CEO Message

CEO Message: Back in Session (Sort Of) 

Last week, the state Senate and Assembly began their slow creep toward a return to minimal business, holding teleconference hearings on COVID-19, its impact on California, and how the pandemic will affect this and next year’s budgets. 

Legislators at the hearings vocalized what many already know: the state’s budget has been decimated by COVID-19, and thousands of pieces of legislation (legislators are being asked to keep bill packages to three to five bills, and committee chairs are pushing for a singular focus on COVID-19 response and economic recovery) are now on hold. A couple of other takeaways: 

  • Both the Administration and Legislature recognize the need for more federal dollars to help the state. 
  • Legislators are concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on the health care system, including the effect on hospitals, on doctors, and on long-term damage to the way care is delivered.

So where does this leave hospitals? 

In the early weeks of the 2020 session, two priorities had materialized: seismic standards reform and the Governor’s proposed Office of Health Care Affordability.  

There has been little movement on the Office of Health Care Affordability, as the Governor’s health care staff has been handling COVID-19 24/7. That said, there may still be some push to advance this concept, though significantly narrowed in light of the pandemic. 

On seismic reform, while our response to COVID-19 reinforces the concept that hospitals are prepared to handle any emergency using flexible approaches, this legislation will not likely move forward in its current form this year. We will continue to inform legislators that scarce resources should be focused on preparedness and key services, not inflexible infrastructure requirements, as we work toward addressing this mandate. 

Almost all budget-related requests — such as those made in conjunction with the National Alliance on Mental Illness California for additional funding for behavioral health care — are now off the table. 

All of this work in 2020 is punctuated by the crystal clear understanding that as hospitals’ budgets have been gutted, there will be an ongoing need to press the state and federal governments, as well as other sources, for additional funds to help stabilize the resources you rely on to deliver care to all Californians. 

- Carmela

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Finance

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Federal Advocacy

CHA News Article

Urge Congress to Vote for Additional Funding for Health Care Providers
For CEOs, government relations executives

Federal lawmakers have reached a deal to expand the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) with an additional $75 billion for health care providers. The Senate is expected to vote today; the House is scheduled to vote on Thursday. There is still time before Thursday’s vote to urge House members to vote yes on the package and articulate hospital’s need for additional funding. Find your representative’s contact information here, and see the template letter CHA has provided for members’ use.

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Regulations

CHA News Article

CMS Issues FFY 2021 Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility PPS Proposed Rule
For CEOs, CFOs, post-acute care executives, government relations executives

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued the federal fiscal year (FFY) 2021 proposed rule for the inpatient rehabilitation facility prospective payment system, which would update the Medicare payment rate and quality reporting programs. The provisions in the proposed rule, if finalized, would be effective Oct. 1, 2021.  

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Managed Care

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Legal

CHA News Article

Attorney General Opinion Clarifies Effective Date for Filing 805 Report
For CEOs, CFOs, chief legal counsel, government relations staff

On April 20, the California Attorney General issued a published opinion clarifying the time period within which a Business and Professions Code section 805 report must be filed. Section 805 requires a report to be filed with the relevant state healing arts licensing agency “within 15 days after the effective date” of certain actions taken by a peer review body against specified health care practice licentiates. 

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Medi-Cal

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Coverage

CHA News Article

Covered California Issues Enrollment Update
For CEOs, CFOs, government relations staff

Covered California announced last week that more than 58,000 consumers have enrolled in health insurance coverage through the exchange since it established a “Special Enrollment Period” in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The enrollment data cover a three-week period from March 20, the date the Special Enrollment Period was launched, through April 7.  

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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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