CHA News Article

Hospitals Affected by Wildfires to Receive Disaster-Based Regulatory Relief
Includes flexibility in nurse staffing ratios

Hospitals in need of relief from licensing regulations due to the recent wildfires across California should refer to All Facilities Letter 18-51, issued last week by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

Title 22 regulations related to nurse staffing ratios allow flexibility in disaster scenarios, but the hospital must demonstrate that it made prompt efforts to maintain required staffing levels despite a change in the number of patients due to an emergency. For these purposes, Title 22 defines ”health care emergency” as an unpredictable or unavoidable occurrence at unscheduled or unpredictable intervals that requires immediate medical intervention and care.

To assist hospitals in their recovery efforts, CHA has prepared the attached spreadsheet that facilities may use to track utilization and other important data in the wake of a disaster. In addition, facilities should refer to CHA’s Preparing for the Financial Impacts of a Disaster guidebook, as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide.

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