CEO Message

CMS Proposal Could Challenge Medicaid Nationwide

A proposal released last week by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) holds the potential to impact Medicaid programs in every state one of the main reasons it’s likely to cause Medicaid agencies across the country to share their concerns with CMS.

The Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Rule could alter how Medicaid supplemental payments and related financing arrangements operate. If adjustments to current rules are made, hospital resources for patient care throughout the nation would be challenged.

While any changes to the Medicaid supplemental payments could affect California’s hospitals, it’s important to note that at this time, the proposal is quite far from becoming policy. There are multiple measures that your association, working alongside our colleagues in 49 other states and the District of Columbia, as well as the American Hospital Association (AHA), will take to protect critical Medi-Cal funds for your patients and communities.

First, we’ll be analyzing the rule and its potential impact on California.

Second, we’ll develop messages to deliver to CMS during the current 60-day comment period. Stay tuned for a request for help with this effort we may need to ask hospital leaders to raise your voice as well, so federal regulators understand how these changes might impact the patients and communities you serve.

Finally, we’ll coordinate with other state hospital associations and the AHA on a national advocacy strategy. This rule will present challenges for dozens of governors, regardless of political party. That likely means a long and public debate about the very real dangers of the rule, where hospitals will have another chance to make clear that the proposal will do nothing to make Medicaid more fiscally accountable and will harm the low-income patients we serve.

The bottom line: this proposal could be bad news. But it’s got a long way to go, and its potential impact is so far-sweeping that there will be massive opposition to modify or defeat it altogether.

For now, we need to better understand the impact, relay our concerns to CMS, and work with our national colleagues on a sound strategy to ensure the resources you need to care for patients aren’t altered especially as costs continue to rise.

— Carmela

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Emergency Preparedness

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Senate Committee Holds Oversight Hearing on Utility Power Shutoffs
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Earlier this week, the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee conducted an oversight hearing to address recent public safety power shutoff (PSPS) events, during which utilities intentionally shut off power in certain areas at heightened risk of weather-related wildfires.

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Price Transparency

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CMS to Host Call on Price Transparency Final Rule
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On Dec. 3, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will hold a call to discuss the finalized policies on price transparency requirements. The call is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. – noon (PT) and will include a Q&A session.

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Medi-Cal

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Comments Due Dec. 23 on DHCS Comprehensive Quality Strategy Report
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Quality & Patient Safety

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National Quality Forum Releases New Measures Under Consideration for Federal Quality Reporting Programs
For quality & patient safety staff, finance & reimbursement staff

The National Quality Forum (NQF) has released its list of 19 measures under consideration for federal public reporting and payment programs, including the hospital inpatient and inpatient psychiatric facility quality reporting programs, the Medicare and Medicaid promoting interoperability program, and the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System. NQF will accept comments through 3 p.m. (PT) on Nov. 25.

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CDPH Publishes Annual Report on Hospital-Acquired Infections
For COOs, licensing & certification staff, quality & patient safety staff

California hospitals reported 2,428 fewer health care-associated infections in 2018 than in 2017, according to a newly released report from the California Department of Public Health.

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Compliance

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Providers Have Until Dec. 31 to Submit Memorandum of Agreement to Livanta to Avoid Noncompliance
For CFOs, compliance staff, legal staff

Many California health care providers have not completed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) required to be submitted by Dec. 31 for Medicare compliance, according to an October audit conducted by Livanta, the Medicare Beneficiary and Family Centered Care Quality Improvement Organization (BFCC-QIO) for California.

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HHS News Roundup

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Education

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