CEO Message

CEO Message: Keeping the Pressure Up on Seismic Reform

Seven months into the year, and despite the many challenges and triumphs of California’s hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic, seismic regulatory reform remains a priority. 

The 2030 deadline for full compliance with seismic building regulations remains in place, a requirement that comes with a more than $100 billion price tag at a time when hospitals are facing unprecedented and uncertain financial times.  

Now, it’s more important than ever that these regulations be revised, not only because of the fiscal savings to California’s health care system, but also because — as COVID-19 has taught us — disasters come in many forms, and a modern approach to readiness is necessary for the state to be prepared. 

To that end, CHA’s sponsored bill, SB 758 (Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge), has been amended to extend the 2030 hospital seismic deadline to 2037 and create an advisory committee to examine how California’s health care delivery system prepares and responds to disasters of all kinds. 

Earlier this week, we asked hospitals to lend their voices and share with the Assembly Health Committee — where the bill will soon be heard — how this requirement could impact your ability to care for patients and communities, especially given the new obstacles brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Those obstacles are significant. A CHA-commissioned study by Kaufman Hall, a national, independent consulting firm with extensive health care finance expertise, has found that the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to lead to long-term changes to financial stability and care delivery in California hospitals. From the study: 

“… with a total cost of compliance reaching as high as $143 billion …— not including the costs of financing — hospitals will be unable to move forward without confidence in their future operating performance and their ability to secure financing on reasonable terms. Both prerequisites to compliance are now under threat as a result of COVID-19 …The financial damage hospitals have experienced may well be permanent.” 

This legislation is scheduled to be heard in Assembly Health Committee Aug. 4. Now is the time to step up and share your seismic story with your senators and assemblymembers. 

As we collectively start to process the lessons learned from this pandemic, it’s clear that at least one will emerge: California’s health care response system can be greatly improved. Delaying the seismic requirement and creating a task force that will offer a holistic approach to emergency response are key to making sure hospitals will always be able to keep their doors open, whatever disaster may come. 

~ Carmela

CHA News Article

CHA Alert Urges Legislators to Support Extending Hospital Seismic Deadline to 2037
For CEOs, government relations executives

On Monday, CHA issued an alert urging members to write the Assembly Health Committee Chair to request support for Senate Bill (SB) 758 (Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge). This bill would extend the 2030 hospital seismic deadline to 2037 and create an advisory committee to examine how California’s health care delivery system prepares and responds to disasters of all kinds. CHA has developed a template letter and background document for members’ use. Please send your letter by July 28 to Dawn Vicari at dvicari@calhospital.org so that it can be emailed to the committee and staff. 

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Finance

CHA News Article

HHS Announces New Reporting Requirements for Provider Relief Funds
For CEOs, CFOs

Earlier this week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) shared additional information on reporting requirements for recipients of provider relief funds authorized under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act.

CHA News Article

DHCS Will Hold Hearings on Extending Medi-Cal 1115(a) Waiver
For CFOs

California’s Section 1115(a) Medicaid waiver, titled Medi-Cal 2020, was approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Dec. 30, 2015, and is effective through Dec. 31, 2020. The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) intended to implement the California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) initiative following the end of the waiver period. However, as shared previously in CHA News, the COVID-19 public health emergency has delayed the implementation of CalAIM to focus on addressing the pandemic. 

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COVID-19

CHA News Article

CHA Provides Media With Update on COVID-19 Resurgence Planning
For CEOs, government relations executives

On Wednesday, CHA President & CEO Carmela Coyle hosted an audio press conference to discuss hospital capacity (including staffing, availability of personal protective equipment, and more) as California hospitals respond to the surge in COVID-19 positive patients. The audio press conference also included a discussion of the importance of all stakeholders having a shared understanding of capacity, the challenges facing hospitals, and what these mean for the trends that lie ahead. 

CHA News Article

OCR Issues Guidance on Civil Rights Protections Prohibiting Discrimination During COVID-19
For CEOs, legal counsel

On Monday, the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued guidance for health care providers on complying with federal civil rights laws during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The guidance focuses on prohibitions against discrimination based on race, color, and national origin, and includes many practical considerations and actions hospitals can take to ensure equitable access to care. 

CHA News Article

Coalition Launches Ad Campaign to Urge Financial Relief for Hospitals
For CEOs, government relations executives

As Congress reconvenes this week and the Senate works to finalize its COVID-19 relief package, the Coalition to Protect America’s Health Care — a grassroots digital community of more than 2 million hospital supporters — is executing a comprehensive multimedia strategy to advocate for America’s hospitals, health systems, and their patients and communities. 

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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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