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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

CHA Submits Comments to EMSA on California State Trauma Plan

CHA has submitted comments to the California Emergency Services Authority (EMSA) on its proposed state trauma plan. CHA has worked extensively with its members and community stakeholders to receive and process feedback on this critically important plan, which will shape the future of trauma care within the state. CHA’s comments note the value of the plan’s references to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration’s 2006 Model Trauma System Planning and Evaluation. However, CHA also offers 26 specific recommendations that highlight the collaborative work of numerous stakeholders, which it believes will help build an innovative trauma system. The comment letter and draft responses are attached.

CHA News Article

CMS Seeks Comments on Potential Patient Engagement Initiatives
Plans to test new models that encourage beneficiary engagement, work toward Triple Aim

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a request for information (RFI) to solicit ideas regarding potential patient engagement initiatives. The RFI seeks responses from clinicians, clinician practices, health care institutions, Medicaid/CHIP agencies, external quality review organizations, quality improvement organizations, advocacy organizations, health plans, employers, purchasers, consumers, research and policy groups, external quality review organizations, community-based providers and other members of the public about how to improve engagement of CMS beneficiaries in health care in order to generate better care and better health at lower costs.

CHA News Article

CBRN Releases 2013 Survey of Nurses’ Educational Experiences

The California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) has released its 2013 Survey of Nurses’ Educational Experiences. The survey attempts to determine California nurses’ obstacles to and propensity for seeking further education after licensure. Concluding that California’s RN population is “well-educated,” the survey found that more than 36 percent of California nurses have completed at least one post-licensure degree. Approximately 7.4 percent of employed RNs are currently enrolled in post-licensure programs. The survey was sent to 2,500 active Californian RNs and received 1,291 responses for a 52.9 percent response rate. For more details on the survey results, see the full BRN survey, attached.

CHA News Article

Webinar to Cover Privacy Laws for Patients With Mental Health, Substance Use Issues
Program is two weeks away; register online now

CHA will host a webinar Sept. 11 from 10 a.m. – noon (PT) to help providers understand the numerous and complicated laws governing privacy for patients with mental health and substance use disorders.

CHA News Article

CMS Instructs MACs to Resume Claims Payments to RHCs for Certain Preventive Services

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has notified Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) to stop denying claims for certain preventive services that had previously been paid when they were the only services provided to Medicare beneficiaries by rural health clinics and federally qualified health centers. CMS has instructed the MACs to resume payment of the claims, which MACs have been denying since Jan. 1. For more information about RHC payments for preventive services, visit the CMS Rural Health Clinics Center.

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.  

Media Statement

California Hospitals Disappointed that May Revise Doesn’t Reverse Retroactive Medi-Cal Payment Cuts
By C. Duane Dauner, President/CEO

The California Hospital Association (CHA) is disappointed that the May revision to the state’s proposed 2014-15 budget, released today, does not reverse looming retroactive Medi-Cal payment cuts to hospital-based skilled-nursing facilities. This omission comes at a critical time in the evolution of the Medi-Cal program.  

News Release

CA Hospitals, SEIU-UHW Reach Agreement to Improve Health Care, Create New Model of Labor Relations

A broad range of California hospitals and hospital systems and the state’s largest union of hospital workers, SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW), have signed a breakthrough agreement to form a strategic relationship that will change the face of healthcare in California and serve as a new national model for how employers and unions interact. 

News Release

Voter Signatures Submitted for Ballot Measure to Protect Health Care Funding for Children, Seniors and Low-Income Californians
Initiative Ensures Government Accountability, Provides Billions in Federal Matching Funds

PALO ALTO, Calif. – A broad coalition of health care providers and community groups announced today that they have collected and are submitting more than one million voter signatures statewide in order to qualify the Medi-Cal Funding and Accountability Act of 2014 for the November ballot.  The measure builds upon SB 239, an important bipartisan agreement passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Jerry Brown in 2013, with no opposition votes cast, to provide a stable source of health care funding to serve California’s most vulnerable citizens: children, seniors, and low income residents.

News Headlines

Today’s News Headlines

News Headlines Article

NFP Hospitals’ Revenue Growth at ‘All-Time Low’
HealthLeaders Media

Marking a second consecutive year of weak financial performance at not-for-profit hospitals, 2013 expenses outpaced revenue growth in the sector and similar results are expected this year, according to Moody’s Investors Service. In a median report released this week, Moody’s says “operating revenue growth dropped to an all-time low of 3.9 percent and was outpaced by expense growth for a second consecutive year, an unsustainable trend.” NFP hospitals posted 5.1 percent revenue growth in 2012.

News Headlines Article

Electrical brain stimulation ‘boosts memory’
BBC News

Exciting a specific part of the brain with electromagnetic pulses could boost our ability to remember certain facts, a study in Science suggests.

The US trials involving 16 volunteers found they made 30% fewer mistakes in memory tests after the procedure.

Scientists are now investigating whether the technique could help people with memory disorders and reduce memory loss in later life.

Independent researchers describe the method as “ingenious”.

News Headlines Article

Transforming Cancer Care
HealthLeaders Media

The National Cancer Institute designates 41 U.S. hospitals as comprehensive cancer centers, with each required to demonstrate excellence in laboratory, clinical, behavioral, and population-based research, and to set high standards for outreach and education. This puts the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in the same category as the Mayo Clinic, M.D. Anderson, and other leading cancer centers.

News Headlines Article

What If EMRs Worked Like Wikipedia?
The Health Care Blog

I’ve been thinking about EMRs, electronic medical records, lately. It’s a subject, despite some professional experience, I don’t feel particularly close to. In fact, if anything, they are a source of consternation. As an industry insider, I see them as an expensive albatross around our collective neck. As a human centered design advisor, I see them as an encumbrance for both providers and patients.

News Headlines Article

Reform Update: Facing ACA mandates, insurers diversify into technology
Modern Healthcare

Health insurance companies, now required to spend the lion’s share of premium revenue on patient care, are looking for higher investment returns elsewhere. As a result, they’re increasingly putting money into technology ventures where they expect to realize higher returns.

The medical-loss ratio standard under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires insurers to spend at least 80% of what they earn from premiums on patient care and related quality improvements.

News Headlines Article

Covered California adds dental benefits
Sacramento Business Journal

Covered California will launch stand-alone family dental benefits in 2015 — but vision benefits are nowhere in sight. Vision-care heavyweight VSP Global, based in Rancho Cordova, has been unable to get traction on efforts to offer policies to the millions of uninsured Californians who seek coverage from the state health-benefit exchange. This is true even though the company threatened to leave the state two years ago when it was first excluded from the mix.

News Headlines Article

Viewpoints: Be warned: Costs for Californians under Obamacare about to spike
Sacramento Bee

Obamacare had a “Mission Accomplished” moment earlier this month. The California Department of Insurance announced that health care plans on Covered California would see premiums increase by 4.2 percent for 2015.

Only in the post-Obamacare world does this constitute good news. We’ve forgotten that the law was initially supposed to lower health care premiums for California families by as much as $2,500 a year. Instead, it’s raising them for the second year in a row.

News Headlines Article

Narrow Networks Bill Passes Floor Vote
California Healthline

The Assembly this week approved a bill to limit narrow networks in California’s health plans. The legislation already passed a Senate vote and is expected to get concurrence today on the Senate floor and move to the governor’s desk for final approval. SB 964 by Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) directs the Department of Managed Health Care to develop standardized methodologies for health insurers to file required annual reports on timeliness compliance, and requires DMHC to review and post findings on those reports.

News Headlines Article

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones: The man who would be king
Sacramento Business Journal

Health-care premiums in California have risen more than five times the rate of inflation over the last decade. Annual rate hikes for most employers have hit double digits. These figures alone make Proposition 45 an easy sell. The Nov. 4 ballot measure would give California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones authority to regulate rates for about 6 million people with individual and small-employer health plans — and reject those considered “excessive.”

News Headlines Article

Hospital admission – inpatient or observation?
Redlands Daily Facts

It’s been four years since his father died in a Eureka skilled nursing facility, but Mark Gatzke is still angry over a Medicare billing technicality that haunted his parents for his father’s final weeks, his mother for more than a year, and a growing number of beneficiaries since then.

The technicality has to do with whether a hospital patient is admitted as an inpatient or for observation.

News Headlines Article

Hospital to offer healthier living workshop
Red Bluff Daily News

Living with or caring for someone with chronic conditions can be difficult. The Healthier Living workshops offered by Mercy Medical Center in Redding are designed to educate individuals and promote self-management of any chronic disease.

Classes are scheduled to begin 9-11:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 11 at Shasta Senior Nutrition Program, 100 Mercy Oaks Drive, Redding.

News Headlines Article

Autism in Girls Study Launched in California
Rocklin & Roseville Today

Autism is far more common in boys than girls – affecting 1 in 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls – but little is known about biological differences between boys and girls with autism. A new study, called the ‘Girls with Autism – Imaging of Neurodevelopment’ or GAIN Study, led by researchers at the UC Davis MIND Institute will explore those differences in very young girls with autism.

News Headlines Article

Kaiser, nurses extend contract through Sept. 30
Sacramento Business Journal

Kaiser Permanente and the California Nurses Association have agreed to extend their current contract — set to expire Sunday — through Sept. 30. This means all the terms in the current contract, including a no-strike provision, will remain in effect for another month, Kaiser says. Meanwhile, the union railed about a recruiting email from a large nurse staffing agency that appears to show Kaiser is gearing up in case there is a strike.

News Headlines Article

Hospital explores an ‘affiliation’ of sorts with Loma Linda
The Record Gazette

Construction of a San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital’s planned six-story, 133,720 square-foot patient building would cost roughly $211 million, furnished. It’s a sum that, on its own, the hospital does not have. Enter Loma Linda University Medical Center, which the hospital already has a working partnership with: both entities are in exploratory negotiations to extend their relationship and take it a step further.

News Headlines Article

Sutter Health facilities make national ‘Best Places to Work’ list
Sacramento Bee

Sacramento-based Sutter Health placed two facilities on Modern Healthcare magazine’s list of the top-100 “Best Places to Work” in health care. Sutter Davis Hospital was the only medical center in Northern California to make the 2014 list, and the Sutter Center for Psychiatry in Sacramento was the only mental health facility in the nation on the list. The Sutter facilities were among seven California sites.

Sutter Davis made the list for a sixth consecutive year. The Sutter Center for Psychiatry was on the list for a third time.

 

CHA News Article

CHCF Releases Report on Monitoring Medi-Cal Access

The California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) has released the attached report titled Monitoring Access: Measures to Ensure Medi-Cal Enrollees Get the Care They Need. Prepared by Mathematica Policy Research and the Urban Institute with support from CHCF, the report provides a framework that can be used to determine the extent to which Medi-Cal provides beneficiaries with appropriate access to health services.

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.

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.

Commands