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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 to Notify Clinicians of MIPS Participation Status

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is in the process of notifying practices which clinicians associated with their taxpayer identification number must participate in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) program this year. Eligible providers include physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists and certified registered nurse anesthetists who annually bill more than $30,000 in Medicare Part B allowed charges and provide care for more than 100 Part B-enrolled Medicare beneficiaries. MIPS is one of two new payment pathways for clinicians under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). More information is available on CHA’s MACRA web page.

CHA News Article

Issue Brief Examines Effects of Ending ACA Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments
Could result in insurers leaving the marketplace or increased premiums

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) has released a new issue brief that examines the effects of ending cost-sharing reduction payments established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The reductions, provided to low-income enrollees with incomes 100-250 percent of the federal poverty level, apply to silver-level plans only; premiums are the same as standard plans. To compensate insurers for the added cost of reduced cost-sharing, the federal government had made payments directly to insurance companies — estimated at $7 billion in fiscal year 2017, rising to $16 billion by 2027. The U.S. House of Representatives sued the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the Obama Administration, challenging the legality of making these payments without explicit appropriation. The case is currently under appeal, and payments are permitted to continue pending its outcome. Though the Trump Administration today announced that it will continue to make these payments, it did not clarify for how long it intended to do so. The ultimate decision as to whether the payments are constitutional will be left to the courts. If cost-sharing reduction payments end, impacts to the insurance marketplace could be significant. According to KFF, insurers would be required to raise silver premiums by about 19 percent to compensate for the shortfall. Alternatively, insurers may leave the ACA marketplaces altogether.

CHA News Article

2017 Consent Manual Released
CHA mails each member organization a free manual

CHA is pleased to announce the 2017 Consent Manual is now available. Updated to reflect changes to state and federal consent law through January 2017, the Consent Manual explains the law and what hospitals need to do to comply. As a service to members, one complimentary copy of this acclaimed publication is being sent to each member hospital and system CEO this week.

The Consent Manual is the most comprehensive resource available on consent for medical treatment, covering situations involving minors, mental health, end-of-life issues and advance health care directives, patients’ rights, privacy basics, reporting requirements and related health care law. It is designed to help keep hospital executives abreast of the law and provide answers to difficult questions faced by staff every day.

CHA News Article

CMS Reminds Hospitals to Register for Upcoming Webcast
Will address IRF, LTCH, SNF quality reporting

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reminds hospitals to register for its May 2 webcast addressing review and correct reports in its quality reporting programs. Intended for inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs), long-term care hospitals (LTCHs) and skilled-nursing facilities (SNFs), the webcast will enhance provider understanding of the reports and provide information about resubmitting data to correct errors prior to the quarterly submission deadlines. Registration is available on CMS’ IRF quality reporting web page, LTCH quality reporting web page and SNF quality reporting web page.

CHA News Article

New Hospital Construction Projects Must Comply With 2016 Building Standards Code
Still time to register for webinar series — first program is Monday

Hospitals planning or considering new construction projects must ensure their plans comply with the 2016 California Building Standards Code. Effective Jan. 1, 2017, the code includes significant changes across a wide range of categories. CHA will host a three-part webinar series to outline the changes and explain how hospitals can achieve compliance. Programs will be held May 1, May 15 and May 22 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. (PT).  

Faculty include representatives from the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development Facilities Development Division and the Hospital Building Safety Board, who will detail recent updates to the code:

  • Webinar 1 – Fire and life safety provisions
  • Webinar 2 – Administrative, architectural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, and pharmacy provisions
  • Webinar 3 – Structural provisions
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 Hospitals Say ACA Replacement Plan Will Likely Result in Significant Reductions in Coverage

The proposed Affordable Care Act (ACA) partial repeal and replacement plan released last night by House Republicans could have negative impacts on California hospitals and the patients they serve. In particular, CHA is concerned about the likelihood of a reduction in coverage that would result from this proposal.

California leads the nation in expanding health care coverage, with 91 percent of all Californians now being covered. The plan’s proposal to restructure Medicaid will likely undo the important gains in coverage that have been made over the past few years. California has the highest poverty rate in the nation. An estimated 6.3 million Californians, including 1.9 million children, live in poverty.

CHA is disheartened by the failure of this plan to restore funding for the Medicare program. Currently, under the ACA, Medicare funding to California hospitals is being cut by more than $26 billion through 2026 in exchange for the promise of expanded coverage. Unless these payments are restored, California hospitals and the patients they serve will likely face a diminution of available health care services.

As the effort to repeal and replace the ACA continues to unfold, CHA looks forward to working with members of the California congressional delegation to maintain optimal coverage for all Californians.

News Release

UC Davis Medical Center CEO Elected 2017 Board Chair of California Hospital Association
Ann Madden Rice Will Guide CHA Through Year of Significant Change

          SACRAMENTO (February 6, 2017) – Ann Madden Rice, CEO of the University of California Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, has been elected 2017 chair of the California Hospital Association (CHA) Board of Trustees. 

News Release

CHA Board of Trustees Announce Retirement of Long-Time President/CEO C. Duane Dauner

SACRAMENTO (December 15, 2016) – Jim Holmes, chair of the boards of the California Association of Hospitals & Health Systems (CAHHS) and California Hospital Association (CHA), announced today that long-time President and Chief Executive Officer, C. Duane Dauner, will retire when his employment agreement ends on December 31, 2018.

News Headlines

Today’s News Headlines

News Headlines Article

Teaching hospitals at higher risk for data breaches, study finds
HealthDive

Topping the list of hospitals that were breached at least twice are Montefiore Medical Center and the University of Rochester Medical Center & Affiliates, each with four data breaches.

“The evolving landscape of breach activity, detection, management and response requires hospitals to continuously evaluate their risks and apply best data security practices,” the authors wrote. “Despite the call for good data hygiene, little evidence exists of the effectiveness of specific practices in hospitals. Identification of evidence-based effective data security practices should be made a research priority.”

News Headlines Article

Taking Shortcuts In Drug Testing Can Put Patients At Risk
National Public Radio

We all want breakthroughs in medicine. I’ve never met someone who doesn’t.

Even with all the progress we have seen in medicine, millions of people suffer, or have family members who suffer, from diseases that are making their lives worse or threatening their lives. Time means something different to these people. They do not have the luxury of waiting patiently while researchers test new drugs.

There is growing interest in reducing the evidence required to approve new drugs and to more rapidly deliver new therapies to patients.

News Headlines Article

Can Low-Dose Aspirin Lower Cancer Death Risk?
WebMD

Millions of Americans take low-dose aspirin every day for heart health. In doing so, they may also slightly lower their risk of dying from several cancers, a large new study suggests.

Researchers found that among more than 130,000 U.S. adults, those who regularly used aspirin were 7 percent to 11 percent less likely to die of cancer over the next few decades.

The risks of dying from colon, breast, prostate and — for men — lung cancer were all lower among regular aspirin users, compared to non-users, the findings showed.

News Headlines Article

For a trip to the ER, some are opting for Uber over an ambulance
STAT

Millions of Americans take an ambulance trip every year; others get rides from willing friends or, tempting fate, drive themselves.

But in recent years a new trend has arisen: Instead of an ambulance, some sick people are hailing an emergency Uber.

Though firm numbers are hard to come by, drivers for Uber and Lyft say it happens with some regularity. In an online chatroom for Uber drivers, dozens of posters share experiences with passengers who hail a ride with bloody cuts, asthma, anaphylaxis, or broken bones.

News Headlines Article

Most young people say gov’t should pay for health care, poll says
Fox News

Most young Americans want any health care overhaul under President Donald Trump to look a lot like the Affordable Care Act signed into law by his predecessor, President Obama.

But there’s one big exception: A majority of young Americans dislike “Obamacare’s” requirement that all Americans buy insurance or pay a fine.

A GenForward poll says a majority of people ages 18 to 30 think the federal government should be responsible for making sure Americans have health insurance.

News Headlines Article

For Better Or Worse, Trump And GOP Now Own Health Care
Kaiser Health News

Ownership of the Affordable Care Act has officially been transferred from President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress to President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans, according to a new poll.

In the monthly tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation, 61 percent of respondents said any problems with the law moving forward are the responsibility of Trump and Republicans in Congress, while only 31 percent said future problems are the fault of the Democrats who passed it. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent project of the foundation.)

News Headlines Article

Inspecting the role of the physician in ACOs
Modern Healthcare

As delivery system reform experts puzzle over what makes accountable care organizations successful, they might want to pay more attention to the physicians in those organizations, suggests a study published Monday in Health Affairs.

News Headlines Article

‘It’s Not Like Other States’: High-Cost Alaska Sits In The Eye Of Health Reform Storm
Kaiser Health News

When Andy Hawk needed hernia surgery last year, his biggest worry wasn’t the operation’s cost — it was whether he’d heal in time to lead a spring bear-hunting expedition on Kodiak Island.

For the first time, the self-employed gunsmith in the state with the nation’s highest medical costs and most volatile insurance market had some protection. He had coverage for all but $10,000 of the $45,000 tab.

News Headlines Article

Molina Healthcare CEO: GOP’s ‘piecemeal approach’ to health-care reform will lead to a ‘health-care disaster’
CNBC

With the GOP’s failure to repeal Obamacare last month, House Speaker Paul Ryan refused to give a time line for a new bill.

However, Vice President Mike Pence has reportedly been working with the Freedom Caucus to devise new ideas and proposals to potentially revive the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Two of those ideas allow states to opt out of essential benefits (which include mental health care, maternity care, substance abuse care, chemotherapy and more) and community ratings.

News Headlines Article

Wellmark’s ACA exit shows why insurers need to know health law’s future
Modern Healthcare

Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s retreat from Iowa’s individual insurance marketplace shows why health insurers need to know if the Trump administration intends to support the exchanges or watch them explode.Iowa’s dominant health insurer said Monday it will stop offering individual coverage both on and off the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges in 2018. The exit will affect about 21,400 people—a little more than 1% of Wellmark’s membership in Iowa.

News Headlines Article

What’s next for Medicaid: Experts weigh in on waivers, expansion, work requirements
FierceHealthcare

During a panel discussion Monday about the future of Medicaid, experts dove into some of the most buzzed-about topics surrounding the program, including states’ moves to expand eligibility and the role of waivers.

Indeed, one of the major issues to watch will be what happens in the remaining states that haven’t expanded Medicaid, Sara Rosenbaum, a health policy and management professor at George Washington University, said at the event presented by the Alliance for Health Reform.

News Headlines Article

In Pain? Many Doctors Say Opioids Are Not The Answer
Kaiser Health News

Those of you who have experienced pain, especially gnawing, chronic pain, know that it affects your happiness, outlook and ability to function.

In the past couple of years, the treatment of chronic pain has undergone an earthshaking transformation as opioid addiction continues to claim — and ruin — lives.

Many primary care doctors no longer liberally prescribe opioid painkillers such as oxycodone, fentanyl and hydrocodone for back pain, migraines and other chronic conditions. Instead, they are increasingly turning to alternative medications and non-drug options such as acupuncture and physical therapy.                                   

News Headlines Article

EpiPen maker Mylan hit with racketeering suit over soaring drug price
Modern Healthcare

Three EpiPen users sued Mylan Monday over the injection’s rising drug prices, claiming the company engaged in a racketeering sales scheme that inflated EpiPen’s price.The proposed class-action lawsuit alleges Mylan’s agreements with pharmacy benefit managers amount to illegal kickbacks. The plaintiffs claim that Mylan paid PBMs – including Express Scripts, CVS Health and OptumRx – to promote EpiPen over competitor allergy injectors, and those payments artificially increased prices.

News Headlines Article

Castlight Health completes acquisition of startup Jiff
San Francisco Business Times

San Francisco-based Castlight Health this week completed its acquisition of Jiff to combine their health benefits platforms into one.

John Doyle, Castlight Health’s president and chief operating officer, will be CEO of the company after its acquisition of Mountain View-based Jiff. Enlarge

The digital health companies give employers and employees a personalized way to manage health care benefits, everything from wellness programs and cost comparisons tailored to a person’s interests and health data.

 

Publication

CHA Health Care Coverage Report

Developed by CHA and intended to assist members in their advocacy, this brochure illustrates the vital role hospitals play in the nation’s complex health care system and includes helpful data such as the number of Californians now insured, poverty rates and hospitals’ economic impact on their communities.

Publication

Roadmap to Creating a Health Care Work-Based Learning Program

In 2014-15, with support from the James Irvine Foundation, CHA partnered with hospitals, educators, funders and other experts to identify strategies for increasing the number of high-quality, health care work-based learning opportunities for California high school students. Health care as a whole is one of the fastest growing industries in the nation. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 17 of the 30 fastest growing occupations are in the health sector.

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.

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