CEO Message

CEO Message: A Summer Budget Slog

It’s disappointing that the budget passed Monday by the state Legislature does not include a much-needed $1 billion cash infusion for hospitals to stem the financial challenges driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

It’s also potentially dangerous. 

As parts of California reopen businesses like movie theaters, gyms, and beauty salons, the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations is not relenting. But without adequate financial support from the state, hospitals are left scrambling to pay for nurses, doctors, medical equipment, and more to care for COVID-19 patients as well as all other health needs. 

The numbers are well-known. One study from the California Health Care Foundation and another from nationally renowned consulting firm Kaufman Hall state that California hospitals’ 2020 losses could be as much as $15 billion. This is an unprecedented loss for a health care system that must maintain readiness through COVID-19’s second wave, as schools reopen in a couple of months, and into the 2020 flu season.  

Hospitals are a linchpin of the state’s reopening plan, so the lack of financial aid could jeopardize broader reopening activities as hospitals facing layoffs, service reductions, and other challenges could find themselves challenged to care for a fresh surge of patients.  

There is one silver lining in this year’s plan worth noting: The Legislature has rejected an Administration proposal that would cut the amount Medi-Cal managed care plans pay for patient care by $500 million annually. In addition to the financial hit, this change would have eliminated incentives for health plans and hospitals to share risk and added considerable challenges for Medi-Cal managed care plans to maintain an adequate network. 

This budget conversation, in which lawmakers are trying to close a projected $54 billion shortfall, is not over. Through the summer, as tax returns come in to the state, lawmakers expect to revisit the spending plan, and it’s imperative that they understand the need to support hospitals during this critical time. 

~ Carmela

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Finance

CHA News Article

DHCS Issues Checkwrite Hold for Certain Provider Payments
For CFOs

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has announced it will delay specific checkwrites scheduled for the last two weeks of the state fiscal year (June) until the start of the next fiscal year. The two-week checkwrite hold policy has been in effect for several years.  

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Regulations

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Medi-Cal

CHA News Article

DHCS Releases Hospital-Directed Payment Encounter Data File

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has released three new hospital-directed payment data sets, 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). 

CHA News Article

DHCS Hosting Webinars on Changes in DRG Implementation
For CFOs

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) is hosting two webinars specific to changes in diagnosis-related group (DRG) implementation for state fiscal year 2020-21.

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Pharmacy

CHA News Article

HRSA Updates Guidance on COVID-19-Related 340B Hospital Outpatient Sites
For CFOs, CMOs, pharmacy managers 

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has updated its COVID-19 FAQ for 340B hospitals registering outpatient sites. The guidance now allows 340B hospitals to register outpatient sites and facilities before they appear on the hospital’s most recently filed Medicare cost report.  

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Employee Health

CHA News Article

Cal/OSHA Issues Guidance on Mandated Surveillance Exams and Consideration of Temporary Delay Due to COVID-19 Risks
For human resources executives 

Last week, Cal/OSHA issued guidance for employers on which surveillance exams, required under CalOSHA standards, may be delayed to due COVID-19 risks. 

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Education

CHA News Article

HQI to Host Webinar on Conducting Staff and Patient Education about Perinatal Mental Health

As part of its Perinatal Mental Health (PMH) Learning Community, the Hospital Quality Institute (HQI) will host a webinar from noon to 1 p.m. (PT) on June 18 to discuss best practices in educating staff and patients/families about perinatal mental health.  The webinar will feature hospital exemplars from Cedars Sinai Medical Center and Mercy Medical Center Redding.  Registration is free and availablehere.   

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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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