city membership. The 9,000 square foot facility, scheduled to open in November, will offer adult primary care, pediatrics, obstetrics-gynecology, a nurse clinic, x-ray, pharmacy and video appointments. Additional services, including general surgery, podiatry, orthopedics, dermatology and allergy, will be added next year.

 

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

Image of New Study by Economist and Former Finance Director  Tom Campbell Shows Access to Care At Risk from Mandates

(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.  

General information

Allied Health: The Hidden Health Care Workforce

Image of Allied Health: The Hidden Health Care Workforce

Allied Health: The Hidden Health Care Workforce is the result of work completed by the CHA Healthcare Workforce Coalition. The coalition was established by CHA, and is sponsored in part by The California Endowment, in response to the need for a coordinated, statewide effort to develop and implement long-term strategies that will address allied health workforce shortages in the state. Members of this broad coalition include CHA member hospitals and health systems, as well as various stakeholders, including representatives from the University of California (UC), California State University, California Community Colleges, California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, UC San Francisco Center for the Health Professions, Connecting the Dots Initiative, Campaign for College Opportunity, Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, and California Primary Care Association, among others.

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