CEO Message

CEO Message: Final Fights Ahead on Policies and Principles

“In war, you win or lose, live or die – and the difference is just an eyelash.” – Douglas MacArthur 

Technically, there are 11 days left in California’s 2020 legislative session, though if you account for the rule that says bills must be in print for 72 hours, it’s really slightly over a week. 

Negotiations on the top issues for the hospital field – a bill that would give the Attorney General authority over hospital affiliations, seismic reform, PPE mandates, workers’ compensation presumptions, and more – are happening in real time, and the political horse-trading is frenzied. We have spent the year positioning ourselves in anticipation of the finish.  

All of this is occurring against a backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, raging wildfires, rolling blackouts, and record-high temperatures. 

Haven’t heard any reports of frogs or locusts yet. 

For 2020 policy making, this is crunch time, and while we continue to stand firm to shield hospitals from the worst of what’s being proposed, we also recognize the political realities in a state as progressive as California may mean a compromise on some of these issues.  

If MacArthur is right, and the difference between winning and losing is an eyelash, there are scenarios where it may be more advantageous to take the best deal possible, rather than endure a close defeat and walk away with nothing.  

There are, of course, lines that aren’t crossable, and every single decision point in this fast-paced process is approached with two primary questions in mind: 

  1. What is in the best interests of California’s hospitals? 
  2. What is realistic given the political climate and the expert read on every one of California’s 121 political leaders? 

In the next 10 days, we will know the outcome of a dozen or so bills that we’ve been working on for the better part of a year. 

Some will go in our direction. Others will not. Still more will end up somewhere in the middle. 

Politics is not a zero-sum game, where there are always winners and losers, but rather degrees of success where we have to think about whether bad bills could have been worse; whether strong bills were politically viable in the first place; whether – on balance – the environment for hospitals to do their work has been improved or worsened this year. 

This is the standard to which we hold fast – that while we may have to compromise on policy, we can never compromise on the principle that California’s hospitals must continue to be able to do the incredible work they do every day. 

~ Carmela

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Finance

CHA News Article

DHCS Releases Hospital Fee Program Directed Payment Encounter Data Files
For CFOs

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has uploaded four new hospital-directed files, available via the Secure File Transfer Protocol site (the site is only intended for file transfers, and uploaded files will be deleted within 45 days). 

DataSuite Report

CHA DataSuite Announces New Web-Based Platform
For CEOs, CFOS, reimbursement directors, quality directors, compliance officers, health information managers

CHA DataSuite is pleased to announce the release of Information Builders (IB), a new web-based business intelligence platform that will house future DataSuite reports. One of the advantages of this web-based platform is that IB allows enhanced visualizations and interactive reports for hospitals. CHA, in partnership with DataGen, will release the first analysis in IB next month. More information, including detailed instructions, will be coming soon. 

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Medicare

CHA News Article

CMS Revises Guidance on Add-on Payment for COVID-19 Patients
For CFOs, billing staff

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has revised its guidance on the add-on payment for COVID-19 patients. The guidance states that effective with admissions occurring on or after Sept. 1, claims eligible for the 20% increase in the Medicare Severity-Diagnosis Related Group weighting factor for cases with a COVID-19 diagnosis will also be required to have a positive COVID-19 laboratory test documented in the patient’s medical record. 

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Regulations

CHA News Article

CMS Directs CDPH to Resume Specified Enforcement Activities
For licensing and certification staff, patient safety and quality staff

On Aug. 17, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released guidance QSO-20-35-ALL, which directs State Survey Agencies, including the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), to resume specified enforcement activities that had previously been suspended.  

CHA News Article

CDPH Issues Updated Guidance about Dialysis Services in SNFs
For skilled-nursing facility leaders, case managers, compliance officers

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued All Facilities Letter (AFL) 20-66, which provides updated guidance regarding the provision of dialysis services to residents of skilled-nursing facilities (SNFs).  

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Rural Health

CHA News Article

New Funding Opportunity for Rural Health Network Development Planning Program
For CEOs, CFOs

The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA’s) Federal Office of Rural Health Policy has released the Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Rural Health Network Development Planning Program

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Public Relations

CHA News Article

CHA Updates Communication Tools for Care Can’t Wait Campaign
For public relations executives

CHA has updated its Care Can’t Wait materials, with a correct link to the campaign’s key messages included in the Aug. 13  CHA News, and sharing a new version of our public service announcement (PSA).  

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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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