Newsroom

Overview

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

CMS Announces SNF QRP Training

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has scheduled a conference call about the new skilled-nursing facility (SNF) quality reporting program (QRP), which begins Oct. 1. The SNF QRP, established by the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (IMPACT Act), requires the submission of standardized data. In addition to measures and reporting requirements, the call will cover payment implications, consequences of failing to meet the reporting requirements and review and correction procedures.

The call will be held July 12 from 10:30 a.m.-noon (PT). Registration is available online.  

CHA News Article

CDPH Issues Guidance on Reporting Zika Virus Infections

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued guidance addressing communication pathways between blood banks, local health departments and CDPH for reporting and follow-up of Zika infections detected in blood donors, those who recently donated blood or individuals who received potentially infected blood donations or organ transplants. CDPH also offers guidance on communications with blood banks following the detection of local transmission of Zika virus, and builds on the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists’s proposal about blood bank notification of Zika virus transmission areas in the contiguous United States.

CHA News Article

CHA Selected to Serve on DHCS Access Assessment Advisory Committee

CHA has been selected to serve on the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) Access Assessment Advisory Committee, required by California’s section 1115(a) demonstration waiver (“California’s Medi-Cal 2020 Demonstration”). The waiver requires that DHCS, working with its external quality review organization, conduct a one-time assessment evaluating primary, core specialty and facility access to care for managed care beneficiaries based on the current health plan network adequacy requirements set forth in the state’s Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act of 1975 and Medicaid managed care contracts. It will consider state fair hearing and independent medical review decisions, as well as grievances and appeals/complaints data, and will report on the number of providers accepting new beneficiaries. The report will also describe the state’s current compliance with the access and network adequacy standards outlined in the Medicaid managed care final rule.

CHA News Article

CMS Issues Home Health PPS Proposed Rule

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued the attached proposed rule updating the home health prospective payment system (PPS) for calendar year 2017. CMS proposes an overall rate decrease of 1 percent, reflecting several factors: a 2.3 percent payment increase; rebasing adjustments to the national standardized 60-day episode rate, per-visit rates and non-routine medical supplies rates; a negative 0.97 percent adjustment to account for nominal case-mix growth; and the effects of a proposed increase to the fixed-dollar loss ratio for outlier payments. Under the proposed rule, CMS estimates that aggregate payments to home health agencies would decrease by $180 million.      

CHA News Article

Hospitals Asked to Report Cases of Bukholderia cepacia

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) program, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is attempting to identify hospitals that have detected clusters of Burkholderia cepacia cases among pediatric or adult ICU patients, particularly since January 2016. To report clusters, please contact the CDPH HAI program at haiprogram@cdph.ca.gov. More information about the virus is available at www.cdc.gov/HAI/organisms/bCepacia.html

Overview

News Releases and Media Statements
From the California Hospital Association

For past news releases and media statements, please visit the archive.

Media Statement

California’s Hospitals Applaud Bipartisan Legislative Action in Support of MCO Tax Package
Health Plan Financing Package Provides Needed Funding for Hospital-Based Skilled Nursing Units

The California Hospital Association (CHA) applauds today’s bipartisan passage in both the Assembly and Senate of the revamped Managed Care Organization (MCO) financing package. The reformed funding program will stabilize the state’s General Fund costs for Medi-Cal and provide much needed funding for hospital-based skilled nursing facilities as well as programs that support the developmentally disabled.

News Release

Southern California Hospital Leader Elected 2016 Board Chair of California Hospital Association
Redlands Community Hospital CEO James Holmes Will Guide CHA in Coming Year

SACRAMENTO (January 21, 2016 ) – James R. Holmes, President/CEO of Redlands Community Hospital, has been elected 2016 chair of the California Hospital Association (CHA) Board of Trustees. 

Media Statement

Filing of Harmful Ballot Measure by SEIU-UHW is an Abuse of California’s Initiative Process
New Ballot Measure Attacking Executive Compensation Violates May 2014 Agreement

Today’s  decision by SEIU-UHW (UHW) to file a harmful ballot measure that will negatively impact the operations of hospitals throughout California is an abuse of the state’s initiative process and violates a May 5, 2014 agreement negotiated between the California Hospital Association (CHA) and UHW. Artificially imposing a cap on compensation will result in a loss of qualified executives and undermine the ability of hospitals to meet the challenges ahead.

News Headlines Article

Zika Virus Tied to Birth Defects in 6 Babies, Fetuses in U.S.
Wall Street Journal

The Zika virus has been tied to birth defects in the babies and fetuses of six women in the U.S. who were infected during their pregnancies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Thursday.

Three of the women have given birth to infants with birth defects linked to Zika, such as microcephaly and brain damage, the CDC said, citing data reported to its U.S. Zika pregnancy registry as of June 9.

Three others lost babies with birth defects, either through miscarriage, stillbirth or termination of pregnancy. The data are collected from U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

The infections were all travel-related.

News Headlines

Today’s News Headlines

News Headlines Article

Valley hospitals garner large gifts
The Business Journal

Two Valley hospitals recently received large gifts that will be utilized to bolster area medical services.

Saint Agnes Medical Center received over $208,000 from the Saint Agnes Men’s Club. The gift, raised from various 2015 club fundraisers, will benefit the advancement of 16 hospital programs and services impacting patients and the community.

Saint Agnes President and CEO Nancy Hollingsworth, RN, accepted the donation on behalf of the Medical Center at the Men’s Club Mercedes-Benz of Fresno Casino Night fundraiser on May 21.

News Headlines Article

A Med Student Decides To Be Upfront About Her Mental Issues
National Public Radio

At first Giselle wasn’t sure what to put on her medical school application. She wanted to be a doctor, but she also wanted people to know about her own health: years of depression, anxiety and a suicide attempt. (We’re using only her first name in this story, out of concern for her future career.)

“A lot of people were like, you don’t say that at all,” she said. “Do not mention that you have any kind of weakness.”

Giselle remembers having her first intense suicidal thoughts when she was 10 years old.

News Headlines Article

Death Talk Is Cool At This Festival
Kaiser Health News

In a sunny patch of grass in the middle of Indianapolis’ Crown Hill Cemetery, 45 people recently gathered around a large blackboard. The words “Before I Die, I Want To …” were stenciled on the board in bold white letters.

Sixty-two-year-old Tom Davis led us through the thousands of gravestones scattered across the cemetery. He’d been thinking about his life and death a lot in the previous few weeks, he told us.

News Headlines Article

Will Covered California sell plans to undocumented immigrants?
Modern Healthcare

California is moving to become the first state to allow unauthorized immigrants to purchase insurance through the state exchange. The state assembly voted Tuesday to open up Covered California to immigrants living in the U.S. illegally who want to purchase a health plan with their own funds.SB 10, sponsored by Democratic state Sen. Ricardo Lara from southeast Los Angeles County, would authorize the state to apply for a federal waiver to make the change.

News Headlines Article

Health insurance mega-deals aren’t winning over a key party: large employers
Modern Healthcare

Federal and state insurance regulators are determining the fate of the pending health insurance mergers, and many large employers won’t be disappointed if officials torpedo the deals.Several surveys of Fortune 500 companies and other big employers reveal nervousness that the reduced competition among health insurers will mean higher healthcare costs for them.“Anytime you have a limited market and limited number of key players and they come together, that’s not a great thing for a purchaser,” said Larry Boress, CEO of the Midwest Business Group on Health.

News Headlines Article

Medicaid advisory panel adopts new conflict-of-interest standards
Modern Healthcare

In an effort to appease Republican lawmakers and address recent concerns of bias, a panel that advises Congress on Medicaid policies has adopted a sweeping new conflict-of-interest policy.Late last month, the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) voted unanimously to adopt a policy for disclosing financial and other interests as well as a process for members to recuse themselves from voting on recommendations in which they may have a conflict of interest. It also outlined activities that would be prohibited as long as an individual serves on the panel.

News Headlines Article

Insurance Rates Going Up: New Concerns for Obamacare
New York Times

Fresh problems for “Obamacare”: The largest health insurer in Texas wants to raise its rates on individual policies by an average of nearly 60 percent, a new sign that President Barack Obama’s overhaul hasn’t solved the problem of price spikes.

Texas isn’t alone. Citing financial losses under the health care law, many insurers around the country are requesting bigger premium increases for 2017. That’s to account for lower-than-hoped enrollment, sicker-than-expected customers and problems with the government’s financial backstop for insurance markets.

News Headlines Article

Showdown over ObamaCare subpoenas quickly escalating
The Hill

House Republicans and the Obama administration are clashing over subpoenas for ObamaCare documents.

Republicans are upping the pressure on the administration, saying officials are withholding documents that Congress has every right to see. The administration argues that it is justified in withholding some documents, as predecessors have done, because of the executive branch’s interest in protecting the confidentiality of internal deliberations. It says it has cooperated with Republicans by making officials available for interviews and by providing some documents.

News Headlines Article

Senators Urge Feds To Expand Access To Opioid Addiction Medication
The Huffington Post

A group of 22 senators, including Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, think the Department of Health and Human Services could do more to increase access to a medication viewed by the medical establishment as the best chance for opioid addicts to make a lasting recovery.

Under current federal regulations, doctors can treat only 30 patients at a time in the first year they’re certified to prescribe buprenorphine (commonly sold in the U.S. as Suboxone), a medication that can reduce opioid cravings and ward off harsh withdrawal symptoms.

News Headlines Article

Emergency room doctors need more flexibility
Sacramento Bee

It’s a fearful thing to have to go to the emergency room. Unfortunately, when those in a mental health crisis are brought in from the street, there are appalling delays in receiving proper treatment, much to the frustration of ER doctors.

That’s due to a long-obsolete state law that ties the hands of these highly trained physicians, creating a situation that is unfair to all patients in the ER. I’m referring to “5150” holds, named after the section of state law that authorizes an involuntary 72-hour detention for those who are believed to need mental health services to prevent harm to themselves or to others.  While the intent of that law is public safety, the reality is that these involuntary holds keep many people with behavioral health conditions from getting timely treatment.

News Headlines Article

California’s end-of-life law launches, hospitals choosing to opt out
KSBY

Starting June 9, terminally ill Californians will be able to obtain a lethal prescription from doctors. However, since it’s a voluntary law, some physicians and hospitals are opting out.

Of the four major hospitals in San Luis Obispo County, none confirmed they will be opting-in to provide patients the option of life-ending medication.

Dignity Health-operated French Hospital in San Luis Obispo and Arroyo Grande Community Hospital will not be participating.

News Headlines Article

Intensive care unit opens for youth
The Acorn

The county has a new pediatric intensive care unit, meaning very ill children no longer have to travel to Los Angeles or Santa Barbara for critical treatments.

On the very day Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks opened its new four-bed PICU, it admitted its first patient—and doctors there have been caring for kids every day since, said Kevin O’Brien, the unit’s director.

“In two weeks time, we’ve had six or seven admissions,” he said.

News Headlines Article

San Clemente’s Saddleback Memorial hospital shuts its doors
Orange County Register

After more than four decades of service, San Clemente’s 73-bed hospital shut down at 11:59 p.m.

News Headlines Article

Longtime faculty member Lara named as interim leader of UC Davis cancer center
Sacramento Business Journal

Primo “Lucky” Lara, a medical oncologist, will serve as interim leader of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center as a national search is performed for a new director. Lara’s appointment comes after the current director, Ralph de Vere White, announced Tuesday he will step down later this month. De Vere White, 70, has been director of the center for 20 years.

News Headlines Article

Nonprofit Hospital Forgives Debts And Stops Suing So Many Poor Patients
National Public Radio

For years, Heartland Regional Medical Center, a nonprofit hospital in the small city of St. Joseph, Mo., had quietly sued thousands of its low-income patients over their unpaid bills.

But after an investigation by NPR and ProPublica prompted further scrutiny by Sen. Charles Grassley, the hospital overhauled its financial assistance policy late last year and forgave the debts of thousands of former patients.

The hospital “deserves credit for doing the right thing after its practices were scrutinized,” Grassley, R-Iowa, wrote last week in a letter to his Senate colleagues, “but it should not take congressional and press attention to ensure that tax-exempt, charitable organizations are focused on their mission of helping those in need.”

News Headlines Article

Sonoma West Medical Center scales back revenue forecasts
Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Sonoma West Medical Center has dramatically scaled back its monthly revenue forecasts as the Sebastopol hospital struggles to collect payments for medical services and become financially sustainable.

The medical center, a revamped version of the failed Palm Drive Hospital, was launched last fall and has yet to turn a profit. Its operating losses for April are expected to surpass $600,000, up from an operating loss of $47,000 in March and $400,000 in February, CEO Ray Hino said.

The unexpectedly large April loss stems from two factors, Hino said.

 

CHA News Article

CHA Releases 2014 Follow-Up Report on Allied Health Workforce

CHA is pleased to release the attached report, Critical Roles: California’s Allied Health Workforce (March 2014), a follow-up to an original 2011 publication. The report includes statewide information on select allied health occupation vacancy rates and age distribution, as well as other important information. The report is based on a 2013 statewide hospital survey that was designed to gather up-to-date data on the demand for health professionals in the short term and to identify hospital workforce concerns in the coming years. In addition to highlighting the survey findings, the updated document also includes key messages for policy makers and other stakeholders relevant to health workforce development in California. For a printed copy of the report, please contact info@calhospital.org.

Issue Paper

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

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.

General information

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

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.

Commands