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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

Senate Passes 21st Century Cures Act

The Senate has passed the 21st Century Cures Act in an overwhelming 94-5 vote, following passage last week in the House of Representatives. California Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein voted in favor of the bill. If signed into law by the President, the legislation will implement a $6.3 billion medical innovation package aimed at accelerating the discovery, development and delivery of new cures and treatments through new funding for the National Institutes of Health and Food and Drug Administration. The measure also include provisions, supported by the American Hospital Association and CHA, to provide some relief for certain hospitals regarding the new site-neutral payment policy for outpatient departments and create a mechanism to adjust readmissions penalties based on a patient’s socioeconomic status. A summary of the bill’s key provisions is available on the CHA website.

CHA News Article

Webinar on Governance Role in Advancing New Care Delivery and Payment Approaches Is Thursday
Still time to register

CHA will hold a members-only webinar Dec. 8 from noon-1 p.m. (PT) to assist governing board members and hospital executives in understanding their role to prepare and support hospital leadership in the shift toward new care delivery and financing models. Hospital chief executive officers are encouraged to gather their board members and participate together. The program will be led by CHA’s Anne McLeod, senior vice president for health policy and innovation. Program topics include environmental, political and financial pressures driving the shift toward new models; how health policy is taking shape in the near and long terms and potential ramifications of failing to adapt; and how boards and hospital executives can prepare for what’s here and yet to come. For more information and to register, visit www.calhospital.org/advancing-new-approaches-web.

CHA News Article

DHCS Requests Hospitals Review Medi-Cal EHR Data
CHA recommends hospitals consult with legal counsel before responding

On Friday, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) notified several hospitals via e-mail that they need to review the data submitted to calculate the Medi-Cal Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive program payments and correct any errors. The request is being made in response to an audit of 64 California hospitals’ Medi-Cal EHR incentive payments, performed earlier this year by the Office of Inspector General (OIG). In its final audit report, the OIG reported that DHCS overpaid the audited hospitals over $22 million. The OIG determined that DHCS failed to confirm that hospitals properly excluded and included certain discharges, bed days or charges when calculating the EHR incentive payment amount. Most hospitals followed the instructions that were provided by DHCS and pulled the data directly from their cost reports. However, the DHCS instructions did not clearly define that some discharges, bed days and charges needed to be included or excluded when reporting the EHR data. Since the reporting instructions provided by DHCS — and approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services — did not require that hospitals include or exclude these data elements, some hospitals may disagree with the OIG methodology. CHA recommends that hospitals consult with legal counsel before responding to DHCS’ request.    

CHA News Article

Map Shows Covered California Enrollment by Zip Code Through March 2016

The California Healthcare Foundation (CHCF) has produced an interactive map of California showing how many people have purchased health insurance coverage through Covered California by zip code (the map does not include those who receive coverage through the expansion of Medi-Cal). Approximately 1.4 million Californians bought insurance through Covered California in 2016.

According to CHCF, California has more than 2,300 zip codes, and those with highest Covered California enrollment are:

  • 92683 (Orange County): 5,150
  • 91770 (Los Angeles County): 4,850
  • 94112 (San Francisco County): 4,410
  • 91748 (Los Angeles County): 4,100
  • 91776 (Los Angeles County): 4,020
CHA News Article

Next Covered California Plan Management Webinar Scheduled for Dec. 8

Covered California will host a Plan Management and Delivery System Reform Advisory Group webinar Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to noon (PT). The advisory group provides input to the Covered California board and staff on qualified health plan contracting strategies, ongoing benefit design issues and strategies to promote health care value and drive delivery system reform. The Dec. 8 meeting is scheduled to address the 2018 certification and benefit design, provide an update on quality improvement strategy health plan meetings and address membership transition. Participants can register and find meeting materials in advance of the webinar online. A meeting agenda is attached.

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. 

News Headlines

Today’s News Headlines

News Headlines Article

Senate committee calls for ban on surgeons conducting simultaneous operations
The Boston Globe

A powerful Senate committee wants all hospitals to explicitly ban surgeons from overseeing two simultaneous operations, weighing in on a controversy that has roiled Massachusetts General Hospital and spurred a national debate on patient safety.

The new Finance Committee report, scheduled to be released Tuesday, follows a Spotlight Team series in 2015 on the issue. The committee will urge hospitals to clearly prohibit “concurrent surgeries,’’ which it defined as two operations, managed by the same surgeon, whose critical parts occur at the same time.

News Headlines Article

Medicaid Coverage For Addiction Treatment Varies Dramatically
Kaiser Health News

When Ashley Hurteau, 32, was arrested in 2015, she faced a list of charges for crimes she committed to finance a drug craving she had struggled with for more than a decade.

“I wasn’t using it to get high,” she said. “I was using it to survive.”

Homeless, uninsured and addicted to heroin, Hurteau, a New Hampshire resident, had tried and failed to get help. Services came at a price she couldn’t afford.

But in 2014, Hurteau’s home state of New Hampshire expanded Medicaid.

News Headlines Article

Superbug infections must be listed on death certificate under proposed bill
Los Angeles Times

State Sen. Jerry Hill introduced a bill Monday that would require doctors to record antibiotic-resistant infections on death certificates if they played a role in the death.

Currently many deaths from infections acquired in hospitals and nursing homes are not publicly recorded, leaving health officials to guess at their toll. “Today we have to estimate the number of deaths from infections and we have no idea if that is accurate,” said Hill (D-San Mateo). “We’re shooting in the dark.”

News Headlines Article

Commuting Patterns Help Forecast Flu Outbreaks
Scientific American

Flu forecasts within large metro areas like New York City might be improved by adding in data about the flow of commuters. Christopher Intagliata reports.

Every flu season—that’s now through the spring—epidemiologists track flu infections as they break out across the country. And they forecast how bad it’s going to get: at the national level, regionally, state by state. They even forecast for metro areas, like New York City, and L.A. Which sounds pretty fine-grained, until you consider that New York City is made up of five boroughs. And that there are actually more than 80 cities… in L.A. County.

News Headlines Article

House Republicans win delay in case to end ACA cost-sharing subsidies
Modern Healthcare

A federal appeals court has granted House Republicans a delay in their lawsuit seeking to halt certain federal payments to health plans under the Affordable Care Act. That delay buys time for the Trump administration to find a way to avoid throwing the individual insurance market into chaos.

The House Republicans’ general counsel filed a motion last month to temporarily hold in abeyance all briefings in the appeal of a federal district court’s May ruling in House v.

News Headlines Article

Some of the places that put Trump over the top could be most harmed by repealing Obamacare
Washington Post

With Donald Trump headed to the White House, Republicans on Capitol Hill are poised to move quickly on rolling back Obamacare. On “60 Minutes,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said that changes to the Affordable Care Act will be “the first bill we’re going to be working on” in the next Congress.

Trump’s headed to the White House thanks to 80,000 voters in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — the margins of victory in three states he flipped from blue to red. He flipped other states, too, including Iowa and Ohio. The counties that moved to the right the most relative to 2012 were heavily (but not exclusively) across Appalachia, the Rust Belt and the upper Midwest.

News Headlines Article

Why the GOP will regret making health care promises it can’t keep
MSNBC

Most Republican leaders have coalesced around a health care strategy called “repeal and delay,” which we discussed late last week.  The basic idea is that GOP officials, once they take control of every lever of federal power, will pass a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but delay the implementation for a few years, leaving “Obamacare” intact until at least 2019.

Between now and then, the gambit will move on to its second phase: Republicans will use those three years to come up with their own ACA alternative, an effort that’s already been ongoing for seven years, to no avail.

News Headlines Article

What it will take to stop insurers from fleeing after the ACA’s repeal
Modern Healthcare

Health insurers and regulators are extremely nervous about congressional Republican leaders’ announced plans to repeal most of the Affordable Care Act soon after Donald Trump takes over the presidency next month and wait several years to establish a new system. But some insiders say they are encouraged that GOP leaders are slowly recognizing they need to take steps to shore up the fragile individual insurance market that covers nearly 20 million Americans and avoid measures that drive health plans out of the market in 2018.

News Headlines Article

Insurers’ Flawed Directories Leave Patients Scrambling For In-Network Doctors
Kaiser Health News

Penny Gentieu did not intend to phone 308 physicians in six different insurance plans when she started shopping for 2017 health coverage.

But a few calls suggested to Gentieu, a photographer who lives in Toledo, Ohio, that doctors listed as “taking new patients” in the health plans’ directories were not necessarily doing so.

Surprised that information about something so central to health insurance could be so poor, she contacted almost every primary care physician listed as accepting new patients in every local plan. More than three-quarters of those doctors in her part of Ohio were in fact rejecting new patients, she found.

News Headlines Article

Why the Affordable Part Didn’t Work
The Health Care Blog

On March 23, 2010, Congress passed the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”. It soon became known as the “Affordable Care Act aka ACA” before being labeled “Obamacare”.

Its aims were two: to reduce costs and cover everyone. In the 79 months since passage, it remains arguably the most divisive public policy platform since FDR’s New Deal in the ‘30s and Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society in the 60s.

News Headlines Article

Kevin McCarthy calls on governors, insurance commissioners for health care reform ideas
KERO

Congressman Kevin McCarthy along with other chairmen sent a letter to state governors and insurance commissioners requesting ideas for how to reform the health care system and expressing their views on Obamacare.

The letter stated the following: “Obamacare is crumbling under its own weight and seriously harming people in the process. With a unified Republican Congress and Administration, we have the opportunity to repeal this law and undertake major health care reforms. Because governors and state insurance commissioners are on the ground and see Obamacare’s problems every day, I and several House chairmen have sent a letter requesting their thoughts on what we need to do to deliver high quality and affordable health care to the American people.”

News Headlines Article

Senate easily passes procedural vote to advance Cures Act
Modern Healthcare

The jam-packed grouping of biomedical innovation, health technology and mental health reform bills called the 21st Century Cures Act is one step closer to becoming law after passing a procedural vote in the Senate on Monday. Vice President Joe Biden took the rare step of presiding over the Senate to oversee the act’s approval of a cloture vote that easily obtained the 60 votes needed to officially end debate on the floor. The Senate is expected to clear the bill this week and then it will be sent to President Barack Obama’s desk.

News Headlines Article

CMS: Coverage Expansion Fueled 2015 Healthcare Spending Spike
HealthLeaders Media

Expanded health coverage, increased service utilization and rising prescription drug costs drove the country’s healthcare spending growth to 5.8% last year.

It was the highest hike in healthcare expenditures since 2007, according to a report Friday by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Office of the Actuary.

Spending on prescription drugs and healthcare coverage expansion under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act were key drivers of last year’s spending spike, a co-author of the actuary report in the journal Health Affairssaid during a media conference call Friday.

News Headlines Article

U.S. attorneys say Aetna-Humana merger would spike Medicare prices
Modern Healthcare

U.S. attorneys said Monday that a Aetna and Humana merger would result in increased Medicare prices along with lower benefits and quality for seniors.

In opening arguments Monday, government lawyers argued the merger of top Medicare Advantage players would create more than $500 million in annual harm to seniors and taxpayers. Humana is the second largest Medicare Advantage insurer while Aetna is the fourth.

News Headlines Article

Telemedicine bill could get House vote this week
Modern Healthcare

The House this week is expected to vote on a bill that promotes telemedicine and was unanimously passed by the Senate last week.

The Expanding Capacity for Health Outcomes Act, or ECHO Act, co-sponsored by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Brian Schatz (D-HI), asks the HHS to study whether telemedicine could promote collaborative clinical learning and disseminate best practices among healthcare professionals, primarily those in medically underserved areas.

News Headlines Article

Doctors And Hospitals Say ‘Show Me The Money’ Before Treating Patients
Kaiser Health News

Tai Boxley needs a hysterectomy. The 34-year-old single mother has uterine prolapse, a condition that occurs when the muscles and ligaments supporting the uterus weaken, causing severe pain, bleeding and urine leakage.

Boxley and her 13-year-old son have health insurance through her job as an administrative assistant in Tulsa, Okla. But the plan has a deductible of $5,000 apiece, and Boxley’s doctor said he won’t do the surgery until she prepays her share of the cost. His office estimates that will be as much as $2,500. Boxley is worried that the hospital may demand its cut as well before the surgery can be performed.

News Headlines Article

Hospitals report disappointing results on goals to drop hospital-acquired infections
Modern Healthcare

Progress in the U.S. against obesity, food poisoning, and infections spread in hospitals has been uneven and disappointing, despite dedicated efforts to fight these health threats by the nation’s top public health agency.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a frank self-assessment Monday of its campaign to focus on certain health problems, an effort it called “winnable battles.” While there have been clear successes in areas like smoking and teen pregnancy, other areas have seen little change or even gotten worse.

News Headlines Article

Signed Out Of Prison But Not Signed Up For Insurance, Inmates Fall Prey To Ills
Kaiser Health News

Before he went to prison, Ernest killed his 2-year-old daughter in the grip of a psychotic delusion. When the Indiana Department of Correction released him in 2015, he was terrified something awful might happen again.

He had to see a doctor. He had only a month’s worth of pills to control his delusions and mania. He was desperate for insurance coverage.

But the state failed to enroll him in Medicaid, although under the Affordable Care Act Indiana had expanded the health insurance program, making most ex-inmates eligible.

News Headlines Article

Fidelity invests $15 million in doctor house calls
Los Angeles Business Journal

Less than two months after closing a Series A worth $26.9 million, Silicon Beach healthcare startup Heal has secured another $14.8 million from Fidelity Management and Research Company.

The Santa Monica, California company, which enables on-demand doctor house calls, also has added former House Majority and Minority Leader Richard Gephardt to its board of directors.

News Headlines Article

New Sutter Health clinic planned for Petaluma
Petaluma Argus Courier

Sutter Health is opening its first medical office in Petaluma, expanding the health care provider’s footprint along the Highway 101 corridor.

The location at the Deer Creek Village shopping center off North McDowell Boulevard will be the company’s first “Sutter Walk-in Care” clinic in Sonoma County, said Lisa Amador, a regional spokeswoman for Sutter. It is the fourth for the company as a whole.

An opening date is not yet known, she said.

“The site has been leased,” Amador said, in an email.

News Headlines Article

Kaiser names first chief community health officer
Modern Healthcare

Kaiser Permanente has named its first chief executive to build and maintain relationships with community organizations as a way to impact population health.

Dr. Bechara Choucair started working as Kaiser Permanente’s first chief community health officer last week, the company announced Monday.

“While we directly care for nearly 11 million Kaiser Permanente members, our commitment is to improve the health of the 60 million people within the areas we serve,” said Kaiser CEO Bernard Tyson, adding that Choucair will help deliver on that promise.

News Headlines Article

Bakersfield Memorial recognized for low C-section rate, resulting in one of lowest rates in state
KERO

Bakersfield Memorial hospital was recently recognized for having one of the lowest C-section rates in California. The hospital was among 104 that have met or surpassed a federal goal aimed at reducing cesarean births for first-time moms with low-risk pregnancies. “It’s been a well received honor that we have achieved and in no small part that we have the hospitalist working here 24/7 to compliment the care of the private physicians” said Dr. Root, chief medical staff officer.

News Headlines Article

Ukiah Valley Medical Center gets ‘A’ in patient safety; other North Bay business news
North Bay Business Journal

Ukiah Valley Medical Center has received an “A” rating from the national patient safety group, The Leapfrog Group, placing them as one of the safest hospitals in the United States. Developed under the guidance of an expert panel, the Hospital Safety Grade uses 30 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign A, B, C, D and F grades to more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals twice every year. It is calculated by top patient safety experts, peer-reviewed, fully transparent and free to the public.

 

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