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

Hospitals Encouraged to Participate in Quality Improvement Initiatives With HQI, Medicare QIO
Separate programs to be coordinated by HQI

The Health Services Advisory Group (HSAG), California’s Medicare Quality Improvement Organization (QIO), is currently recruiting hospitals statewide to work on preventing and reducing health care-acquired infections as part of its directive from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The Hospital Quality Institute (HQI) supports HSAG’s efforts and has formed a strategic partnership with the QIO to plan and coordinate quality improvement activities in California. Some of HSAG’s CMS mandates overlap with efforts already underway in the state through HQI programs, including Patient Safety First and the California Hospital Engagement Network (CalHEN). To eliminate any confusion or duplication of effort, HQI will align activities and advisors to hospitals, paying keen attention to reporting requirements.

CHA News Article

CMS Guidance Addresses Physician Quality Reporting System for 2013 Reporting

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued the attached MLN Matters article providing guidance on 2013 reporting for the Physician Quality Reporting System, as well as the 2015 payment adjustment, for rural health clinics, federally qualified health centers and critical access hospitals that submit claims to Medicare Administrative Contractors for services provided to Medicare beneficiaries. The article clarifies reporting and eligibility requirements, and includes answers to frequently asked questions raised by staff in the affected facilities.

CHA News Article

CMS Announces Data Collection for Sepsis Bundle Measure
Measure specifications will be posted to QualityNet April 1

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has notified hospitals participating in the inpatient quality reporting program that data collection of the Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock: Management Bundle measure (NQF #0500) will begin with discharges on or after Oct. 1, 2015. The measure was adopted for the fiscal year (FY) 2017 payment determination in the FY 2015 inpatient prospective payment system final rule. Additional details about the measure — including the information form and algorithm — and abstraction guidance will be provided in version 5.0 of the Specifications Manual for National Hospital Inpatient Quality Measures, which will be posted to QualityNet April 1. For more information about the Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock measure, visit the Hospitals-Inpatient Questions & Answers tool at

CHA News Article

Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office Releases Annual Report to Congress

The Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office (MMCO) has issued its 2014 Report to Congress, as required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The report describes MMCO’s efforts to develop policies, programs and initiatives that promote coordinated, high‐quality and cost‐effective care for the dual eligible population. MMCO notes it is focusing its efforts on improved data analytics and two alignment initiatives. The report provides detail on an initiative to reduce preventable inpatient hospitalizations among residents of nursing facilities, as well as the financial alignment initiative. The full report is available for download on MMCO’s website.

CHA News Article For Members

House Passes SGR Repeal in Strong Bipartisan Vote
CHA will host two member calls on the legislation

The House has overwhelmingly passed H.R. 2, The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), in a bipartisan vote of 392-37. Only two members of the California delegation, Republican Reps. Darrell Issa and Tom McClintock, voted against the legislation.

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. 

Media Statement

Hospitals and Nurse Leaders Urge CNA/NNU to Abandon Strike, Not Patients
The following statement was issued today by C. Duane Dauner, President/CEO of the California Hospital Association and Patricia McFarland, MS, RN, FAAN, CEO of the Association of California Nurse Leaders

“The so-called National Day of Action by the California Nurses Association (CNA) and National Nurses United (NNU) is a politically motivated effort to exploit public concern about Ebola to promote their own agenda. Their recommendations are not supported by clinical evidence or consistent with medical experts and recognized authorities on infectious diseases, including the federal Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention and the nation’s four high-level biocontainment unit hospitals.

Media Statement

California Hospitals Applaud Brown Administration’s Leadership in Ebola Preparedness Efforts
by C. Duane Dauner, President/CEO, California Hospital Association

The California Hospital Association applauds the leadership of Governor Jerry Brown and his Administration to ensure that patients and the health care workforce are protected and that hospitals are prepared to respond if an Ebola case occurs in California. The designation of UC Hospitals to receive and treat patients is the latest step in what has been a comprehensive response by health care leaders, hospitals, physicians, nurses, public safety and other stakeholders. Communication, cooperation, coordination, and collaboration are critically important and hospital leaders are working with the Administration to expand the network.  A statement will be released next week identifying additional hospitals that will accept and treat patients with a confirmed Ebola diagnosis. 

Media Statement

CA Hospitals, Nurse Leaders Issue Statement in Response to Ebola Outbreak
by C. Duane Dauner, President/CEO of the California Hospital Association, Tricia Hunter, Executive Director of the American Nurses Association-California, and Pat McFarland, CEO of the Association of California Nurse Leaders

“The California Hospital Association, the Association of California Nurse Leaders, American Nurses Association-California, and other professional health care organizations, are working to ensure that patients and the health care workforce are protected and that hospitals are prepared to respond if an Ebola case occurs in California. This is a serious issue that requires a comprehensive response by health care leaders, hospitals, physicians, nurses, public safety and other stakeholders. Communication, cooperation, coordination, and collaboration are critically important.

News Headlines

Today’s News Headlines

News Headlines Article

White House announces plan to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria
The Washington Post

The White House announced an aggressive plan Friday to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a mounting problem that causes an estimated 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths every year in the United States.

The plan lists specific goals to fight the spread of antibiotic-resistant microbes over the next five years. It outlines steps to prevent and contain antibiotic-resistant infections through better surveillance of “superbugs,” to maintain the effectiveness of current and new drugs, and to develop next-generation therapeutics. The much-anticipated plan is part of the Obama administration’s efforts to nearly double the amount of federal spending dedicated to combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Obama’s budget request calls for more than $1.2 billion to combat and prevent antibiotic resistance.

News Headlines Article

Leading Through Change
HealthLeaders Media

Healthcare is changing in significant ways. The industry is migrating to a highly connected world that is growing more transparent. Meanwhile, the very measures of success for healthcare organizations are shifting.

In such an environment, physicians, nurses, and other employees look to the C-suite to make sense of it all and to help them understand their organization’s place in healthcare’s future. But effectively developing and translating a strategy into a new set of policies, expectations, and desired results would be difficult for anyone, especially those who have reached their lofty positions by excelling at a business model that becomes more outdated and irrelevant with each passing day.

News Headlines Article

A Single Gene May Determine Why Some People Get So Sick With The Flu
National Public Radio

It’s hard to predict who will get the flu in any given year. While some people may simply spend a few days in bed with aches and a stuffy nose, others may become so ill that they end up in the hospital.

Until now, researchers could only point generally at differences between flu patients’ immune responses. Jean-Laurent Casanova, a professor at Rockefeller University and investigator at Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has been sifting through cases of children with severe flu. He and his colleagues have pinpointed one gene that keeps the immune system from fighting off the flu, and their results were published today in Science.

News Headlines Article

‘Pay Attention to How Doctors Talk’
HealthLeaders Media

Brian Goldman, MD, knows how doctors talk. He has been an emergency medicine physician at Mount Sinai Hospital in downtown Toronto for more than 20 years.

He has interviewed hundreds of healthcare professionals on his weekly radio show “White Coat, Black Art,” which is now in its ninth year on CBC/Radio-Canada.

He also wants to talk. His provocative presentation at TEDxToronto was called “Doctors make mistakes. Can we talk about that?”

News Headlines Article

Study: Most employers have kept coverage and employee hours under the ACA
Sacramento Business Journal

Some employers are cutting part-time employee hours as a result of the Affordable Care Act, but 72 percent have not — and 90 percent aren’t touching full-time employee hours, a new survey suggests. Five years after the health reform law was signed, two-thirds of employers offer the same level of benefits they did before the law, although some offer alternative plans like health savings accounts, according to the 2015 health reform update survey by the Society for Human Resource Management.

News Headlines Article

Many People Entitled To Hefty Subsidies Still Opt Against Coverage
Kaiser Health News

The good news: Three-quarters of people who were eligible for the most generous financial subsidies on the federal health insurance exchange this year signed up for coverage, according to a new analysis by Avalere Health. The puzzler: Enrollment dropped off substantially for people with only slightly higher incomes who would also have qualified for significant subsidies.

Stiffer penalties for not having coverage and redoubled efforts to reach out and educate people about the health law and their obligations may be keys to increasing enrollment for people in these income groups, says Caroline Pearson, a senior vice president at Avalere Health.

News Headlines Article

Senate punts on ‘doc fix’; passage expected after spring break
Modern Healthcare

There will be no doc fix until at least mid-April. The Senate adjourned for spring break on Friday morning without taking up legislation to permanently repeal Medicare’s sustainable growth-rate formula for paying doctors.That doesn’t mean physicians will face a 21.2% cut in pay on April 1, when the current patch expires. The CMS has indicated that it can delay processing claims for a period of time in order to keep the cut from being implemented. The House passed the package, which also includes a two-year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, by an overwhelming 392-37 margin on Thursday, putting pressure on the Senate. President Barack Obama has indicated that he intends to sign the legislation.

News Headlines Article

House Approves Permanent Fix For Medicare Doctor Payments
Kaiser Health News

For more than a decade, doctors who treat Medicare patients have been threatened with pay cuts due to a faulty formula of how doctors are reimbursed. But in a rare bipartisan agreement, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a deal to permanently end the problem and reward quality of care, not quantity. PBS NewsHour’s Gwen Ifill learns more from Mary Agnes Carey of Kaiser Health News.

News Headlines Article

New ‘superbug’-fighting brushes – and instructions – going to hospitals using medical scopes
Los Angeles Daily News

The maker of medical scopes linked to a potentially deadly “superbug” blamed for an outbreak at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center today issued an “urgent safety notification” to health providers detailing new procedures for disinfecting the equipment. In a 13-page letter, Olympus America Inc. gave instructions for cleaning the devices, called duodenoscopes, and said that a small-bristle brush required for the new sterilization procedures would be shipped “no later than May 8.”

News Headlines Article

How Much Does Cancer Cost Us?
National Public Radio

Before we started our Living Cancer series, we went on NPR’s Facebook page to ask people about their experiences in paying for cancer treatment. Over a hundred people from across the country responded.

We talked with some people by phone to learn about their stories.

Maureen Carrigg, who lives in Wayne, Neb., was diagnosed with multiple myeloma six years ago. Even though she says she was meticulous about staying within her insurer’s network for care, she still ended up owing $80,000 in out-of-pocket costs.

News Headlines Article

Why some nonprofit health plans pay taxes
Sacramento Business Journal

Blue Shield of California is not the only nonprofit health plan on the hook for income taxes. The IRS revoked VSP’s tax-exempt status in 2003. The Rancho Cordova-based eye-care giant also wasn’t paying state income taxes, but has since paid both federal and state taxes back to 2003. It continues to pay them, even though the corporate structure has stayed the same since VSP was founded in 1955. Sacramento-based Western Health Advantage, a small nonprofit health plan like Blue Shield and VSP, also pays both state and federal income taxes.

News Headlines Article

‘Bubble boy’ disease targeted by stem cell award to Stanford
San Francisco Business Times

A method for making a specific break in a gene in patients with “bubble boy” disease and inserting a good copy of the gene in its place won a $1 million award Thursday for a Stanford University researcher. The award was one of seven from the San Francisco-based California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, totaling $25.2 million. The funding from from California’s stem cell research funding agency is designed to move not-quite-ready-for-prime-time experimental therapies closer to human clinical trials.

News Headlines Article

Genentech announces $125 million expansion
San Francisco Business Times

Biotech giant Genentech plans to invest more than $125 million to expand its fill/finish production facility in Hillsboro, Ore. resulting in up to 100 new skilled manufacturing jobs, the company announced. The investment in sterile production operations will bring the total number of Genentech jobs in Oregon to more than 500 over the next five years, Larry Sanders, Genentech general manager and vice president of Hillsboro Technical Operations, said in a statement.

News Headlines Article

UC Davis scientists win $7M in California stem-cell research grants
San Francisco Business Times

California’s stem cell agency awarded $25 million in grants Thursday to develop new treatments — and researchers at the UC Davis School of Medicine got more than $7 million. Dermatology professor Roslyn Rivkah Isseroff got a $5 million grant to continue research on wound care that uses stem cells to treat diabetic foot ulcers. And Diana Farmer, a professor and chair of surgery at the UC Davis Medical Center, got almost $2.2 million to continue work on a placental stem cell therapy for spina bifida, a common birth defect that causes paralysis and incontinence.

News Headlines Article

Marin officials want drug companies to fund disposal of expired meds
Marin Independent Journal

Marin County officials, stepping up a war on prescription drug abuse, want the pharmaceutical firms who make drugs to pay to get rid of them when they are no longer needed.

County supervisors, saying there are more overdose deaths from prescription drugs in Marin than heroin and cocaine combined, want county lawyers to come up with a law compelling drug firms catering to Marin residents to provide a “take back” program in order to get rid of unused medications.

News Headlines Article

Board votes to close Doctors Medical Center in April
Inside Bay Area

The West Contra Costa Healthcare District board voted Thursday to close Doctors Medical Center in less than four weeks, after years of financial losses and unsuccessful attempts to find a sustainable way to keep it open.

The closure is slated to begin April 21, to give officials time to vet a late-inning proposal by a self-described hospital turnaround specialist with a mixed track record.

News Headlines Article

Emanuel Cancer Center earns national accreditation
Turlock Journal

The Emanuel Cancer Center has earned a three-year accreditation from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons.

The Commission on Cancer is a consortium of medical and other professionals with a mission of improving survival and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education, and the monitoring of comprehensive quality care.

To be accredited by the commission, a cancer center must meet several tiers of criteria, including offering services in nutrition, diagnostic imaging psychological, and rehabilitative.

News Headlines Article

Hospital expanding emergency room
Moorpark Acorn

Simi Valley Hospital’s newly expanded emergency room should be up and running within the next few weeks, hospital offi cials estimate.

During an open house and ribbon-cutting on March 12, the hospital celebrated the completion of phase 1 of its three-phase, $ 41- million ER expansion, which includes a 5,500-squarefoot addition that features an expanded surgical suite. “Healthcare is a very important part of our community,” Councilmember Mike Judge said during the event.


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.  

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.

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’

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.