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

CDC Issues Guidance on Ebola-Related Sewage

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently issued two documents related to the Ebola virus in waste:

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Medical Waste Management Program staff have informed CHA that CDPH currently does not have a position on sewage waste. However, CDPH plans to develop a position once the federal Environmental Protection Agency develops its guidance regarding Ebola in sewage.

CHA News Article

CHCF, Blue Shield Foundation, DHCS to Host Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Forum
Half-day program will focus on design of next version of state’s DSRIP program

The California HealthCare Foundation, Blue Shield of California Foundation, and the California Department of Health Care Services have announced a half-day forum on the future of California’s Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program. The forum brings together experts from California and other states with DSRIP programs to discuss differences in program design, identify lessons learned, and foster new insights and ideas as California designs the next version of its DSRIP program. The forum will be held Dec. 17 from 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at the California State Association of Counties Conference Center, 1020 11th Street, Second floor, in Sacramento. Participants are invited to join in person or via webcast. To register for the event, visit the event registration site.

CHA News Article

HHS Releases First Annual Report on Quality of Health Care for Adults Enrolled in Medicaid
Additionally, fifth annual report on quality of care for children in Medicaid and CHIP released

Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released two annual reports related to the quality of health care – the first Annual Secretary’s Report on the Quality of Health Care for Adults Enrolled in Medicaid and the fifth Annual Secretary’s Report on the Quality of Care for Children in Medicaid and CHIP.

CHA News Article

Webinar to Feature Low Income Health Program and Effects on Uninsured
Will also discuss California’s proposed Medicaid 1115 Waiver Renewal and impact on the uninsured

The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research will conduct a webinar Dec. 9 from noon to 1:00 p.m. (PT) to examine the Low Income Health Program (LIHP) and the remaining uninsured. Dylan H. Roby, UCLA Health Economics and Evaluation Research Program director and representatives from safety net programs in Los Angeles, San Mateo and San Francisco counties will discuss the LIHP and its effects on continuing health care delivery for uninsured Californians, models for providing care to the uninsured after LIHP, and California’s proposed Medicaid 1115 Waiver Renewal and its potential impact on the uninsured. Register online to join the webinar.

CHA News Article

Post-Acute Care Conference to Focus on Key Changes Ahead
Register early to save on tuition, hotel rooms

The annual Post-Acute Care Conference will be held Jan. 29-30, 2015, at the Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort in Huntington Beach. This year’s program, Forward Motion — Driving the Future of Post-Acute Care, features topics to help providers plan for coming change and to guide them forward. Agenda highlights include the role of technology in improving independence, access and quality of life; bundled payments for care improvement; and opportunities in population health management for high-risk groups.

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 Release

Innovative Medical Career Program Sponsored by Bay Area Hospital at Risk if AB 503 is Enacted
New Video Profiles Medical Biotechnology Academy at John Muir Hospital in Concord

SACRAMENTO (June 9, 2014) -  The California Hospital Association (CHA) today released a new video highlighting a successful community benefit program that is designed to expose students to possible careers in the medical and health care field.  The program, operated jointly by John Muir Hospital in Concord and Mt. Diablo High School’s Medical Biotechnology Academy, is designed to place students on a career path through a rigorous, hands-on internship program.  Its future is threatened, however, by Assembly Bill (AB) 503 (Wieckowski/Bonta).

Media Statement

Qualification Effort for Medi-Cal Funding Initiative Likely Requires Full Count of Signatures
by C. Duane Dauner, President / CEO, California Hospital Association

The California Hospital Association (CHA) is disappointed by news that signatures to qualify a ballot initiative aimed at ensuring a stable source of federal health care funding for hospitals that provide care to California’s most vulnerable residents will likely not meet the random sampling threshold as required by state law.  

News Headlines

Today’s News Headlines

News Headlines Article

Unused Flu Vaccines Cost California Millions
NBC Bay Area

Around this time every year, health departments across the state ramp up to battle one of the biggest risks to public health—the flu virus. In 2013, the flu killed more than 300 people in California and sickened thousands more. That’s why the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) provides thousands of free flu vaccines to local county health departments, in an effort to limit the virus’ impact.

But when the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit began looking into exactly how many of those vaccines actually make it out to the public, we found millions of dollars in waste with minimal oversight. It’s an inefficient system that has health experts raising this question: if counties can’t effectively distribute routine flu vaccines, how prepared are they to respond to other disease outbreaks?

News Headlines Article

Beyond antibiotics: A new weapon against superbugs shows promise
The Washington Post

Over the past decade, the problem of deadly, drug-resistant superbugs has become a global crisis, outpacing new countermeasures and threatening to bring patient care back to beginning of the 20th century. These bugs are now responsible for 23,000 deaths and 2 million illnesses a year in the United States alone. Last year, Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron warned of the possibility of a coming medical “dark age.”

There is finally some hope that we’ll be able to stop the infections before things get worse.

News Headlines Article

Slideshow: Healthcare Leaders Explore Emergency Department Solutions
HealthLeaders Media

The emergency department is one of the most vital components of a healthcare organization. The ED presents a number of challenges, as healthcare leaders must find ways to produce optimal outcomes and improve patient satisfaction, while reducing wait times. Four senior healthcare executives discuss the ways they are trying to improve their EDs, while combating these issues.

“One of our major problems is patient flow,” says Julie Dunlop, RN, BSN, MRO-A, the director of Emergency Preparedness at East Liverpool City Hospital in Ohio.

News Headlines Article

From Blue Bleach To Hazmat Hacks, Students Take On Ebola Challenges
National Public Radio

If there’s one thing college kids do best, it’s thinking creatively. Often operating with limited resources and tight deadlines, they’re used to coming up with ingenious solutions to life’s everyday problems (usually on little sleep). So it’s no surprise that experts are turning to students for help in battling one of this year’s most pressing global health issues: the Ebola outbreak.

The U.S. Agency for International Development announced a $5 million Grand Challenge in October, signaling the urgency to develop better protective gear for health workers in West Africa. Recognizing that grads and undergrads are in the perfect position to come up with clever ideas, some of America’s most prominent universities have organized their own design challenges and emergency hackathons to get students’ brains churning.

News Headlines Article

Health care coverage is a confusing maze for many immigrants
Orange County Register

Jessica Bravo walks house to house in the piercing heat. Over and over, at doorsteps around Orange County, she asks the same question: “Are you insured?”

Getting an answer isn’t always easy. Doors slam in her face. She gets shooed from porches. And sometimes people cut her off mid-spiel.

Bravo is a paid health outreach worker for the Orange County Congregation Community Organization, a faith-based nonprofit organization. Her job is to inform people about getting health insurance under the nation’s landmark health law, the Affordable Care Act.

News Headlines Article

Insurers ramp up staffing ahead of Obamacare open enrollment
Modern Healthcare

During Obamacare’s first open-enrollment period, Geisinger Health Plan was inundated with queries as consumers struggled to figure out what health insurance meant for them.

Phone volumes were six times higher than they were historically. The provider-owned plan, part of Geisinger Health System, Danville, Pa., created a website on healthcare reform. That’s when Web hits “went through the roof,” said Joseph Haddock, Geisinger Health Plan’s chief sales officer. “The volumes were extremely significant relative to what we experienced in the past.”

News Headlines Article

Employers Can’t Skip Insurance Coverage For Hospitalization
National Public Radio

Closing what many see as a loophole that could trap millions of people in sub-standard insurance, the Obama administration said Tuesday that large-employer medical plans lacking hospital coverage will not qualify under the Affordable Care Act’s toughest standard. It also offered relief to workers who may be enrolled in those plans next year.

The administration will rule that plans without “substantial coverage for in-patient hospitalization services” do not meet the law’s “minimum value” threshold, the Treasury Department said in a notice. It will issue final regulations saying so next year, it said.

News Headlines Article

Two-Midnight, Pioneer ACO Rules Targeted by OIG
HealthLeaders Media

The impact of Medicare’s two-midnight rule on both hospital billing practices and on beneficiaries, is among 26 new probe targets in the Office of Inspector General’s 2015 Work Plan.

“We will determine the impact of new inpatient admission criteria on hospital billing, Medicare payments, and beneficiary copayments, [who now pay 20% of allowed charges if they don't meet admission criteria] and “how billing varied among hospitals in FY 2014,” the OIG said.

News Headlines Article

Primary Care Physicians Need To Be More Like Financial Advisors
The Health Care Blog

Man looks into the Abyss, and there’s nothin’ staring back at him. At that moment, man finds his character, and that’s what keeps him out of the Abyss. – Lou Mannheim (Hal Holbrook) in the movie “Wall Street” We hear reform ideas all the time: primary care physicians need to work at the top of license, physicians need to work in teams, healthcare must deliver top-notch customer service, the focus needs to be on creating strong physician/patient relationships, and physicians need to be paid for delivering value.

News Headlines Article

What do Republican election wins mean for healthcare reform?

Republicans scored big wins in yesterday’s midterm elections, and today’s headlines are full of analysis of what those victories mean for the future of the Affordable Care Act.

First, Republicans prevailed in areas of the country where the uninsured rate fell as a result of the healthcare reform law, The New York Times reported. Arkansas, Kentucky and West Virginia elected GOP Senate candidates who oppose the ACA. Arkansas, Kentucky and West Virginia elected GOP Senate candidates who oppose the ACA. And Arkansas elected Republican supermajorities in its legislature and a Republican governor, which might threaten Medicaid expansion in the state.

News Headlines Article

California Voters Reelect Jones, Soundly Reject Props. 45 and 46
Insurance Journal

Californians voted against two measures opposed by the insurance industry, and reelected incumbent Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.

Election results from Tuesday show the Democrat Jones won reelection with 56.3 percent of the vote. He defeated Republican challenger Ted Gaines, who had 43.7 percent of the votes. Gaines, a state Senator from Northern California, also owns an insurance agency.

News Headlines Article

Palm Drive district election could influence hospital plans
Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Two strong supporters of reviving the shuttered Palm Drive Hospital as a full-service inpatient facility won the two open seats Tuesday on the board of directors of the Palm Drive Healthcare District.

Richard Powers, a Sebastopol family physician, won 46.6 percent of balloting, and Dennis Colthurst, a retired Sebastopol police officer, earned 29.9 percent of the vote. Both Powers and Colthurst strongly endorse a plan to reopen Palm Drive as an acute care hospital with an emergency department.


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.