CEO Message

CEO Message: Progress on State Help Amid Crisis

There is no way to sugarcoat this, nor should we: California’s hospitals are in the middle of a full-blown crisis. 

COVID-19 cases are hitting new heights every day (more than 50,000 on Wednesday), hospitalizations for COVID-19 this week topped 16,000, and ICU capacity is rapidly dwindling (it was less than 2% in Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley this week) due to shortfalls of critical care nurses. 

The state projects the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals will double in a month’s time.  

Amid this, negotiations with the state on immediate actions that can be taken to ameliorate the situation continue, with some important progress made earlier this week. Recall that on Dec. 13, CHA formally asked the state for immediate help in four areas: supplies, coordination, hospital decompression, and regulatory flexibility. Below is an update on where those requests stand as of Thursday: 

Supplies 

  • Two mobile liquid oxygen tanks from the National Guard can be available to any hospital within 12 hours, and more rapidly available oxygen concentrators will be distributed throughout the state in short order. 
  • The state is exploring being able to share with CHA lists of the resources requested by hospitals of their MHOACS so we have a shared understanding of emerging trends and stockpile needs. 
  • The state is prioritizing hospitals’ use of its new Valencia Branch Lab for testing. The state has also added a new tool to simplify the process for hospitals and other collection sites to use.  
  • The state has 163 million gloves in stock, the majority of which are nitrile. 

Coordination 

  • Negotiations continue on discontinuation, or significant refocusing, of the state’s use of its vendor All-Access Transfer Center for patient transfers for hospital decompression; follow-up meetings are scheduled in the coming days. 
  • State leaders are beginning to message to the public about the state’s crisis care guidelines to prepare them that these may be used at some point.  

Hospital Decompression 

  • The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) continues to work directly with skilled-nursing facilities to encourage them to accept hospital admissions and to engage directly with local health departments to coordinate any local limitations on admissions. 

Regulatory Flexibility 

  • CDPH has indicated that it is receptive to discussing expedited nurse staffing ratio waivers for team nursing models.  

Given the projections and the breakneck pace of the increase in cases and hospitalizations, it’s critical that the state act quickly on these issues and more. We continue these conversations daily, and sometimes multiple times in a single day. As soon as we know more, we will share that information. 

Our bottom-line message to the state right now: This is crunch time, and we’re in this together. Let’s act quickly to help California’s hospitals remain ready to care for all in need.  

~ Carmela

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Regulations

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Post-Acute Care

CHA News Article

CHA Provides Summary of CMS Acute Hospital Care at Home Program
For COOs, strategy officers, compliance officers

On Nov. 25, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) introduced the Acute Hospital Care at Home program, significantly expanding the existing Hospital Without Walls waiver. Program details are available in a summary prepared by CHA. 

CHA News Article

CMS Announces a New Demonstration Project for IRF Claim Review
For inpatient facility leaders, directors of reimbursement, compliance officers, health information managers

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is seeking public comment on a new demonstration project for payment review for inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs).  

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Human Resources

CHA News Article

Jan. 1 Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Deadline Approaching
For in-house counsel, human resources executives

California law requires employers to provide one hour of sexual harassment prevention training to staff by Jan. 1, 2021. In May, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing distributed its online training program as an option for employers to use. Other employers developed their own training.  

CHA News Article

Senate, Assembly Leadership Announce Committee Changes
For CEOs, government relations executives

Leadership in both the Senate and Assembly have announced committee memberships for the 2021-22 legislative session. In the Assembly, chairs of committees of key interest for hospitals — including Health, Business and Professions, and Appropriations — remain the same, although there have been changes in sitting members.

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Health Care Heroes

CHA News Article

Meet the Hospital Workers Protecting the Health of Californians
All hospital staff

As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, health care heroes are working day and night to keep our communities safe, and support for them is more important than ever.  

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HHS 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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