CEO Message

CEO Message: Federal Action Needed to Help Hospitals

Negotiations on President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package are continuing at a rapid pace, and the budget reconciliation process used to advance the proposal means the House could take a final vote by the end of February. 

Despite the size of Biden’s plan, there’s one glaring hole: No hospital-specific aid to support patient care, workforce sustainability, and health care infrastructure. 

On Monday, CHA sent an Alert to all hospitals in California asking that they contact representatives and senators to ensure hospitals are not left out as we recover from recent surges that have been the most intense and widespread to date. 

In addition to asking hospitals and systems to elevate the issue individually, CHA’s letter to the California congressional delegation details three urgent priorities: 

  • Expanding and improving the Provider Relief Fund 
  • Forgiving from repayment the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment Program loans 
  • Extending the delay in sequestration cuts for the duration of the public health emergency 

On expanding the Provider Relief Fund, the pandemic has devastated California’s economy, and hospitals are no exception. Hospitals answered the call to respond to COVID-19 and rapidly created additional physical space, purchased protective and clinical equipment, hired more staff, and suspended many non-emergency services. These enormous feats placed an unparalleled strain on hospitals, and without federal aid to offset losses, patients and communities will suffer. 

Early and conservative estimates put California hospitals’ losses through the end of 2020 at more than $14 billion (The Financial Impact of COVID-19 on California Hospitals, June 2020). However, the state’s hospitals have received just under $8.6 billion in federal relief.  

On repayment forgiveness, as hospitals continue to face an escalation of both public health and economic crises, the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payment Program loans should be forgiven, considering the depth and length of the pandemic. 

On delaying sequestration cuts, Congress’ action to preserve much-needed funds for providers has been critical to ensure maximum patient care. The current delay on these 2% annual reductions expires at the end of March but should be extended through the public health emergency. 

As with any advocacy effort, the voice of California’s hospitals is strongest when speaking in unison, and every hospital’s individual outreach is valuable and appreciated. 

~ Carmela

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Finance

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COVID-19

CHA News Article

CDC Updates Quarantine Guidance for COVID-19 Vaccinated Individuals
For CEOs, CNOs, COOs, chief legal counsel, government relations staff, infection prevention 

On Feb. 10, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its quarantine guidance for vaccinated individuals. The new guidance suggests that persons with an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria: 

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Human Resources

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Federal Advocacy

CHA News Article

CHA Alert Urges Congress to Include Pressing Hospital Priorities in COVID-19 Legislation
For CEOs, government relations executives

On Monday, CHA issued an Alert urging Congress to include pressing hospital priorities in the current COVID-19 legislation.  

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Medicare

CHA News Article

CMS Extends Deadline to Submit Certain Q3 2020 Data and Electronic Clinical Quality Measures
For CFOs, CMOs, CNOs, COOs, quality & patient safety staff

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is further extending the deadline to submit Q3 2020 Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) data and electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs) for the Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program, PPS-Exempt Cancer Hospital Quality Reporting (PCHQR) Program, and Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program.  

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Quality & Patient Safety

CHA News Article

HQI to Host Webinar on Supporting NICU Families
For CEOs, leaders in nursing, quality & patient safety, labor & delivery, behavioral health

As part of its Perinatal Mental Health (PMH) Learning Community, the Hospital Quality Institute will host a complimentary webinar from noon to 1 p.m. (PT) on Feb. 18 to discuss how hospitals can support patients and families who have a child in the NICU. 

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CMS News Roundup

CHA News Article

Updates for the Week of Feb. 8
For finance & reimbursement, quality & patient safety, post-acute care staff

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued the following updates this week:​​

  • eCQM Annual Update Pre-Publication Document
  • Request for Stakeholder Feedback on Draft eCQM Measure CQM-4412 and CQM-4413 Packages; Comments accepted Feb. 8-19
  • PFS Payment for Office & Outpatient E/M Visits: Effective Jan. 1, for Physician Fee Schedule payment of office and outpatient E/M visits, Medicare adopted the new AMA coding, language, and interpretive guidance framework. See the fact sheet for more information. ​
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Education

Publication

CHA Education Events

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