CHA News Article

Hospital Leaders Attend 100 Meetings at State Capitol
View event slideshow

Yesterday, hospital executives from throughout the state attended CHA’s Health Policy Legislative Day to discuss current key legislative priorities directly with their legislators. With much at stake for hospitals and the communities they serve, participants in this year’s event addressed proposed legislation of heightened importance. To view photos of the legislative visits, morning education program and other activities, see the Health Policy Legislative Day slideshow.

Carmela Coyle, CHA President & CEO, opened the program by telling attendees that the changing health care landscape requires hospitals to adapt.

“We will survive,” Coyle said. “We have to change, and we have to do so before others can decide that for us.” She urged the delegation to share with legislators not only what hospitals oppose, but also what they are in favor of.

“Help them see what we support so they can help build the correct path forward,” she said.

Richard Afable, MD, MPH, CHA Board of Trustees chair, spoke about the factors transforming health care — digitization, consumerism, workforce challenges and technology.

He also stressed the importance of hospitals’ role as leaders in their communities and outlined CHA’s long-term policy priorities, which include addressing homelessness and improving access to behavioral health care services. Afable remarked that both of these systemic challenges are “pieces of the same puzzle, and must be addressed as one by the community as a whole.”

Gov. Jerry Brown echoed those remarks when he spoke, encouraging hospitals to “develop sustainable, consensus direction to solve problems.”

Diana Dooley, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency, delivered the keynote address. Dooley emphasized the fragmented nature of the health care system, noting that — particularly after 5 million people were added to the marketplace post-Affordable Care Act — the system can’t continue to do business in the same way. Challenging the audience to move forward with a spirit of collaboration, Dooley said, “Coverage isn’t care — and we need to take it to the next level.”

In preparation for the afternoon meetings with legislators, CHA’s Senior Vice President, State Relations & Advocacy, William Emmerson, DDS, introduced a panel discussion on state legislative priorities. Led by Connie Delgado, CHA’s chief legislative advocate, the panel of CHA lobbyists and issue specialists provided context about proposed legislation, gave a synopsis of arguments for and against the legislation, and provided talking points. Key issue and background papers from the event are available at www.calhospital.org/publication/key-issue-papers.

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