CEO Message

CEO Message: The Long and Winding Road

Earlier this week, Governor Newsom shared some encouraging news about California’s COVID-19 positivity rate, which dropped by 2 percentage points, to 4%, over the past 14 days compared to the two weeks prior. 

We’re moving in the right direction, but we would be remiss to think we’ve truly turned the corner on this pandemic. Rather, this progress means we must be even more vigilant, to guard against a premature resumption of activities that could set us back months. 

A couple of other events happened this week that underscore that concept. First, Labor Day weekend did not seem to deter large crowds from gathering – on beaches, in rivers, at the state Capitol, at one another’s homes. Second, a promising COVID-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University had its Phase 3 trials put on hold after a patient experienced a serious adverse event. 

At the risk of sounding gloomy, we’ve got a long road to go before things start to feel “normal” again. 

Consider – on the vaccine front:  

  • A fully tested and approved vaccine is not likely for several months at least, and that vaccine will then have to be manufactured and distributed on a global scale. 
  • Beyond the manufacture and distribution of the vaccine is the concern that we have trouble getting people vaccinated for the regular flu (in California only about 50% get the vaccine) and have hard work in front of us once the vaccine is available to get people to get a shot. 
  • The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on Equitable Allocation of Vaccine for the Novel Coronavirus has released a Preliminary Framework for Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine. This is a starting point that includes a tiering of population groups for prioritization, but there will be significant conversation before the final framework is completed. 
  • If California’s Crisis Care Guidelines serve as a predictor of developing a plan for managing scarcity, the debate over vaccine distribution will be both heated and complex. 

And here in California: 

  • The new system Gov. Newsom has outlined for when counties can reopen is just a couple weeks old. It calls for a more stringent process to reopen activities and for counties to shift among four levels of COVID-19 spread. By design, this approach entails a more gradual, purposeful reopening strategy. 
  • Many schools have yet to begin in-person education, though pressure is mounting in some areas to do so more quickly, which could also undermine the progress thus far. 
  • The 2020 flu season has not yet hit, and its impact may further stretch tired health care workers. 

All of this points to California living with the effects of COVID-19 for an extended period of time, and as we settle in for the long fight, I take heart in knowing that hospitals are standing together, supporting one another, and unflinchingly committed to make sure Californians in need get care. 

~ Carmela

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Human Resources

CHA News Article

COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Law Takes Effect Sept. 19
For chief compliance officers, in-house general counsel & legal staff, human resources professionals, and risk managers 

On Sept. 9, the Governor signed into law AB 1867, California’s COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave bill, which goes into effect on Sept. 19. The law is intended to ensure that all employees in California have access to two weeks of supplemental paid sick leave if they are ordered to quarantine or isolate by a health care provider or public health officer, or if they are prohibited from working by their employer due to health concerns related to the potential transmission of COVID-19.

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Finance

CHA News Article

Urge Representatives to Sign ‘Dear Colleague’ Letter on 340B Drugs
For CFOs, CMOs, and pharmacy managers 

Hospitals participating in the 340B program are being urged to ask their representatives to sign an important Dear Colleague letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in response to recent actions taken by several drug companies to limit the distribution of certain 340B drugs to hospitals and health systems.

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Regulations

CHA News Article

Post-Acute Care Quality Reporting Program Tip Sheets Available
For post-acute care leaders, quality leaders, and compliance staff

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued several post-acute care quality reporting program COVID-19 tip sheets to help providers understand CMS’ public reporting strategy for the program during the public health emergency. 

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Medicare

CHA News Article

CMS Announces New Care Compare Website
For CEOs, COOs, quality leaders, and case managers

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has launched a redesigned website to provide consumers access to information on health care providers, including performance on quality and resource use measures.  

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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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