FAQs: Augmenting Capacity

What tools are available to support hospitals as they surge their capacity to care for patients?

CHA has created a guide to state waivers, which identifies state laws and regulations that have been suspended during the COVID-19 State of Emergency, and a guide to federal waivers, as well.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released guidance to counties on COVID-19 surge planning dated July 15. The guidance advises counties to consult with the state before issuing local health orders. It also clarifies that counties should consider the impact of local health orders that cancel scheduled surgeries and non-emergency procedures, or that furlough potentially exposed asymptomatic health care workers, on the ability to provide medically necessary care. Other key points from the document include:  

  • Hospital surge capacity should be implemented in real time to maintain the ability to provide medically necessary care for all Californians. 
  • County health care coalitions and local health officers were to co-convene hospitals to review the guidance by Aug. 14. 
  • Counties should recognize four surge status levels that outline the roles of county health departments, hospitals, and the state based on dynamic local conditions. 

CDPH has also developed a COVID-19 Health Care System Mitigation Playbook with mitigation strategies for health care facilities. Numerous licensing and certification requirements at both the state and federal levels have been suspended during this public health emergency, which can support health care facilities in surging their capacity. (9/30)