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 Host Three ICD-10 Trainings in California

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will offer free ICD-10 training in three California locations this month. The first session is slated for tomorrow in Sacramento, with subsequent trainings Wednesday in San Francisco and Thursday in Los Angeles. Each session will include an examination of the differences and benefits of ICD-10; the common codes, primers for clinical documentation and clinical scenarios; and creation of a customized action plan tailored by specialty. The programs are designed for physicians and practice managers. See the attached event flyers for information and to register.

CHA News Article

AHA Announces New President/CEO

The American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Board of Trustees has named Rick Pollack as its next president and chief executive officer. A 32-year veteran of the AHA, Pollack will succeed Richard J. Umbdenstock, who announced his retirement in November and will retire at the end of 2015. Since 1991, Pollack has served as AHA’s executive vice president for advocacy and public policy responsible for the development, implementation and management of the association’s advocacy, representation and public affairs activities. He will step into his new role in September.

“Rick Pollack is a great choice to serve as the next AHA President and CEO. Rick’s 32 years as an AHA executive and leader in Washington, D.C., make him well-qualified to head up our national association,” said CHA President /CEO C. Duane Dauner. 

CHA News Article

CMS Announces Mass Adjustment of Some OPPS Claims
Will issue corrected payments

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has notified providers that Medicare administrative contractors will be making a mass adjustment to certain outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) claims and issuing corrected payments. The claims affected are for ambulatory payment classification 1448 (ophthalmic mitoymycin). The national unadjusted copayment for these claims was set to 20 percent when it should have been $0 for claims with dates of service from Jan. 1, 2014, through the installation of the April 2015 OPPS pricer. CMS has corrected the error in the April 2015 OPPS pricer, as well as in OPPS addendums A and B. Providers will be responsible for reimbursing beneficiaries for any overpayment due to the erroneous copayment.

CHA News Article

Population Health Management Program Opens to Rave Reviews
Not too late to register; all programs will be recorded

Image of Population Health Management Program Opens to Rave Reviews

CHA’s five part-certification series on Population Health Management (PHM) kicked off Tuesday with the first webinar, A Framework for PHM. Members who attended responded positively about the program, including:

“Very informative, insightful and visionary. I look forward to the future modules.”
“Excellent overview of PHM!”
“The Issue Brief provided an excellent foundation for the webinar.”
“We now have a better understanding of Population Health.”

“CHA engaged in this work with Kaufman Hall to help California member hospitals strengthen their position in the ever-changing health care delivery system,” said Anne McLeod, CHA’s senior vice president for health policy and innovation. “Population health management is the direction health care is moving as hospitals are challenged to enhance patient care quality, access and experience, while reducing costs.”

CHA News Article

California MDS Newsletter Available

The California Department of Public Health has issued the attached All Facilities Letter (AFL) to inform skilled-nursing facilities that the April edition of the Minimum Data Set (MDS) newsletter, California MDS Nuggets, is now available. The AFL also notes that the April issue includes revisions to Section “A” of the Resident Assessment Instrument Manual, new recommendations for the pneumococcal vaccine, instructions for documenting the influenza vaccine and information on the expansion of MDS surveys.   

News Release

CNA Bill Harms the Affordable Care Act and Community Benefit Programs
Similar politically motivated proposals have been defeated at the Capitol in the past two years

California’s not-for-profit hospitals would find their ability to carry out successful community benefit partnerships greatly harmed if Senate Bill (SB) 346 were passed and signed into law.  SB 346 by Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) would compromise the resources used by hospitals to tailor a wide array of community benefit programs to meet the specific health needs of their community. The bill would replace collaboration and flexibility with arbitrary formulas and rigid requirements that conflict with the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

News Release

New Legislation Enhances “Mission of Service” by California’s Not-For-Profit Hospitals
New Video Profiles Community Benefit Programs Offered Across California to Meet Local Needs

California’s not-for-profit hospitals support a diverse array of community benefit programs across the state that are tailored to meet specific local health care needs. Those programs would be strengthened by Assembly Bill (AB) 1046 by Assemblymember Matt Dababneh (D-Encino), which provides greater transparency and accountability in the reporting of these programs. These community benefit programs, which provide help to millions of vulnerable Californians, are the subject of a new video produced by the California Hospital Association.

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.

News Headlines

Today’s News Headlines

News Headlines Article

Poll: Obamacare pokes its head above the water line

The American public is still almost evenly divided in its views on Obamacare, a new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows. But for the first time since 2012, the president’s signature health care law has its head above water, with 43 percent viewing it favorably and 42 percent unfavorably. The split is still within the margin of error but a vast improvement for the law’s supporters since July of last year, when those opposed outweighed those in favor by 16 percentage points.

News Headlines Article

CNA Bill Harms the Affordable Care Act and Community Benefit Programs
PR Newswire

California’s not-for-profit hospitals would find their ability to carry out successful community benefit partnerships greatly harmed if Senate Bill (SB) 346 were passed and signed into law. SB 346 by Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) would compromise the resources used by hospitals to tailor a wide array of community benefit programs to meet the specific health needs of their community. The bill would replace collaboration and flexibility with arbitrary formulas and rigid requirements that conflict with the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

News Headlines Article

Poll: Obamacare in positive territory (by one point)
USA Today

There’s more evidence that President Obama’s health care law is gaining in popularity.

According to the monthly Kaiser Health Tracking Poll released Tuesday, 43% have a favorable view of the Affordable Care Act and 42% have an unfavorable view — the first time the law has been in positive territory since November of 2012, the month President Obama won re-election.

Of course, the poll points out that the margin is “one percentage point, and the difference is within the survey’s margin of sampling error and is not statistically significant.”

News Headlines Article

Doctors Medical Center Closure Shows Struggle Of Hospitals That Serve The Poor
capital public radio

Doctors Medical Center, a 60-year-old hospital in San Pablo, has been struggling financially for two decades. Economic changes in health care are putting new pressures on hospitals, especially ones that serve the poor.

Doctors Medical Center is shutting down at 7 a.m. Tuesday, after two decades trying to close a budget deficit.

News Headlines Article

SGR Appeal: Fixing the Present, Setting a Foundation for the Future
The Health Care Blog

Last week, I was riveted to the deliberations on the Senate floor, as the fate of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA – so far, more commonly called the “SGR fix”) was decided. One amendment after another failed to pass; the legislation ultimately passed by a vote of 92-8, and was signed into law shortly thereafter.

News Headlines Article

Patients give Monterey County hospitals passing grades
The Californian - Salinas

Not one hospital in Monterey County received a five-star rating from a new patient satisfaction survey just released by the federal government.

However, hospital officials on Tuesday cautioned that the survey is but a snapshot — not the entire picture — of hospital quality.

Seeking a more simplified way of gauging patient satisfaction, the feds came up with the five-star system, similar to what consumers use to rank restaurants and other services.

News Headlines Article

Nine Calif. Hospitals Among Becker’s List of 100 Best Facilities in U.S.
Becker's Hospital Review

Nine California hospitals made Becker’s Hospital Review’s 2015 list of “100 Great Hospitals in America,” Becker’s Hospital Review reports. For the list, the editorial staff of Becker’s Hospital Review examined hospital rankings from several sources, including: The American Nurses Credentialing Center:

News Headlines Article

Physician Compensation, Dissatisfaction Ratchet Up
Health Leaders Media

Physician compensation has seen modest gains since last year—but satisfaction has not risen along with pay, data from Medscape’s Annual Physician Compensation Report shows. The report is analyzes how compensation influences physician career considerations and job satisfaction.

Now in its fifth year, the survey of more than 19,500 physicians across 26 specialties reveals that most physicians saw a modest increase in pay in 2014, and that employment status, therapeutic specialty, and gender were the key drivers for physician compensation.

News Headlines Article

Death in Secret: California’s Underground World of Assisted Suicide
KQED Radio

Physician-assisted suicide is illegal in California. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Sick patients sometimes ask for help in hastening their deaths, and some doctors will explain, vaguely, how to do it. This leads to bizarre, veiled conversations between medical professionals who want to help, but also want to avoid prosecution, and overwhelmed family members who are left to interpret euphemisms at one of the most confusing times of their lives.

News Headlines Article

Screening Tests For Breast Cancer Genes Just Got Cheaper
National Public Radio

A new California company announced Monday it is offering a much cheaper and easier way for women to get tested for genetic mutations that increase their risk for breast and ovarian cancer.

Color Genomics of Burlingame, Calif., has begun selling a $249 test that it says can accurately analyze a saliva sample for mutations in the breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, as well as check for 17 other genetic variants that have been associated with a somewhat increased risk for cancer of the breast or ovaries.

News Headlines Article

Is It Time To Make Medical And Family Leave Paid?
National Public Radio

It’s been more than 20 years since passage of the landmark Family and Medical Leave Act, which allows workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off for medical or family reasons without losing their jobs.

Some workers’ advocates and politicians say it’s time to plug a big hole in the law by requiring that workers get paid while they’re on leave.

News Headlines Article

Pediatric Emergency Readiness Improving in Hospitals
Health Leaders Media

Children have different medical needs than adults, and that’s also true in emergency situations. That’s why Marianne Gausche-Hill, MD, FACEP, FAAP, of the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, says it’s “really heartening” that the nation’s emergency departments have significantly improved their pediatric readiness in the past several years.

News Headlines Article

Pan Amends Vaccine Bill Ahead Of Do-Or-Die Committee Vote
capital public radio

The author of a bill that would require California school children to be vaccinated is making some last-minute changes ahead of a critical committee vote Wednesday.

Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) says the amendments would allow unvaccinated children to be home-schooled through the public school system’s independent study program – or in multi-family groups.

News Headlines Article

Californians can now pay cash for health insurance at 7-Eleven
Southern California Public Radio

The largest publicly run health plan in the nation, L.A. Care, will allow customers who do not have traditional bank accounts to pay their health insurance premiums with cash.

One in four Americans who were previously uninsured and eligible for federal insurance subsidies don’t have a bank account, relying instead on prepaid debit cards, money orders and cash to pay bills, according to a study by Jackson Hewitt Tax Service.

News Headlines Article

Bill limiting vaccine exemptions at moment of truth
San Francisco Chronicle

A bill that would eliminate the option California parents use to skip their child’s school immunizations faces a do-or-die test Wednesday in a state Senate committee that came close to rejecting it last week.

The bill’s authors made two amendments in an effort to win committee support. One allows unvaccinated children to be home-schooled with non-family or non-household members, and the other allows students in recognized independent-study programs to skip required vaccinations.

News Headlines Article

Bills move forward to curb overuse of psychiatric medications in California foster care
The Mercury News

Following powerful testimony by former foster youth, a package of reform bills designed to rein in the excessive use of psychiatric drugs in California’s child welfare system met unanimous approval in the state Senate on Tuesday — the first step in a series of legislative moves ahead.

The foster youth told the Senate’s Human Services Committee they’d been kicked out of residential treatment programs for refusing drugs that caused them debilitating side effects, had been prescribed four and five medications at once, and often suffered in silence when no one was there to listen.

News Headlines Article

Young Adults With Autism More Likely To Be Unemployed, Isolated
National Public Radio

The transition to adulthood marks a big turning point in life for everyone, but for young people on the autism spectrum that transition can be really tough.

Young adults with autism had lower employment rates and higher rates of complete social isolation than people with other disabilities, according to a report published Tuesday by the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute.

News Headlines Article

No autism-vaccine link, study finds
San Diego Union-Tribune

No association was found between autism and getting the MMR vaccine, according to a study published Tuesday in JAMA.

The study of 95,000 children with older siblings also examined those at high risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), namely those who have an older autistic sibling. No link between the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and autism was found in these high-risk children, researchers said in the study.


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

Image of New Study by Economist and Former Finance Director  Tom Campbell Shows Access to Care At Risk from Mandates

(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

Image of CHA Releases Allied Health Workforce Survey Results

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’

Image of 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

Image of 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.