CEO Message

CEO Message: 2020 Legislative Finish Line Is in Sight

Through all of it – COVID-19, work/home adjustments, a brief sense of hope in June that this would be short-lived – the 2020 legislative session has slogged on. Now, there are just a couple of weeks left, and two of the most important issues for California’s hospitals remain in play: 

  1. Disaster Planning and Seismic: COVID-19 has brought into stark clarity that the state needs to rethink and reinvent its disaster response plans quickly – to take into account infectious diseases like COVID-19 and other potential threats. This bill would create an advisory committee to provide recommendations on how to prepare for and execute through the next disaster, and it would extend the seismic building requirement from 2030 to 2037 while that work takes place. It is now in the Assembly Appropriations Committee, where our author, Sen. Portantino, chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, will navigate its next steps ahead of a floor vote. 
     
  2. Attorney General Affiliation Approval: COVID-19 has also shown California the invaluable ability of diverse health care delivery models to save lives, but this bill would limit the ability of health care providers to enter important business relationships. Health systems, for example, have been able to seamlessly share equipment and staff – as well as transfer patients – at a time when resources have been scarce. This bill would deter and prevent life-saving affiliations like these and others. It is now headed to the Assembly floor where we are waging a hard fight to stop it cold. 

We are fighting opposition from Labor on both these bills. We need all of your voices! 

An alert sent on Monday asks hospital leaders to reach out to their representatives by Aug. 24. The time is now to make sure we are speaking with one voice and are heard by those who will make critical votes in the next two weeks. 

There are three key messages we’d like you to infuse into your conversations: 

  • Amid the ongoing COVID-19 response, and to create a foundation for effective response in the future, it’s vital that the state convene the best and brightest experts to plan a disaster readiness and response strategy for the 21st century. As this work is conducted, an extension of the seismic mandate is critical so we stay focused on the right disaster readiness objectives and not push hospitals over a financial cliff complying with outdated seismic regulations. 
     
  • The variety of providers in California – including integrated health systems – has saved countless lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. While all health care models can be improved, health care affiliations and systems have proven, and continue to prove, their value every day. A “no” vote on the Attorney General bill prevents the wholesale elimination of a health care delivery model without which the lives of more Californians would be in jeopardy. 
     
  • COVID-19 has decimated hospitals’ finances – not only in 2020, but for the foreseeable future. Right now is not the time to upend a fragile California health care delivery system. The right votes on both of these bills can provide invaluable relief to hospitals without harming state finances in any way. 

To make sure every legislator hears our voice and understands the impact on the people and communities we serve, CHA is adding more lobbying resource and power to this fight. 

COVID-19 has created significant challenges for advocacy work, especially with fewer opportunities (and almost no in-person opportunities) to speak with legislators. That makes your voices even more important during this final stretch. 

Thank you for standing together on these issues of critical importance. 

~ Carmela

CHA News Article

CHA Alert Urges Assemblymembers to Modify Seismic Mandate, Reject AG Authority Over Hospital Transactions
For CEOs, government relations executives

On Monday, CHA issued an alert urging hospitals to write and call — by Aug. 24 – their assemblymember, and ask them to support Senate Bill (SB) 758 (Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge) related to the 2030 seismic mandate, and oppose SB 977 (Monning, D-Carmel) giving the Attorney General unprecedented oversight over hospital transactions. CHA has developed a template letter and background documents about both bills for hospitals’ use. 

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Finance

CHA News Article

HHS Announces Opportunity to Apply for Provider Relief Fund General Distributions by Aug. 28
For CEOs, CFOs

The federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced an additional opportunity for hospitals to apply for Provider Relief Funds. Specifically, providers who missed the June 3 deadline to apply for funding equal to 2% of their total patient care revenue (from the $20 billion portion of the $50 billion Phase 1 general distribution) and certain providers who experienced a change in ownership — making them previously ineligible for Phase 1 funding — will be eligible to apply for financial relief.

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Medicare

CHA News Article

CMS Publishes Medicare Geographic Reclassification Data for FFY 2022
For CFOs, finance staff

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has posted its Three Year Medicare Geographic Classification Review Board (MGCRB) Reclassification Data for the federal fiscal year (FFY) 2022 applications for MGCRB reclassification.

CHA News Article

Appropriate Use Criteria Testing and Education Period Extended Through 2021
For CFOs, finance staff

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its has extended the testing and educational period of its appropriate use criteria (AUC) through 2021. 

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Rural Health

CHA News Article

CMS Announces New Community Health Access and Rural Transformation Model
For rural hospital CFOs, finance staff

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced a new Innovation Center model intended to improve rural health by leveraging innovative financial arrangements, and providing operational and regulatory flexibilities. 

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Public Relations

CHA News Article

CHA Releases New Materials for Care Can’t Wait Campaign
For public relations executives

CHA has developed a new communications toolkit and updated messaging designed to help assure the public that hospitals are safe and delaying care can be dangerous. The updated Care Can’t Wait messaging incorporates results from the latest online poll (July 2020), as well as a social media toolkit with variety of mix-and-match social posts and graphics that can help you communicate these safety messages. 

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Emergency Preparedness

CHA News Article

Agenda Set for CHA’s Disaster Planning Virtual Conference
For disaster coordinators, health care executives, compliance staff, and safety staff

The national supply chain strategy, FEMA reimbursement, crisis care guidelines, and managing hospital surges during a health care pandemic – register for the CHA Disaster Planning Virtual Conference, Sept. 15-16 from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., to hear about these topics and get backstage access to speakers. 

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Quality & Patient Safety

CHA News Article

HQI to Host Webinar on Community Resources for Perinatal Mental Health
For CEOs and leaders in quality & patient safety, labor & delivery, and behavioral health

As part of  its Perinatal Mental Health (PMH) Learning Community, the Hospital Quality Institute will host a webinar from noon to 1 p.m. (PT) on Aug. 20 to discuss development of community referral resources for perinatal mental health. 

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CMS News Roundup

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Education

Publication

CHA Education Events

For more information about CHA education programs, visit www.calhospital.org/education.

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