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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

CBO Estimates 22 Million Will Lose Coverage Under Senate Health Care Bill

Today, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its estimate of the Better Care Reconciliation Act — the U.S. Senate’s draft legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). According to the CBO, 22 million additional people would be uninsured by 2026 if the legislation is passed. The analysis also concludes that the Senate bill would reduce the federal deficit by $321 billion between 2017 and 2026, which is $200 billion more than the estimated savings from the American Health Care Act, the House of Representatives’ bill to replace the ACA.

Tomorrow, CHA will issue an Advocacy Alert updating hospitals about the legislation and what they can do, including talking points and other resources.

CHA News Article

Next California Children’s Services Redesign Meeting Is July 11

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) will host the next quarterly California Children’s Services (CCS) Advisory Group meeting July 11 to discuss implementation of the Whole-Child Model and improvements to the CCS program statewide. At the April 12 meeting, discussion topics included an update on the allocation methodology and performance measures workgroup; a brief presentation on a health plan’s best practices and lessons learned with implementing an integrated delivery system pilot; and an update on continuity of care as it applies to durable medical equipment. In addition to the CCS Advisory Group meeting, DHCS has facilitated two discussion groups on neonatal intensive care unit processes in the Whole-Child Model. To view meeting agendas and presentations, or for more Whole-Child Model information, visit the DHCS website.

CHA News Article

Fact Sheets Available on IRF, LTCH Compare

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has developed the attached fact sheets about the public quality reporting websites for inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs) and long-term care hospitals (LTCHs) — IRF Compare and LTCH Compare. The websites were launched in 2016 to support public reporting and sharing of standardized data for post-acute care providers, as required by the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 . The fact sheets suggest approaches for communicating with patients and families on how the data can assist in their decision-making process and can serve as a resource to providers in understanding their current quality ratings.    

CHA News Article

DHCS, Covered California Release Quarterly Eligibility and Enrollment Report
Highlights how many Californians have gained health coverage under the ACA

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and Covered California have released the attached quarterly report on eligibility and enrollment processes for all California insurance affordability programs, including Medi-Cal and qualified health plans (QHPs) available through Covered California. The report — required under AB X1-1 (Chapter 3, Statutes of 2013) — details pathways and outcomes for new applicants, including application sites, consumer assistance, applicant demographics, resulting eligibility determinations, plan enrollment choices, and the volume and outcome of eligibility appeals. It provides application, eligibility and enrollment data from July 1, 2016, through Sept. 30, 2016.

CHA News Article

New Accreditation Requirements for Sleep Studies Now in Effect

Effective last week, all hospitals billing sleep studies under jurisdiction of Noridian — the Medicare Local Coverage Determination for California — must maintain proper certification documentation by acquiring credentials from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (inpatient or outpatient), The Joint Commission sleep-specific credentials for ambulatory care sleep centers or the Accreditation Commission for Health Care. Labs that do not yet have the required credentials must apply for credentialing by one of these organizations within the next 90 days and must make available, upon Noridian’s request, both the application and a letter from the credentialing organization verifying that an application is in process.

All sleep labs must have final credentialing by one of the organizations listed above within the next 12 months. CHA is seeking clarification on the deadlines and will publish those dates, when available, in CHA News. More information is available on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services website.

General information For Members

Reassuring Our Communities
A CHA Communications Toolkit

The national debate surrounding federal immigration policies provides an important opportunity for California hospitals to reinforce the bond they have with local communities. Accordingly, CHA has developed the Reassuring Our Communities Communications Toolkit, which includes background information and sample content for use with internal and external audiences. The materials, many of which are in both English and Spanish, are formatted in Microsoft Word so they can be easily customized. In addition, samples of hospital policies and communications materials can be found below.

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 Express Disappointment in Senate Version of Health Care Repeal Bill
Legislation Will Undermine Medicaid Program, Many Californians May Lose Coverage

California hospitals have long stood for health care coverage for all Americans. The draft health care bill released today by the U.S Senate does not meet this principle. In fact, the proposed legislation would likely result in a significant step backwards.

California has covered 4 million children, seniors and working families through Medi-Cal expansion over the past several years. Additionally, 1.5 million Californians have purchased insurance through Covered California. California leads the nation in expanding health care coverage, with 91 percent of all Californians now covered. This progress has helped working Californians, seniors and children access care they would not otherwise have had.

Health care coverage makes a significant difference in the lives of working families who now have access to important preventative care, routine examinations, hospital services and medications. This care keeps children healthy and in school, gaining the knowledge they need to become the future of our state and our country. Many adults who once had trouble finding health coverage because of pre-existing conditions such as high blood pressure, asthma and diabetes are receiving the care and access to treatment they need and contributing to a more productive workforce — key to California’s growing economy.

Media Statement

California Hospitals Express Disappointment in House of Representatives’ Passage of AHCA
Legislation Will Undermine Medicaid Program, Many Californians May Lose Coverage

Passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) by the House of Representatives does not advance CHA’s long-standing goal to expand health care coverage to all Californians.  

California leads the nation in expanding health care coverage, with 91 percent of all Californians now covered.  If the current version of the AHCA is enacted, some of this gain could be undone, resulting in a loss of health care coverage for many Californians.   The plan calls for $880 billion to be cut from the Medicaid program nationwide – an amount that will undermine this vital program.  More than 14 million Californians – including children, seniors and low-income families -  are currently enrolled in Medi-Cal, California’s version of Medicaid.  

The AHCA would increase the cost of coverage for Californians with pre-existing health conditions.  A last-minute amendment to the AHCA requires states to request a waiver from the federal government in order to obtain funding for high-risk pools that would support coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.  It is unknown whether California will seek such a waiver, however it is unlikely that sufficient federal funding will be available to provide affordable coverage for all individuals suffering from high-cost pre-existing conditions. 

California’s experience with high-risk pools has been unsuccessful, in part because they were underfunded.  A program launched in the early 1990s called the Major Risk Medical Insurance Program (Mr. MIP) left many people without coverage or on long waiting lists.

CHA supports an optimally healthy society which includes coverage for all Californians.  The Association will continue to support this vision as the AHCA moves to the U.S. Senate.  

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.

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

10 Emerging Technologies to Watch
Scientific American

What if drinking water could be drawn from desert air easily, without requiring enormous amounts of electricity from a grid? What if a doctor could do a biopsy for a suspected cancer without a blade of any sort? What if we didn’t have to wait too long to find out? Technologies that make these visions a reality are expected to become increasingly commonplace in the next few years. This special report, compiled and produced in a collaboration between Scientific American and the World Economic Forum’s Expert Network, highlights 10 such emerging technologies.

News Headlines Article

Training, education of ER nurses key to helping human trafficking victims
FierceHealthcare

Victims of human trafficking interact frequently with the healthcare system, and simple screening processes can help providers identify people who are at risk.

Researchers at Allegheny Health Network in southwestern Pennsylvania piloted two screening programs at a Level 2 trauma center in the region that sees about 41,000 emergency patients a year, according to a new study published in the Journal of Emergency Nursing. The hospital previously had no identification programs in place, but after five months in the pilot, 38 patients were identified as potential human trafficking victims.

Just one turned out to be actually trafficked, according to the study, but the pilot identified patients at risk for other trauma.

News Headlines Article

A text message helped one of my patients stay in control of his health. Here’s how
STAT

 As a new doctor, I’ve learned that the best patient care happens as often outside of the hospital as inside. While we treat sick people and get them tuned up, each patient’s opportunity to get better and stay better often depends on their access to resources beyond clinical walls.

One of those resources, I’m learning, could be mobile technology. I’ve seen how a simple text message can help bridge patient care in and out of the hospital and make the medical system a little more efficient.

News Headlines Article

In a first for U.S. academic medical center, Stanford Medicine hires chief physician wellness officer
Stanford Medicine News Center

Tait Shanafelt, MD, a nationally recognized expert in physician wellness, will join Stanford Medicine as its first chief wellness officer, effective Sept. 1, leading the medical center’s pioneering program in the field.

His appointment makes Stanford the first academic medical center in the country to create a position of chief wellness officer at a time when physician burnout nationally has reached an all-time high. Shanafelt, whose clinical work and research focus on the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, will direct the WellMD Center at Stanford Medicine and serve as associate dean of the School of Medicine.

News Headlines Article

Race is on to pass Senate healthcare bill despite industry opposition
Modern Healthcare

Healthcare providers and insurers had differing reactions to the Senate Republican bill unveiled last week to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The “discussion draft” draft bill bombed with healthcare providers, while some insurers reveled at the offering of cost-sharing reduction payments and tens of billions in temporary reinsurance funding.

But it may not matter what industry stakeholders think. They say GOP lawmakers didn’t ask for their input.

News Headlines Article

Trump political arm to GOP: Get in line
POLITICO

A new campaign by top White House allies targeting the GOP’s most vulnerable senator over health care sends a loud message to those resistant to the Trump agenda: We’re coming after you.

America First Policies, a White House-backed outside group led by the president’s top campaign advisers, has launched a $1 million attack against Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), who on Friday announced that he opposed the Senate’s recently unveiled Obamacare repeal plan.

That included a Twitter and digital ad campaign targeting the senator, including a video that accuses him of “standing with” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a reviled figure in conservative circles.

News Headlines Article

Senate Republicans skeptical Obamacare repeal can pass this week
POLITICO

Senate Republicans are casting doubt on their leaders’ plans to vote this week on repealing Obamacare, with lawmakers from all wings of the party so far withholding support from the massive reshaping of the health care law that they campaigned on for seven years.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky faces problems from seemingly every corner of his conference, and — from wary moderates to conservatives and even leadership allies — few Republicans were willing Sunday to predict the Senate repeal bill could pass this week, before lawmakers leave Washington for a weeklong July 4

News Headlines Article

States would lower provider payments if Senate ACA repeal bill passes
Modern Healthcare

The Senate’s proposed legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act could have widespread implications for healthcare providers across the country, sparking hospital closures, lower provider rates and decreased access to nursing homes if the bill becomes law.The Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 proposes to cap federal payments to the states for most beneficiaries at the medical component of the Consumer Price Index starting in 2020. Growth of those payments would be limited to the much lower CPI rate starting in 2025, a formula that doesn’t keep up with rising medical costs.

News Headlines Article

From the frontlines of the battle over healthcare reform
Modern Healthcare

The Senate’s proposed bill to replace Obamacare was immediately met with widespread dissent from members of both parties in Congress, healthcare providers, some insurers and perhaps most vehemently, patient advocacy groups. Here are the thoughts, opinions and comments made on the BCRA.

News Headlines Article

The Dubious Counting At The Center Of The G.O.P.’s Health-Care Reform
New York Post

After Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, released a draft of the Senate health-care bill, on Thursday morning, the media finally began focussing on the essence of what Republicans are proposing: an enormous redistribution of wealth into the pockets of the already-wealthy. The bill would modify the health-insurance subsidies introduced under the Affordable Care Act and dramatically cut Medicaid, all to deliver a big tax cut to the nation’s richest households.

News Headlines Article

‘Coverage Gap’ For Poor May End, But Many Will Still Have Trouble Affording Plans
Kaiser Health News

Having long decried the failings of the Affordable Care Act, Senate Republicans are purporting to fix one of its loopholes with their newly unveiled health plan. The so-called coverage gap left more than 2.5 million people living below the poverty line of $11,880 for an individual ineligible for Medicaid or financial assistance to buy insurance — even as higher earners got subsidy checks to buy theirs.

But experts say the fix, which looks fine on paper, is a mirage. In fairness, the loophole was essentially created by Republicans and others when a Supreme Court decision meant that states were no longer required to expand Medicaid.

News Headlines Article

Whether or Not Republicans Are Able to Replace Obamacare…
The Health Care Blog

There is a far more fundamental issue affecting the overall success of our healthcare system. Doctors and patients need more transparency when it comes to health care costs.

Healthcare is becoming more expensive by the year. In 1960, healthcare costs accounted for 5% of the gross domestic product. In 2015, they made up 17.8 percent.

News Headlines Article

Insurers’ losses on ACA plans narrow in 2016
Modern Healthcare

Health insurers lost less money on individual insurance plans in 2016 than they did the year before, but those losses still totaled billions of dollars.

Insurers selling plans in the individual insurance market on and off the exchanges lost between 7% and 9% of premiums, compared with 10.1% of premiums in 2015, according to a report released Friday morning by consultancy McKinsey & Co. That’s because enrollment increased in individual plans last year, so insurers made more in revenue.

News Headlines Article

Medical groups diagnose GOP health care bill: It’s not well
Yahoo! News

The Senate on Thursday unveiled its version of the American Health Care Act, the bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act and roll back Medicaid.

The Senate’s version of the bill, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, is very similar to the bill passed by the House. A few changes from the House bill of note: an even lower growth rate for Medicaid funding for states, pushing the end of the Medicaid expansion back four years, and lower the income threshold for eligibility of premium subsidies to about $42,000.

News Headlines Article

GOP Medicaid cuts would hurt much more than health care
USA Today

The Senate’s new health bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, proposes even deeper cuts to Medicaid than the House bill. At risk is a program that provides relatively low-cost care to nearly 75 million Americans — including children, pregnant women, disabled individuals and elderly people in nursing homes.

As physicians, we are dismayed by the prospect of millions of patients losing access to the medical care they need. But what is often lost in the debate about who should have health care and who should pay for it is the larger fact thatMedicaid helps people live healthier, fuller and more productive lives.  The unavoidable reality for those trying to dismantle the program is that the health of people is intimately linked to the health of communities, local economies and the nation as a whole. 

News Headlines Article

California shelves single-payer health bill
San Francisco Chronicle

California will not be instituting single-payer health care anytime soon. Three weeks after the state Senate passed a bill that aimed to create a $400 billion-a-year single-payer system in California, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Paramount (Los Angeles County), abruptly shelved the measure Friday, calling it “woefully incomplete.” The move means the bill is essentially dead this legislative session. The bill, SB562, was co-authored by state Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens (Los Angeles County), and backed by the California Nurses Association.

News Headlines Article

Single-payer health care put on hold in California as leader calls bill ‘woefully incomplete’
The Mercury News

A proposal to bring universal health care to California — replacing the private insurance market with a government-run single-payer plan — was abruptly put on hold Friday by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, all but ensuring the nationally touted measure will not pass the Legislature this year. Earlier this month, the state Senate voted to pass a $400 billion plan sponsored by the California Nurses Association, sending it to the Assembly. But the measure had few details — including how the state would raise the money to pay for it.

News Headlines Article

Blaming ‘Threat’ of GOP Health Bill, California Hits Pause on Single Payer
KQED Radio

Single-payer health care, a longtime goal of progressive Democrats and the nurses’ union, is dead for now.  No further legislative action will be taken in 2017.

A bill pushing a state-based single-payer system was brought to a halt late Friday when Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, declined to move it forward. The bill will not get a hearing by the Assembly Rules Committee before the July 14 deadline, though it could be taken up again in 2018. It passed the California Senate on June 1.

News Headlines Article

In The End, Even The Middle Class Would Feel GOP Cuts To Nursing Home Care
Kaiser Health News

Alice Jacobs, 90, once owned a factory and horses. She raised four children and buried two husbands.

But years in an assisted living facility drained her savings, and now she relies on Medicaid to pay for her care at Dogwood Village, a nonprofit, county-owned nursing home here.

“You think you’ve got enough money to last all your life, and here I am,” Jacobs said.

Medicaid pays for about two-thirds of the 1.4 million elderly people in nursing homes, like Jacobs. It covers 20 percent of all Americans, and 40 percent of poor adults.

News Headlines Article

‘Interlaced Fingers’ Traces Roots Of Racial Disparity In Kidney Transplants
National Public Radio

While she was a primary care doctor in Oakland, Calif., Dr. Vanessa Grubbs fell in love with a man who had been living with kidney disease since he was a teenager.

Their relationship brought Grubbs face to face with the dilemmas of kidney transplantation — and the racial biases she found to be embedded in the way donated kidneys are allocated. Robert Phillips, who eventually became her husband, had waited years for a transplant; Grubbs ended up donating one of her own kidneys to him. And along the way she found a new calling as a nephrologist — a kidney doctor.

News Headlines Article

Close to Home: A bad deal for dialysis patients in California
Santa Rosa Press Democrat

I have been a nephrologist (kidney doctor), for nearly 20 years and am responsible for the care of 100 patients in Sonoma County with end-stage renal disease, or kidney failure. Patients on dialysis need to be hooked up to machines that replicate the function of the kidneys a minimum of three times a week for three or four hours at a time to filter toxins from their blood and fluid from their bodies. Without dialysis, they will die.

News Headlines Article

Emergency room visits soar in Sonoma County under Obamacare
Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Hospital emergency departments in Sonoma County are seeing a dramatic surge in Medi-Cal patients, the result of a provision in former President Barack Obama’s landmark health care law that greatly expanded coverage for tens of thousands of poor local residents.

New state data shows Medi-Cal patients made 150 visits each day to area emergency rooms last year, up from 90 visits a day in 2013, the year before the Affordable Care Act lowered eligibility requirements for California’s insurance program for low-income residents.

News Headlines Article

NorthBay redefines community medicine
Daily Republic

Does “community hospital” conjure an image of a place where complex brain and spinal surgery happen on a regular basis?

Where life-saving orthopedic care is available 24/7/365?

Where cutting-edge technology, equipment and medical know-how allow cancer patients to get treatments close to home?

Where open heart surgery regularly saves lives?

Or where parents of fragile newborns can keep an eye on their baby using their cellphones and a video monitoring system?

News Headlines Article

GOP health care bill could drive even more North Coast patients to emergency rooms
Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Emergency rooms would once again become the main medical access point for low-income residents under the Republican Party’s latest health care bill, which seeks to replace former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, according to local and state health care experts.

Unveiled Thursday in the Senate, the Better Care Reconciliation Act would roll back Obamacare’s massive expansion of Medicaid, which brought government-subsidized health coverage to 11 million low-income residents across the country, including 4 million in California and 35,000 in Sonoma County.

 

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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