CEO Message

CEO Message: As Crisis Grows, Awaiting State Relief

As the outbreak accelerates even more, due in part to the Thanksgiving holiday (tonight, the greater Sacramento region joins Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley as three of five regions now subject to a regional stay-at-home order), hospitals continue to await much-needed flexibility to ensure they can care not only for the coming surge of COVID-19 patients, but also Californians’ other health needs. 

The greatest challenge right now, and in the coming months, will be to manage escalating numbers of people in need of acute care without enough additional clinical staff available to care for patients (there were 30,000 new COVID-19-positive individuals in California on Thursday alone, which — at that rate — will lead to 3,600 more hospitalizations daily). 

Health care workers are physically and emotionally drained, and their ranks are thinning due to child care needs, illness, retirement, and more. 

No matter what staff and supplies are available, sick people will continue to pour into our hospitals, and Californians are counting on us. A crisis like this requires all the flexibility available to care for those in need. 

That’s why it’s essential that the California Department of Public Health provides a quick, reliable means for hospitals to flex the nurse staffing ratios.  

The current waiver process, in which hospitals individually submit ratio waivers for review and approval by CDPH surveyors, has in many cases resulted in significant delays for hospitals waiting for approval and does not provide the certainty hospitals need. 

As we steel ourselves for the next few weeks and into January, where we will see the impact of the winter holidays, flexibility on these ratios during an unprecedented surge would prove invaluable for hospitals to make real-time adjustments so they can remain, as always, ready to care for those in need. 

~ Carmela

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Finance

CHA News Article

DHCS Issues 2019-21 Hospital Fee Invoices
For CFOs

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) is issuing invoices this month for the 2019-21 Hospital Fee Program.

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Federal Advocacy

CHA News Article

CHA Alert Asks Hospitals to Urge Congress to Help with COVID-19 Relief, Not to Rush Surprise Billing Legislation
For CEOs, government relations executives

On Wednesday, CHA issued an Alert urging hospitals to contact their congressional representatives and ask them to provide additional relief to hospitals during the pandemic and avoid a rush to include surprise medical billing legislation in any year-end package. 

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Regulations

CHA News Article

HHS Proposes Changing HIPAA Rules
For legal counsel, privacy officers

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights has announced proposed changes to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy rule. The changes  aim to increase patients’ access to their health information, improve care coordination, and reduce the regulatory burden for providers and health plans. CHA is analyzing the proposed regulation and will provide members with additional details in the coming weeks. 

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COVID-19

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Telehealth

CHA News Article

State Launches Service to Support Critical Care Telemedicine in Hospitals
For CEOs, CMOs

The California Health and Human Services Agency has announced a service, in partnership with the Emergency Medical Services Authority and Vituity, to provide telemedicine critical care support to hospital patient care teams.  

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Behavioral Health

CHA News Article

Aimee Moulin Named Šimanek Distinguished Service Award Recipient
For CEOs, behavioral health directors

Aimee Moulin, MD, an associate professor at UC Davis with a dual appointment in the Department of Emergency Medicine and Psychiatry, was presented with the 2020 Šimanek Distinguished Service Award during CHA’s annual Behavioral Health Care Symposium, which was held virtually this year.  

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Post-Acute Care

CHA News Article

CMS Provides Updates on Nursing Home Compare
For post-acute care leaders, case managers, quality and compliance leaders

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued an update to the Nursing Home Compare and the Five Star Quality Rating Program. During the COVID-19 public health emergency, required reporting of certain skilled-nursing facility staffing data and quality measures were waived.   

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Education

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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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