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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

Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education Program Grants Available

The Health Resources and Services Administration is accepting applications through July 17 for the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education Payment Program (CHGME). With $100 million in funding available to 60 awardees, the program aims to support freestanding children’s hospitals’ training of pediatric and other residents in GME programs. Eligible applicants include freestanding children’s hospitals that participate in an approved GME program, have a Medicare provider agreement and whose inpatients are predominantly under 18 years of age.

CHGME will hold an Initial Application Technical Assistance webinar June 30 from 10 a.m. – noon (PT). To register, visit https://hrsa.connectsolutions.com/chgmeinitialfy16.

Hospitals that apply for funding are encouraged to notify the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development at HCRWorkforce@oshpd.ca.gov so it can report the number of California stakeholders applying for federal grants. Hospitals interested in receiving a letter of support from the state can submit a request to HCRWorkforce@oshpd.ca.gov. Requests must include the addressee’s name, the amount of funding requested and the grant objective. Requests for letters should be submitted as soon as possible – and no later than July 2 – as processing typically requires two to three weeks. For more information, visit HRSA’s grant site.

CHA News Article

New Behavioral Health Facilities Design Guide Released

The Facility Guidelines Institute (FGI) has released the seventh edition of the Design Guide for the Built Environment of Behavioral Health Facilities. Formerly hosted by the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems, the guide helps behavioral health care provider organizations understand and analyze how the physical environment affects patient and staff safety, as well as offers best practices in protecting patients and staff. The guide can be accessed on the FGI website at www.fgiguidelines.org/beyond.

CHA News Article

Health Affairs to Conduct Briefing on California’s Medi-Cal Waiver
Experts to discuss perspectives on promoting health system improvement

Health Affairs, with support from the Blue Shield of California Foundation and the California HealthCare Foundation, will conduct a briefing on California’s Medi-Cal waiver on June 11 from 10 a.m. – noon. California’s five-year section 1115 “Bridge to Reform” demonstration waiver is set to expire Oct. 31. On March 27, the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) submitted its final draft 1115 Medi-Cal 2020 waiver renewal application to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for approval by Nov. 1. At the briefing, experts will discuss how waivers are being used to promote system improvement, delve into California’s experiences with and lessons from the current waiver, and explore opportunities in the latest waiver renewal application.

To register for the event visit the online registration site. The event will be recorded and available on the Health Affairs website afterward.

CHA News Article

MACPAC Report Details Early Beneficiary Experience in Duals Demonstration
Highlights feedback from California, Massachusetts and Ohio enrollees

The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) has released a study on early experiences with the Duals Demonstration in California, Massachusetts and Ohio. MACPAC conducted seven focus groups with beneficiaries in the three states over a nine-month period to obtain feedback on the enrollment process, understanding care coordination and access to services. Conducted between June 2014 and February 2015 the focus groups were comprised of 55 dual-eligible enrolled beneficiaries, most of whom had been enrolled in the demonstration for at least six months prior to the focus group. The report focuses on the findings of the focus groups and illustrates the challenges and benefits beneficiaries have experienced as these programs are implemented throughout the country.

CHA News Article

DWC Posts Draft Regulations on Transitioning to ICD-10

The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and its Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) have posted draft regulations for transitioning the California workers’ compensation system from the ICD-9 diagnosis system to the ICD-10 system, effective Oct. 1. A public hearing on the proposed regulations is scheduled for July 7 at 10 a.m. in Room 1 of the Elihu Harris Building,1515 Clay Street in Oakland. Written comments on the regulations will be accepted until 5 p.m. that day.

The deadline for providers to begin using Clinical Modification ICD-10-CM for diagnosis coding, and Procedure Coding System ICD-10-PCS for inpatient hospital procedure coding, is Oct. 1. In preparation for the deadline, DIR and DWC must update regulations and forms to refer to ICD-10 rather than ICD-9. The notice of public hearing and text of the regulations can be found on the DWC website.

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

17 million gain coverage under Obamacare
CBS News

As a result of the landmark health-reform law known as the Affordable Care Act, nearly 17 million previously uninsured Americans now have health coverage, a new analysis reveals.

The Rand Corporation’s 2013-2015 report said increases were observed across all types of insurance, from employer-provided health plans to Medicaid.

“The Affordable Care Act has really changed the number of people who have access to health insurance,” said lead author Katherine Carman, an economist at Rand Corp.

News Headlines Article

Nearly 17 Million Americans Covered Under Obamacare
NBC News

Nearly 17 million Americans got health insurance under the Affordable Care Act after the new insurance exchanges opened up, according to an independent analysis published Wednesday.

The goal of the law, known widely as Obamacare, was to increase the number of Americans who have health insurance, put an end to industry practices such as cutting off care when it gets expensive, and to lower medical costs.

News Headlines Article

Study: Quality, Access Not Affected by Covered California Narrow Networks
California Healthline

Health plans offered through Covered California have narrower hospital networks than commercial insurance plans but they don’t appear to have lower-quality providers or differences in geographic access, according to a study published in the May issue of Health Affairs.

Health plans with narrow networks restrict the number and scope of contracting physicians and hospitals to keep premiums low. Narrow networks are not new, but they have proliferated under the Affordable Care Act as health plans participating in the state and federal exchanges balance cost with access.

News Headlines Article

Commissioner Dave Jones on the “big missing piece” of CA health reform
State of Reform

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones sits down with State of Reform for a candid discussion about the challenges California is facing in its health care reform.

News Headlines Article

Bill To Require Prescription Labeling for Non-English Speakers Moves Forward in California
capital public radio

Labels or instructions would have to be available in one of at least five other languages, upon a patient’s request. Those languages are Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish, Korean or Russian.

“We know from research that patients can often misunderstand the prescription medication information, and for limited English proficient patients, these misunderstandings can be much more severe and much more frustrating,” says Kimberly Chen of the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, a supporter of the bill.

News Headlines Article

Successful Pioneer ACO journey leaves faint trail for followers
Modern Healthcare

Touting $380 million in savings from the Affordable Care Act’s first test of accountable care, Medicare says the pilot did well enough to expand. But it’s unclear how the participants got the savings and to what extent others can replicate the success. Dr. Patrick Conway, head of the CMS Innovation Center, and his colleagues announced the savings this week in JAMA. They detailed medical spending for Medicare patients who received care from 32 accountable care organizations during the first two years of the Innovation Center’s Pioneer ACO program.

News Headlines Article

IPAB Repeal Urged by More Than 500 Groups
HealthLeaders Media

Saved from the scourge of the Sustainable Growth Rate pay cuts, more than 500 physician groups, other providers, and advocacy organizations have refocused new attention on the Independent Payment Advisory Board. The groups are demanding that Congress repeal IPAB even though Medicare spending triggers that would activate it aren’t likely to be met in this decade.

The 15-member Presidential-nominated panel, which was empowered by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act but has not yet been appointed, is charged with cutting Medicare payments to providers if Medicare spending targets aren’t contained to certain thresholds.

News Headlines Article

The HIX Crucible
HealthLeaders Media

What a difference a year makes.

Last fall, the new public health insurance exchanges seemed imperiled by the technical misadventures of the federal government’s bug-plagued enrollment website, healthcare.gov, and some of the related state exchanges.

But as the second open enrollment period approaches next month, early doubt about whether the exchanges for individual coverage would survive the winter has given way to a view that an HIX future is certain.

News Headlines Article

Efforts to Save Premature Babies Varies Widely
HealthLeaders Media

Poor consensus on which very premature babies doctors should try to save because they are viable and which should be given only comfort care has resulted in widely varying levels of intervention among hospitals, with many lives lost as a result, researchers conclude.

A study of nearly 5,000 babies delivered emergently at 22 and 23 weeks of gestation at hospitals participating in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network, was published in the New England Journal of Medicine Thursday.

News Headlines Article

Hospital efforts to save very premature babies vary widely
Yahoo! News

They weigh as little as a pound yet force some of the toughest choices in all of medicine. Extremely premature babies face big differences in how hard hospitals try to save them, a study finds.

It is the first major look in the U.S. at how preemies fare according to the care they get.

There was a wide range — some hospitals always gave active treatment to the youngest preemies as opposed to just comfort care, but others never did.

News Headlines Article

U.S. has highest maternal death rate among developed countries
Modern Healthcare

U.S. women are more likely to die during childbirth than women in any other developed country, leading the U.S. to be ranked 33rd among 179 countries on the health and well-being of women and children.

Women in the U.S. face a 1-in-1,800 risk for maternal death, the worst among the developed nations surveyed in Save the Children’s 16th annual State of the World’s Mothers report.

The study, published with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Johnson & Johnson, relies on data from the World Health Organization’s Center for Health Development’s 2003-2011 demographic and health surveys.

News Headlines Article

Staffing An Intensive Care Unit From Miles Away Has Advantages
National Public Radio

Recovering from pneumonia is an unusual experience in the 10-bed intensive care unit at the Carolinas HealthCare System hospital in rural Lincolnton, N.C. The small hospital has its regular staff, but Richard Gilbert, one of the ICU patients, has an extra nurse who is 45 miles away. That nurse, Cassie Gregor, sits in front of six computer screens in an office building. She wears a headset and comes into Gilbert’s room via a computer screen.

News Headlines Article

Losing A Hospital In The Heart Of A Small City
National Public Radio

In a leafy suburb of Cleveland, 108-year-old Lakewood Hospital is expected to close in the next two years, for economic reasons. Mike Summers points to the fourth floor windows on the far left side of the historic brick building. He recalls spending three weeks in one of those rooms. It was Christmas 1965 and Summers had a broken hip.

“I remember hearing Christmas bells from the church across the street,” he says.

Summers was born at this city-owned hospital. His sister was born here. This hospital has a special place in his heart. But then he became mayor of Lakewood four years ago, and realized the hospital was a financial liability to the small city, which has seen a sharp increase in poverty levels in the past two decades.

News Headlines Article

State regulator slaps Aetna over small-biz rate hike
Sacramento Business Journal

A 19.2 percent rate increase Aetna levied on small business owners in California on April 1 is “unreasonable,” the state’s managed-care regulator said Wednesday. The increase affects about 16,000 employees covered by small employers with renewal dates in the second quarter of 2015. The California Department of Managed Health Care found the increase out of line after review of Aetna’s historic and projected estimates of how much these members use health-care services — and Aetna’s failure to provide the agency with adequate documentation to justify the hike.

News Headlines Article

Aetna’s rate hike excessive for small employers, regulator says
Los Angeles Times

For the third time since 2013, California’s managed-care regulator has criticized health insurance giant Aetna Inc. for imposing an excessive rate hike on small employers. The nation’s third-largest health insurer is raising rates by 19.2%, on average, for about 16,000 people covered by small employers. This change in premiums took effect last month.

Shelley Rouillard, director of the California Department of Managed Health Care, said Aetna has demonstrated a pattern of unjustified rate hikes.

News Headlines Article

Health center gets federal designation, lands funding
Sacramento Business Journal

Cares Community Health, a nonprofit health center in Sacramento that expanded its services beyond HIV/AIDS patients two years ago, received designation Tuesday as a full-fledged federally qualified health center. The title comes with annual grant funding of about $704,000 from the federal government. The funding will allow the center to significantly expand its capacity to provide primary care to patients in the Sacramento area — and bolster the safety net for needy patients.

News Headlines Article

San Diego Doctor Raises Stroke Awareness – Especially for Women
KPBS

Annelise Wilding started experiencing headaches, that began with a pain in her neck, in July 2014.

She was 26, worked for the Navy as a construction manager and she thought she had pulled a muscle. She spent two weeks trying everything she could think of to get the headaches to go away. She got massages and eventually went to a chiropractor.

“Then my mom came over and said something is not right and took me to the doctor,” Wilding said.

News Headlines Article

UCSF team: trauma screening should be standard in health care
San Francisco Chronicle

Experience with trauma is so pervasive in the United States and has such profound effects on a person’s physical and mental health that screening and treatment for anything from childhood abuse to domestic violence should be a standard part of mainstream primary care, according to a UCSF-led team of researchers. In a paper published Wednesday, the team proposes a move toward “trauma-informed” primary care, in which health care providers develop an understanding of the effects of trauma on their patients and find ways to help patients feel safe and comfortable talking about their expe

News Headlines Article

Sonoma West Medical Center opening May 18th
Sonoma County Gazette

One year after closing, the hospital in Sebastopol proves this month that, indeed, “Something Wonderful” has happened by reopening on May 18th. Reborn as a completely new Medical Center, the hospital facility offers specialty Institutes intended to support the core services of a “No Wait ER”, an ICU and an acute care center that includes surgery with two operating rooms.

No other District hospital in California has reopened after closing.  This event is a historical and rare opportunity for the community to celebrate the return of locally delivered health care to West County. After over a year of grass-roots support evidenced by 2000 yard signs sprouting up in the area, the community’s private donations allowed the Sonoma West Medical Foundation to reach their fund raising goal of over $8,000,000 by opening date.

 

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.  

Issue Paper

CHA Releases Allied Health Workforce Survey Results
Critical Roles: California's Allied Health Workforce

Image of CHA Releases Allied Health Workforce Survey Results

CHA is pleased to release Critical Roles: California’s Allied Health Workforce. This report highlights key findings from a recent CHA Allied Health Workforce Survey. The purpose of the survey was to gather up-to-date data regarding the effects of the economy on the demand for allied health professionals and to identify hospital workforce needs and concerns in the next one, three, and five years.

This report is the second comprehensive survey of the allied health professional workforce since CHA formed the Healthcare Workforce Coalition in 2007.

General information

AHA Report – ‘Workforce 2015: Strategy Trumps Shortage’

Image of AHA Report – ‘Workforce 2015: Strategy Trumps Shortage’

The American Hospital Association (AHA) recently released a report titled, “Workforce 2015: Strategy Trumps Shortage.” This report is the result of a year-long effort by the 2009 Long-Range Policy Committee to examine health workforce issues in the coming decade and to provide findings and recommendations for the field.

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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