Newsroom

Overview

Information & Resources
Includes facts, checklist and resources for maintaining cybersecurity

CHA and the Regional Associations have developed a health care cybersecurity at-a-glance document, intended to be a resource for health care organizations as they address cybersecurity. Due to the rising risk of cyberattacks, hospitals are encouraged to review this information and work with their information management teams to identify resources necessary for a strong cybersecurity defense and comprehensive hazard vulnerability analysis. The document — Health Care Cybersecurity at a Glance (pdf) — includes a mitigation checklist as well as a compilation of state and national resources to help providers before, during and after a cyberattack.The checklist and resources from the document are also listed below.

CHA News Article

AHRQ Releases Playbook on Integrating Behavioral Health Care in Ambulatory Settings

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has released a new guide to integrating behavioral health in primary care and other ambulatory care settings. The free guide provides tips, resources, and real-world examples of how practices are integrating behavioral health care; pitfalls to avoid; an interactive self-assessment checklist; and access to an online forum for peer-to-peer networking and sharing. While the focus is on primary care, ideas presented “can easily translate to medical specialties such as neurology, oncology, or occupational medicine,” AHRQ notes.

CHA News Article

Report Examines Characteristics of Remaining Uninsured Adults in U.S.

The Commonwealth Fund has released an analysis of its Affordable Care Act Tracking Survey, February–April 2016, which examines the characteristics of the remaining uninsured adults and the reasons they give for not enrolling in marketplace plans or Medicaid. The report also examines how experiences differ between people who shop for health plans and complete the enrollment process and those who fail to sign up. The number of uninsured people in the U.S. has declined by an estimated 20 million since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) went into effect in 2010, but an estimated 24 million people still lack health insurance. The report reveals notable shifts in the demographic composition of the uninsured since the ACA’s major coverage expansions went into effect in 2014. Latinos have become a growing share of the uninsured, rising from 29 percent in 2013 to 40 percent in 2016. Whites have become a declining share, falling from half the uninsured in 2013 to 41 percent in 2016. The uninsured are very poor: 39 percent of uninsured adults have incomes below the federal poverty level, twice the rate of their overall representation in the adult population. Of uninsured adults who are aware of the marketplaces or who have tried to enroll for coverage, the majority point to affordability concerns as a reason for not signing up.

CHA News Article

CDC Releases New Zika Virus Resources

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released the attached key considerations document for health care facilities as they prepare to receive patients potentially infected with the Zika virus. The document outlines nine steps health care facilities should take, including knowing the clinical manifestations of the virus, how to assess pregnant women and advise against sexual transmission during pregnancy, reporting, and use of standard precautions. In addition, the document notes steps health care settings can take to educate patients and their families about the disease, transmission and avoiding infection. CDC has also released the attached promotional toolkit, providing information and resources hospitals can use to encourage pregnant women to take steps to prevent Zika infection. For more information and resources on the Zika virus, visit www.calhospitalprepare.org/zika-virus.

CHA News Article

CMS Report Examines Changes in ACA Individual Market Costs From 2014 to 2015
Near-zero growth suggests an improving risk pool

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight has released a report that examines changes in Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual market costs from 2014 to 2015. On June 30, CMS released data on reinsurance payments for 2015. Reinsurance payments are based on issuers’ claims paid amounts for the full individual market, excluding grandfathered and transitional plans. The data include all plans sold in the health insurance marketplace, including the federal HealthCare.gov marketplace and the individual state-based marketplaces, as well as off-marketplace plans that are subject to the same pricing and coverage rules. These data provide the first snapshot of how costs in the ACA individual market evolved from 2014 to 2015.

CHA News Article

Federal Government to Focus on Smaller Privacy Breaches

Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced that it has begun an initiative to more widely investigate breaches of protected health information (PHI) affecting fewer than 500 individuals. Previously, OCR had focused on larger breaches involving the PHI of 500 or more individuals.

OCR also announced that it will attempt to identify covered entities and business associates that appear to be underreporting breaches.

OCR regional offices retain discretion to prioritize which smaller breaches to investigate, but each office will increase its efforts to identify and obtain corrective action to address entity and systemic noncompliance related to these breaches. 

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

Today’s News Headlines

News Headlines Article

Aetna To Divest Medicare Plans And May Exit Obamacare
Forbes

Aetna and Humana will sell certain Medicare Advantage assets to Molina Healthcare as the insurers prepare to defend their merger against a U.S. Justice Department lawsuit.

In addition, Aetna said its worsening performance on public exchanges has forced the company to rethink its 2017 expansion plans and evaluate all of its individual plans in 15 states where it currently sells Obamacare, company chairman Mark Bertolini said Tuesday. Humana has already said it is pulling off most ACA exchanges for next year. And rival UnitedHealth Group UNH +0.00%, too, is scaling back to three states, leaving Anthem WLP +% and Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans as the main Obamacare providers across the country.

News Headlines Article

Teaching In-Home Caregivers Seems To Pay Off
California Healthline

Low-income Californians who are elderly and disabled were less likely to go to the emergency room or be hospitalized after their in-home caregivers participated in an intensive training program, according to a report.

Under a pilot program, nearly 6,000 aides in Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Contra Costa counties were trained in CPR and first aid, as well infection control, medications, chronic diseases and other areas. All were workers of the In-Home Supportive Services program, who are paid by the state to care for low-income seniors and people with disabilities, many of them relatives.

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco based their analysis on the results in Contra Costa County, which they said produced the most complete and reliable data.

News Headlines Article

Drones will begin delivering blood and medicine in the US
The Verge

A startup that uses drones to deliver medicine and blood to remote areas of Rwanda is launching a similar program in the US. California-based Zipline will bring its drone delivery program to rural and remote communities in Maryland, Nevada, and Washington, including some Native American reservations. Zipline will announce its expansion at a White House workshop on unpiloted aerial vehicles (UAVs) Tuesday morning.

Zipline launched in 2014, with support from venture capital firms such as Sequoia Partners and Google Ventures, as well as funding from Paul Allen, a Microsoft co-founder. The company began delivering medicine and blood in Rwanda last month under a government partnership, and expects to be operational in half of the country by the end of this month. The hope is that Zipline’s fleet of drones will help deliver life-saving materials to remote areas of the US, as it has in Rwanda.

News Headlines Article

NIMH Names New Director
The Scientist

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has named psychiatrist Joshua Gordon of Columbia University Medical Center in New York City its next director. Gordon succeeds past NIMH Director Thomas Insel, who left the agency to join Google Life Sciences last September. Gordon is expected to take the reins from interim NIMH Director Bruce Cuthbert next month, according to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) announcement.

“Josh is a visionary psychiatrist and neuroscientist with deep experience in mental health research and practice,” NIH Director Francis Collins said in the statement. “He is exceptionally well qualified to lead the NIMH research agenda to improve mental health and treatments for mental illnesses.”

News Headlines Article

Covered California 2017 Rate Hikes Will Hit State’s Central Coast Hardest
California Healthline

Last fall, a bladder condition forced Carmen Anguiano to leave her job at a packing shed in Salinas, a farming community off California’s Central Coast.

She had to give up her employer’s health insurance at a time when she needed it most. So Anguiano, who is 60, bought a health plan through Covered California, the state’s health insurance exchange. She liked the coverage, which she and her farmworker husband could afford because of government subsidies.

News Headlines Article

Medicare’s Readmission Penalties Hit New High
Kaiser Health News

The federal government’s penalties on hospitals will reach a new high as Medicare withholds more than half a billion dollars in payments over the next year, records released Tuesday show.

The government will punish more than half of the nation’s hospitals — a total of 2,597 — having more patients than expected return within a month. While that is about the same number penalized last year, the average penalty will increase by a fifth, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis.

News Headlines Article

CMS finalizes controversial hospital overpayment cut
Modern Healthcare

In a final rule released Tuesday, the CMS said it will keep a controversial 1.5% cut to hospital reimbursement.

News Headlines Article

Medicaid Safety Net Stretched To Pay For Seniors’ Long-Term Care
National Public Radio

Donna Nickerson spent her last working years as the activity and social services director at a Turlock, Calif., nursing home.

But when she developed Alzheimer’s disease and needed that kind of care herself, she and her husband couldn’t afford it: A bed at a nearby home cost several thousand dollars a month.

“I’m not a wealthy man,” said Nickerson’s husband Mel, a retired California State University-Stanislaus professor. “There’s no way I could pay for that.”

News Headlines Article

Private insurers see 3,200% increase in claims related to opioid dependence
Modern Healthcare

The number of claims made to private health insurers that include a diagnosis of opioid dependence rose by more than 3,200% in the past decade, according to a report released Tuesday.The not-for-profit group FAIR Health used data gleaned from ICD-9 diagnostic codes used for insurance claim forms. Researchers found adults between ages 19 and 35 were by far the most diagnosed age group, accounting for 69% of claim lines for opioid dependence during the study period. The same age group composed the majority, or 78%, of heroin overdoses.

News Headlines Article

State’s vaccination law under fire
Capitol Weekly

At least three lawsuits have been filed seeking to overturn California’s new law that prevents children from attending public or private school or day care without getting mandatory vaccinations.

The law, SB 277, went into effect July 1, a day after Gov. Brown signed it. It removes the personal beliefs exemption, which previously allowed parents to skip vaccinations for their children because of religious or personal objections. Now, the only way to avoid vaccinations is to get a medical exemption from a doctor or to home school children.

News Headlines Article

This terminally ill man says California’s aid-in-dying law means he can end his life ‘fully, thankfully and joyfully’
Los Angeles Times

When doctors told Robert Stone last year that he had terminal cancer, he didn’t feel scared of dying.

Stone, a handsome man with glasses and a salt-and-pepper goatee, said he’d come to accept death as a natural part of life. What he did fear was having too little energy or too much pain to enjoy his remaining days.

So last month Stone, 69, became one of the first people in California to obtain lethal medications under a new state law that allows doctors to write prescriptions for terminally ill patients to kill themselves.

News Headlines Article

Bay Area Startup Creates Device To Predict Asthma Attacks In Kids
ABC News

Childhood asthma can be a traumatic battle for many kids, but now a Bay Area startup believes it has a way to spot attacks coming, and possibly deliver faster interventions.

Like most kids, eight-year-old Finn Seybold loves video games and this one could help head off the asthma attacks that leave him fighting for breath.

“It feels like you’re not really breathing and you’re wheezing,” Finn said.

Finn is part of a Bay Area test group that’s helping to evaluate a new device called the Aeris. It’s a miniaturized spirometer, a test tool used in hospitals to gauge the lung function of asthma patients.

News Headlines Article

Aetna may pull back from health exchanges
Modern Healthcare

Aetna announced Tuesday an about-face on plans to expand its presence on public healthcare exchanges.

News Headlines Article

Aetna’s Obamacare Reversal Is Latest Blow to U.S. Health Law
Bloomberg.com

Aetna Inc., facing more than $300 million in losses from Affordable Care Act health plans this year, may exit Obamacare markets in some states as challenges to the health-care overhaul pile up. While the health insurer has yet to leave any states in which it now sells Obamacare programs, Chief Executive Officer Mark Bertolini said Aetna is evaluating its participation by market and will start making decisions in coming weeks. The company, which covers 838,000 people through Obamacare, is halting a planned expansion of those offerings in new states for next year.

News Headlines Article

Aetna Backs Off Plans to Expand Its ACA Business
The Wall Street Journal

Aetna Inc. became the last of the five major national health insurers to project a loss on Affordable Care Act plans for 2016, underscoring concerns about the stability of the insurance marketplaces at the heart of the Obama administration’s signature health law.

Aetna said it would re-evaluate its participation in the 15 state exchanges where it currently sells plans, and cancel a planned expansion into more.

The moves come in the wake of recent confirmations by UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Humana Inc.

News Headlines Article

Report: UCSD Medical Center best hospital in San Diego region
CBS News

UC San Diego Medical Center was named the best healthcare facility in the region and sixth best in the state Tuesday in U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Hospitals issue. The center in Hillcrest ranked nationally in eight categories, including pulmonology, No. 11; nephrology, No. 24; geriatrics, No. 28; orthopedics, No. 28; cardiology and heart surgery, No. 31; cancer, No. 35; neurology and neurosurgery, No. 37 and urology, No. 49. UCSD Medical Center was also determined to be “high performing” in diabetes and endocrinology, and gastroenterology and GI surgery.

News Headlines Article

UCSF Medical Center Ranked 7th Best Hospital in the U.S. for 2016-17
UCSF Today

UCSF Medical Center has been named among the nation’s premier medical institutions for the 15th consecutive year, ranking as the seventh best hospital in the country in U.S. News & World Report’s 2016-2017 Best Hospitals survey.

UCSF received elite Honor Roll status for exceptional performance in 15 medical specialties, including eight in the top ten. It was both the top-ranked hospital in Northern California on the Honor Roll and the top cancer hospital in Northern California.

News Headlines Article

UCSF, Stanford Health Care rank high on best U.S. hospitals list
San Francisco Business Times

UCSF Health and Stanford Health Care both cracked the top 15 on U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Hospitals survey. But UCSF topped its Peninsula rival once again, ranking 7th to Stanford’s 14th.

UCLA Medical Center bested both of them, however, finishing 4th nationally and as top dog in the Golden State. The publication evaluated nearly 4,400 hospitals nationwide as part of its annual survey.

News Headlines Article

Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, UCSF team up for expanded pediatric care
Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Gladis Romero’s first baby was born three years ago in El Salvador, where the neonatal care she received was “not the same” as what she got this week when her 6-pound baby boy, Axel, was born.

On Friday, sitting in a private room at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital’s revamped labor and delivery unit, the 21-year-old mom lovingly watched Axel yawn and stretch his little body on a soft pillow.

“It wasn’t the same level of care as you get here,” said Romero, who lives in Rohnert Park. “It’s better here, much better.”

News Headlines Article

Benzeevi led Tulare hospital’s turnaround
Visialia Times-Delta

Dr. Yorai Benzeevi came to Tulare County — specifically Orosi — to help his sick Korean War veteran father-in-law for a year, then it would be a quick return to the big city of Los Angeles.

One year turned into two, two into three and before he knew it, his kids were born and raised in Tulare County.

“I certainly have an affinity and love for the community,” said Benzeevi, who goes by Benny around town. “…I definitely have a connection to the area. There’s a personal connection to the area for sure.”

 

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