Hospital Topics

Overview

CDPH Licensing & Enforcement

The California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) Licensing and Certification Division (L&C) is responsible for the licensure, regulation, inspection, and certification of health care facilities and certain health care professionals in California. The division is organized into 14 district offices and Los Angeles County, which operates under a contract with the division. L&C staff conduct periodic inspections and investigation of complaints to ensure health care facilities comply with state and federal laws and regulations, conducting roughly 27,000 complaint investigations annually.

The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) — which provides federal funding to ensure that facilities accepting Medicare and Medi-Cal payments comply with federal laws and regulatory requirements — contracts with L&C to perform federal surveys. In addition to facility oversight, L&C oversees the certification of nurse assistants, home health aides, hemodialysis technicians, and the licensing of nursing home administrators.

CHA News Article

CDPH Describes Hospital Surge Monitoring Visits, Other Survey Activity
For licensing & certification staff, quality and patient safety staff

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued All Facilities Letter (AFL) 20-69, which outlines the survey activities the department will conduct for both hospitals and skilled-nursing facilities. Based on the daily COVID-19 data reported by hospitals, if CDPH determines a hospital is at risk of surging, the hospital will receive a phone call about its surge plan, any urgent needs, and whether it needs assistance from CDPH.

CHA News Article

CHA Comments on Proposed Regulations on Privacy Breach Reporting
For privacy officers, legal counsel, licensing & certification staff

CHA has submitted comments  to the California Department of Public Health on its proposed regulations on privacy breach reporting. In its letter, CHA makes recommendations in several key areas.

CHA News Article

CMS Directs CDPH to Resume Specified Enforcement Activities
For licensing and certification staff, patient safety and quality staff

On Aug. 17, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released guidance QSO-20-35-ALL, which directs State Survey Agencies, including the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), to resume specified enforcement activities that had previously been suspended.  

CHA News Article

CDPH Making Calls, Conducting Visits to Support Hospitals
For licensing & certification staff, quality and patient safety staff

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is calling and conducting visits to hospitals that it has identified through a new hospital dashboard it is using internally. CDPH is reiterating that this dashboard focuses on hospitals currently experiencing surges and most likely to experience them. 

Overview

Clinical Care

Clinical care touches every aspect of hospital operations. Policies and procedures surrounding clinical care are of the utmost importance in meeting regulatory, legal and licensing requirements. CHA has numerous area-specific groups — including specialty centers and committees — that address the many aspects of clinical care. Some areas of clinical care are subject to rapid changes in public policy and regulations, creating additional challenges for hospitals. In addition to providing representation and advocacy to address these challenges, CHA focuses on the unique needs of certain facilities, and the services and programs they offer their communities.

CHA News Article

FDA Requests Removal of All Ranitidine Products From Market
For CMOs, CNOs, pharmacy

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested that manufacturers immediately withdraw all prescription and over-the-counter ranitidine products from the market, due to a possible contaminant. Ranitidine products, commonly known by the brand name Zantac, will not be available for new or existing prescriptions or over-the-counter use in the United States. 

CHA News Article

CMS Updates Overall Hospital Star Ratings
For COOs, quality & patient safety staff

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced updates to its Hospital Compare website on Jan. 29, including overall hospital quality star ratings.

CHA News Article

State Adopts Strategic Plan for Suicide Prevention
For CEOs, behavioral health directors

The California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission has released a statewide Strategic Plan for Suicide Prevention for 2020-25. The plan combines a public health approach with behavioral health interventions, framed by four key strategies: establish a suicide prevention infrastructure, minimize risk for suicidal behavior, enhance early identification of suicide risk and increase access to services based on risk, and improve suicide-related services and supports.

CHA News Article

CMS Provides Online Surveyor Training Resources
For licensing & certification staff, quality & patient safety staff

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Quality, Safety & Oversight Group reminds providers that online training is available to help surveyors and providers prepare for upcoming surveys. Online courses, web-based training, and video webcasts can be viewed on the Integrated Surveyor Training Website.

CHA News Article

CDPH Launches Anti-Vaping Ad Campaign Aimed at Young Adults

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has launched an advertising campaign called Outbreak, targeting young adults and parents, in response to the growing teen vaping epidemic and the increase in vaping-related lung illness.

Overview

Construction / Renovation

In the area of construction and renovation, CHA assists hospitals by reviewing and commenting on proposed regulations, attending all Hospital Building Safety Board (HBSB) meetings, nominating hospital representatives to the HBSB Board and serving as liaison between hospitals and the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development’s (OSHPD) Facility Development Division when issues need to be resolved.

CHA News Article

OSHPD Hosting Inspector of Record Trainings
For facilities managers

The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) is hosting free trainings for those planning to take the hospital inspector of record (IOR) exam, beginning June 17.

CHA News Article

Upcoming Programs Aim to Help Hospitals Comply With New Building Energy Code Requirement
For facilities managers

Previously exempt from Title 24, Part 6 of the state energy code, health care facilities must now comply with those regulations. To help hospitals learn how to design their facilities for compliance — as well as document and verify — the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development will sponsor a series of online forums on Nov. 6 and 7.

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California Building Standards Commission (CBSC) Information Bulletin 16-03

The California Building Standards Commission (CBSC) has issued Information Bulletin 16-03, regarding the 2016 Legislative Changes to state laws related to building and building standards. This information bulletin may be viewed on the CBSC website Publications page. This information bulletin summarizes the 2016 legislative changes to state laws related to buildings and building standards. The statutory changes summarized in this bulletin become effective on January 1, 2017, unless otherwise specified in statute.

Overview

Coverage

Providing access to health coverage is essential to improving population health in California. A strategic and collaborative approach between hospitals, Covered California, the California Department of Health Care Services, counties and local communities is critical to the continued expansion of health coverage through the Covered California marketplace and the Medi-Cal program.

Over 5 million Californians have insurance as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — roughly a quarter of all Americans covered under the law. In California, 91 percent of individuals are now insured. The uninsured rate in California fell from 17 percent in 2013 to a historic low of 7.3 percent by the end of 2016. Since 2014, more than 3 million people have purchased health coverage through Covered California, and nearly 4 million have enrolled in the state’s Medi-Cal program — for a total of more than 13.5 million Californians now enrolled in Medi-Cal. Of Covered California’s 1.3 million enrolled consumers, nearly 90 percent receive some level of financial help.

Despite these coverage gains, about 3 million Californians will remain uninsured in 2017. The majority of those projected to remain uninsured in California are not eligible for Medi-Cal or Covered California due to their immigration status. Just under 25 percent of the remaining uninsured are eligible for either Medi-Cal or subsidized coverage through Covered California, while 18 percent are eligible through Covered California but would not receive subsidies.

CHA News Article

DHCS Announces New COVID-19 Uninsured Group Program and Web Portal
For CFOs, directors of managed care, patient financial services staff, admissions staff

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has launched a COVID-19 Uninsured Group portal to process applications for the COVID-19 Uninsured Group program. The COVID-19 Uninsured Group program replaces the Presumptive Eligibility (PE) for COVID-19 Program and provides temporary, no-cost diagnostic testing and testing-related services.

CHA News Article

Appellate Court Reinstates ‘Public Charge’ Rule
For CEOs, CFOs, government relations executives

As CHA reported last week, a U.S. district court on July 29 issued a nationwide injunction preventing the Department of Homeland Security from enforcing the “public charge” federal regulations that became effective last August. However, last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed the district court’s order.

CHA News Article

Court Suspends ‘Public Charge’ Rule
For CEOs, CFOs, government relations executives

On July 29, a U.S. district court issued a nationwide injunction preventing the Department of Homeland Security from enforcing the “public charge” federal regulations that took effect last August. The court held that the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically increased the potential risk of harm of foregoing benefits to immigrants, justifying the injunction during the public health emergency. 

CHA News Article

Covered California Issues Enrollment Update
For CEOs, CFOs, government relations staff

Covered California announced last week that more than 58,000 consumers have enrolled in health insurance coverage through the exchange since it established a “Special Enrollment Period” in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The enrollment data cover a three-week period from March 20, the date the Special Enrollment Period was launched, through April 7.  

CHA News Article

DHCS Issues Monthly Stakeholder Update
For CEOs, CFOs, government relations staff

The Department of Health Care Services has released its monthly Stakeholder Communication Update. Among other topics, the February edition includes information on the department’s leadership transitions; the Governor’s proposed budget; the Behavioral Health Integration Incentive Program; the Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System; the medication-assisted treatment expansion project; the transition of pharmacy services from Medi-Cal managed care to fee-for-service; nonmedical transportation providers in Medi-Cal fee-for-service; Medicaid optional benefits restoration; trauma screenings; and upcoming meetings and webinars.

Overview

Emergency Preparedness

California hospitals are a critical element within the disaster medical response system and work collaboratively with local government, other health care providers and other agencies to plan, prepare for and respond to the needs of victims of natural or man-made disasters, bioterrorism, and other public health emergencies.

CHA News Article

New Sessions Added to Disaster Planning Virtual Conference
For disaster coordinators, health care executives, compliance staff, and safety staff

Two sessions have been added to CHA’s virtual Disaster Planning Conference. On Sept. 15 from 8 to 8:30 a.m., Beta Healthcare Group’s Care for the Caregivers session features vital information for providing “psychological first aid” for health care workers. Content in this program will benefit anyone who works in/around a hospital/health care environment ― not just clinical workers.  

CHA News Article

Agenda Set for CHA’s Disaster Planning Virtual Conference
For disaster coordinators, health care executives, compliance staff, and safety staff

The national supply chain strategy, FEMA reimbursement, crisis care guidelines, and managing hospital surges during a health care pandemic – register for the CHA Disaster Planning Virtual Conference, Sept. 15-16 from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., to hear about these topics and get backstage access to speakers. 

Education event

Webinar Participant Information

Health Care Surge Crisis Care Guidelines Webinar

Originally recorded June 23, 2020.

Recording

Overview

“Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures…” - Benet Wilson

CHA News Article

CHA Establishes Coronavirus Resources, Outreach for Hospitals
For CEOs, emergency preparedness coordinators

To support hospitals and health systems in their efforts to prepare and care for patients exposed to and diagnosed with novel coronavirus, CHA has established multiple channels for the latest developments, guidance, and other important information about novel coronavirus.

CHA News Article

CDPH, CDC Continue Updates on Novel Coronavirus

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reported the first two confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in California, in Orange County and Los Angeles County, last weekend. In total, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has now reported five U.S. patients — in Washington, Illinois, California, and Arizona — who recently traveled from China have been diagnosed with novel coronavirus, noting that the risk of transmission to the general public remains low. 

Overview

Environmental Health & Safety

CHA assists hospital environmental health and safety (EH&S) officers and other hospital personnel regarding compliance with the many — and frequently overlapping — state and federal EH&S requirements, including those related to  managing medical, hazardous and low-level radioactive waste. CHA also monitors EH&S legislation and regulation on behalf of hospitals and acts as their liaison with government agencies.  

CHA News Article

New Sessions Added to Disaster Planning Virtual Conference
For disaster coordinators, health care executives, compliance staff, and safety staff

Two sessions have been added to CHA’s virtual Disaster Planning Conference. On Sept. 15 from 8 to 8:30 a.m., Beta Healthcare Group’s Care for the Caregivers session features vital information for providing “psychological first aid” for health care workers. Content in this program will benefit anyone who works in/around a hospital/health care environment ― not just clinical workers.  

CHA News Article

Agenda Set for CHA’s Disaster Planning Virtual Conference
For disaster coordinators, health care executives, compliance staff, and safety staff

The national supply chain strategy, FEMA reimbursement, crisis care guidelines, and managing hospital surges during a health care pandemic – register for the CHA Disaster Planning Virtual Conference, Sept. 15-16 from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., to hear about these topics and get backstage access to speakers. 

CHA News Article

CDPH Reminds Residents, Public Health Professionals About Air Quality Issues During Wildfires
For COOs, quality & patient safety staff

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) offers various resources to help mitigate the effects of poor air quality during wildfires, including a guide for public health professionals, a web page where residents can check their local air quality, and FAQs.

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CDC releases toolkit to reduce risk of Legionella

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new toolkit to prevent Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks. The toolkit builds off of ASHRAE 188: Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems.

The toolkit provides an easy-to-understand interpretation of ASHRAE Standard 188, as well as worksheets, checklists and scenarios of common water-quality problems. It also contains special sections and considerations for health care facilities.

Overview

Finance & Reimbursement

Hospital finance is complicated, and California hospitals operate in a challenging environment. Hospital executives are faced with the task of developing financial strategies that contain costs yet allow for the provision of health care to the state’s large uninsured population. CHA is committed to providing hospital financial executives with the resources needed to address these challenges, and believes that hospitals should be reimbursed adequately to cover the cost of care.

Through state and federal advocacy efforts, CHA dedicates many resources to fair government reimbursement and strives to improve hospitals’ financial outlook through legislative and regulatory channels. CHA’s statewide committees and workgroups help provide direction on how to best represent the diverse issues that affect hospitals’ financial performance. In addition, CHA DataSuite is an information-based toolset, available only to CHA members, that helps hospitals analyze government reimbursement changes, and the potential impact of regulatory and legislative actions on hospitals.  

CHA News Article

CMS Issues Final Rule Establishing Mandatory Radiation Oncology Payment Model

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued its specialty care models final rule establishing a mandatory radiation oncology payment model.

CHA News Article

CMS Proposes Changes to CY 2022 Medicare Advantage Risk Adjustment Policies
For CFOs, finance & reimbursement staff, government relations staff

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued Part I of the calendar year 2022 Advance Notice of Methodological Changes for Medicare Advantage Capitation Rates and Part C and Part D Payment Policies. This proposes changes to the Part C CMS-Hierarchical Condition Categories (HCC) risk adjustment model as required by the 21st Century Cures Act, which mandates a 60-day comment period. 

CHA News Article

President Trump Signs Executive Order to Lower Prescription Drug Prices
For CFOs, finance & reimbursement staff, government relations staff

Earlier this week, President Trump issued a new executive order on lowering drug prices. It directs the U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary to immediately take steps to conduct rulemaking on a model that would test limiting Medicare payments for Part B drugs to no more than a “most-favored-nation” price.

CHA News Article

CMS Withdraws Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Rule
For CEOs, government relations executives

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma announced on Twitter on Monday that the agency has withdrawn its proposed Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Rule.

Overview

Health Information Management & Technology

CHA supports the capture and availability of secure patient-care data through the use of health information technology (HIT) across the continuum of care. CHA believes HIT serves as a tool to enhance patient safety, promote information sharing for preventative health services and reduce health care costs.

Hospitals face a number of challenges with HIT such as security and interoperability. The development of industry standards is crucial to successful interoperability and the safe and effective exchange of patient data. Certification of vendor systems, for example, involves compliance with industry-accepted data and technical standards.

CHA News Article

OIG Finds Hospital Overpayments for Transfer to Home Health Services
For directors of reimbursement, HIM professionals

The federal Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) has issued a report that concludes that Medicare overpaid acute care hospitals $267 million over a two-year period, due to improper coding of the inpatient claim when the beneficiaries resumed home health (HH) services within three days of discharge.  

CHA News Article

Long-Awaited Interoperability Final Rules Issued
For CEOs, CIOs, government relations staff, compliance staff, general counsel

The Department of Health and Human Services has issued two long-awaited final rules — one from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the other from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) — intended to improve the interoperability of health information. The final rules include provisions for hospitals and other providers, health plans, and health information technology vendors.

CHA News Article

CHA Attends ONC Annual Meeting Ahead of Release of Interoperability and Information Blocking Final Rules
For CEOs, CIOs, government relations staff, compliance staff, general counsel

CHA attended the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) annual meeting this week in Washington, D.C. At the meeting, ONC said that final rules on interoperability and information blocking — to be issued by ONC and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) — are expected to be released in the coming weeks.

CHA News Article

Hospitals Alerted to Potential Cyberattacks by Iran
For CEOs, CIOs

Following a U.S.-led airstrike last week that killed a leading Iranian general, the federal government believes cybersecurity to be among the highest risks of Iranian retaliation. The American Hospital Association (AHA) yesterday alerted hospitals and health systems to remain vigilant about their data, systems, and networks.

CHA News Article

CHA Comments on FDA Clinical Decision Support Software Draft Guidance
For CIOs, health information technology staff

CHA has submitted comments on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) revised draft guidance on clinical decision support (CDS) software, as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to implement Section 3060(a) of the 21st Century Cures Act.

Overview

Homeless Patients

California has an estimated 134,000 homeless individuals — more than any other state in the nation. Hospitals are on the front lines of this crisis, employing comprehensive strategies to address  homeless patients’ complex needs and safely discharge them. CHA has created a number of videos to showcase hospitals engaged in this work.

In addition, CHA has developed in-depth resources to help member hospitals comply with a law passed in 2018 — SB 1152 — that imposed new requirements on how hospitals manage and discharge homeless patients who present in the emergency department. See link at the right to download CHA’s guidebook.

CHA News Article

Meet the Homeless Guardians Protecting California’s Most Vulnerable
For CEOs, COOs, government relations executives, discharge planners, communications staff, case managers

Ignacio has been living in the same industrial alley near the Los Angeles River for the past 20 years. Tyresha calls San Francisco home, but has been without stable housing for more than a decade. And while they may be hundreds of miles apart, their lives have both been touched by health care professionals in their communities.

General Information

Mobile Program Outreach Extends to Homeless Shelter

California’s homeless population faces an especially difficult challenge when it comes to access to health care. Often, homeless families lack up-to-date medical records, including immunizations necessary for children to enroll in school. There is particular risk for diseases like tuberculosis. Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles recently dispatched its two mobile units, part of a program called COACH for Kids, to a shelter for homeless families in North Hollywood. It’s part of a regular community benefit outreach by the hospital as it extends its reach to neighborhoods and the underserved.

Overview

Hospital Community Programs

CHA News Article

OCR Issues Guidance on Civil Rights Protections Prohibiting Discrimination During COVID-19
For CEOs, legal counsel

On Monday, the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued guidance for health care providers on complying with federal civil rights laws during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The guidance focuses on prohibitions against discrimination based on race, color, and national origin, and includes many practical considerations and actions hospitals can take to ensure equitable access to care. 

Overview

Hospital Fee Program

The hospital fee program is crucial to the preservation of California’s entire safety net, which is why California’s safety-net hospitals initiated provider fee legislation and why all California hospitals support it. The program uses fees assessed by the state on hospitals to draw down federal matching funds, which are then issued as supplemental payments to hospitals. It is an integral element to improving access to health care for some of California’s most vulnerable residents.

The hospital fee program and all of its statutory provisions and protections were made permanent through the passage of CHA’s ballot initiative, the Medi-Cal Funding and Accountability Act (Proposition 52), in the November 2016 General Election. By removing the sunset date of Jan. 1, 2018, in the existing statute (SB 239, 2013), the Act becomes the framework for all future hospital fee programs. Among other statutory provisions, Proposition 52 makes permanent the limit on the amount the state can take out of the program for the General Fund; the construct of the fee program (both the fee side and the payment mechanisms); and the source of data and information used to develop the program. The next program period covers Jan. 1, 2017, through June 30, 2019.

CHA News Article

DHCS Releases Hospital Fee Program Directed Payment Encounter Data Files
For CFOs

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has uploaded four new hospital-directed files, 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 Releases Hospital-Directed Payment Encounter Data File
For CFOs

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

Applications Due March 30 for Children’s Hospital Program
For CFOs

The California Health Facilities Financing Authority (CHFFA) reminds eligible hospitals (public or private nonprofit) that provide pediatric services to children eligible for the California Children’s Services program, of the deadline to apply for the first funding round of the Children’s Hospital Program of 2018. Applications must be received by CHFFA by 5 p.m. (PT) on March 30.

CHA News Article

DHCS Issues Invoices for 2019-21 Hospital Fee Program
For CFOs

The Department of Health Care Services has sent hospitals invoices covering the first four fee-for-service cycles of the 2019-21 Hospital Fee Program. The first invoice has a due date of April 29 and covers July 1, 2019 – Sept. 30, 2019. Hospitals will receive the first fee-for service payment on May 18. CHA will distribute the estimated implementation schedules for the 2019-21 Hospital Fee Program this week.

CHA News Article

DHCS to Reduce Disproportionate Share Hospital Payments
For CEOs, CFOs

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has announced it will reduce disproportionate share hospital (DSH) funding, which has been delayed since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. DSH cuts are currently scheduled to take effect for federal fiscal year (FFY) 2020 after May 23.

Overview

Human Resources

California hospitals and health systems employ more than half a million people, from entry-level positions to senior executives. Many health care human resources (HR) departments are responsible for a wide range of issues, such as recruitment, staffing, compensation, benefits, labor/employee relations and employee health. Navigating the complex regulatory environment, while monitoring how it applies to HR in the health care setting, can be a challenging and dynamic task.

Representing hospitals and health systems in California, CHA provides leadership in HR policy at state and federal levels. In addition, CHA advocates on behalf of hospitals and health systems before the federal and state legislatures, federal and state administrative agencies and the public. CHA also provides educational opportunities, such as the annual Labor & Employment Law seminar, to help hospital leaders sharpen their skills and knowledge in health care HR. CHA members also participate on an HR executive e-mail list and receive periodic informational memoranda. 

CHA News Article

Governor Signs COVID-19-Specific Workers’ Compensation Presumption Law 
For human resources executives

Today, Gov. Newsom signed Senate Bill 1159, adopting a COVID-19-specific presumption in the workers’ compensation system for employees who test positive for COVID-19. The new law takes effect immediately.

CHA News Article

Legislature Considers Bills Addressing Presumption in Workers’ Compensation
For human resources executives

The Governor’s Executive Order N-62-20 implemented a presumption in the workers’ compensation system that expires on July 5. It is CHA’s understanding that the order will not be extended. However, three bills are pending in the Legislature that seek to create a presumption, although with varying scope, conditions, and requirements.

CHA News Article

State Files Appeal in Validity of AB 51
For CEOs, in-house counsel, human resources executives

The state of California has filed an appeal to the Ninth Circuit in the case challenging the validity of Assembly Bill (AB) 51 (2019). AB 51 prohibits employers from requiring employees to sign a pre-dispute arbitration agreement as a condition of employment or continued employment. 

CHA News Article

CHA’s Human Resources Conference to Offer Strategies for Addressing Unconscious Bias
For legal counsel, human resources executives, risk & compliance leaders

CHA’s Human Resources Conference: Bringing Order to Chaos, March 23-24 in Pasadena, will feature a session on addressing unconscious bias in the workplace, including how it affects patient care and professional relationships. Beginning this year, a single conference replaces CHA’s former employee safety/workers’ compensation seminar and its labor and employment seminar, combining both into a one-and-a-half-day event. 

CHA News Article

Court Issues Preliminary Injunction, Blocking Enforcement of New Employment Arbitration Ban
For CEOs, in-house counsel, human resources executives

Last week, a U.S. District Court judge issued a preliminary injunction in the case challenging the validity of Assembly Bill (AB) 51 (2019), which prohibits employers from requiring employees to sign a pre-dispute arbitration agreement as a condition of employment or continued employment. The new law applies to any agreement entered into, modified, or extended on or after Jan. 1.  

Overview

Legal

CHA’s legal department advocates vigorously before the courts on behalf of California hospitals, both as a party in litigation and as amicus curiae in important appellate cases. In addition, the CHA legal department prepares legal memoranda and manuals to help hospitals understand and comply with state and federal laws. The CHA legal department also supports CHA staff in their advocacy efforts before the state legislature and regulatory agencies.

CHA News Article

OCR Issues Guidance on Civil Rights Protections Prohibiting Discrimination During COVID-19
For CEOs, legal counsel

On Monday, the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued guidance for health care providers on complying with federal civil rights laws during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The guidance focuses on prohibitions against discrimination based on race, color, and national origin, and includes many practical considerations and actions hospitals can take to ensure equitable access to care. 

CHA News Article

CDPH Issues Proposed Regulations on Reporting Adverse Events, Medical Information Breaches
For legal counsel, licensing & certification staff, privacy officers

On July 3, the California Department of Public Health issued two sets of proposed regulations for public comment. One regulation package addresses hospital adverse events reporting, while the other addresses medical information breach reporting. CHA is analyzing the proposals and will submit comments. 

CHA News Article

Attorney General Opinion Clarifies Effective Date for Filing 805 Report
For CEOs, CFOs, chief legal counsel, government relations staff

On April 20, the California Attorney General issued a published opinion clarifying the time period within which a Business and Professions Code section 805 report must be filed. Section 805 requires a report to be filed with the relevant state healing arts licensing agency “within 15 days after the effective date” of certain actions taken by a peer review body against specified health care practice licentiates. 

CHA News Article

Court Rules Certain Medicare Beneficiaries May Appeal Observation Status
For legal counsel, finance & reimbursement staff

A federal district court last week ruled that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) must establish an appeals process for certain Medicare patients to challenge their observation status. 

CHA News Article

Privacy Breach Reports Due Feb. 29
For privacy officers

Federal law requires hospitals and other Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-covered entities to report all 2019 HIPAA privacy breaches affecting fewer than 500 patients to the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) by Feb. 29.

Overview

Patient Rights

California and federal laws give hospital patients many rights. Hospitals must notify patients of these rights by giving patients a handout and/or by putting posters up in the hospital.

CHA has developed a sample handout that hospitals may use to notify patients of their rights under state hospital licensing regulations, the Medicare Conditions of Participation, and The Joint Commission. In addition, CHA publishes a corresponding poster.

CHA News Article

Dates Set for Consent and Related Health Care Law Webinar Series 
For CMOs, CNOs, risk managers, privacy officers, in-house counsel

Join CHA’s Consent and Related Health Care Law webinars to delve into high-risk consent and privacy issues that often challenge hospitals and could lead to litigation. The three-part series will be held from 10 a.m. to noon (PT) on May 13, 19, and 27 and replaces the annual Consent Law seminar series. All three webinars are free to CHA members. 

CHA News Article

CDPH Issues Notices on New Laws Requiring Hospital Compliance
For COOs, chief legal counsel, human resources executives, licensing & certification staff, quality & patient safety staff

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued guidance, in three different All Facilities Letters (AFLs), about new laws that apply to hospitals and health facilities: one regarding medical exams of sexual assault victims, one on employees’ rights during a CDPH investigation or inspection, and one on written notice to patients about their right to be free of discrimination.

Overview

Quality & Patient Safety

CHA is committed to helping hospitals improve quality, reduce medical errors and adverse events, and maximize patient safety. To further those efforts, CHA and the Regional Associations established the Hospital Quality Institute (HQI) in 2013 to realize statewide impact of improving patient safety and quality care for all Californians, to accelerate the rate of improvement and to advance California as a national leader in quality performance. HQI’s broad scope of work includes reducing patient harm, reducing health care-associated infections, reducing hospital readmissions, improving patient experience and improving maternal/child outcomes. Hospitals and health systems that belong to HQI — a voluntary organization — use it as an excellent source of performance data and analytics to focus improvement opportunities and take best practices to scale. In addition, CHPSO, the nation’s largest and longest operating patient safety organization, is a division of HQI.

CHA also regularly tracks and reports on important developments in the public reporting of hospital quality data, including OSHPD and Hospital Compare website data, and keeps members informed of regulations related to pay for quality reporting and performance.

CHA News Article

CMS Publishes Clarifications on Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility, Long-Term Care Hospital Data Sets
For inpatient rehabilitation facility leaders, long-term care hospital leaders, quality and compliance officers

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published quarterly guidance and clarifications for the inpatient rehabilitation facility patient assessment instrument (IRF-PAI) and the long-term care hospital continuity assessment record and evaluation (LTCH CARE) data sets.  

Overview

Workforce

California hospitals are concerned about the need for an adequate supply of highly skilled health professionals to meet the demands for health care services now and in the future. Numerous studies have validated the need to address critical health professional shortages in nursing and the allied health occupations. However, efforts to implement recommended strategies have been hindered by a lack of a coordinated statewide effort involving health employers and other necessary partners.

In response to the need for focus on this issue and the need for statewide solutions, CHA established the CHA Workforce Committee in 2007. Members of the committee include a broad cross-section of California’s hospitals, both urban and rural, and also represent the state’s various geographic regions. The committee has been focused primarily on allied health professional shortages, but in 2013 broadened its mission to include supporting various statewide nursing and physician shortage initiatives. The committee recognizes that current challenges in the area of health workforce will be exacerbated by an aging population and implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and is dedicated to working as a group and with other stakeholders to develop and implement solutions that will address the numerous barriers that constrict the supply of health care professionals in California.

CHA News Article

CHA’s Human Resources Conference to Offer Strategies for Addressing Unconscious Bias
For legal counsel, human resources executives, risk & compliance leaders

CHA’s Human Resources Conference: Bringing Order to Chaos, March 23-24 in Pasadena, will feature a session on addressing unconscious bias in the workplace, including how it affects patient care and professional relationships. Beginning this year, a single conference replaces CHA’s former employee safety/workers’ compensation seminar and its labor and employment seminar, combining both into a one-and-a-half-day event. 

CHA News Article

CHA Conference to Offer Human Resources Legal, Practical Insight
For legal counsel, human resources executives, risk & compliance leaders

Registration is now open for CHA’s members-only Human Resources Conference: Bringing Order to Chaos conference in Pasadena March 23-24, combining CHA’s annual Employee Safety and Workers Compensation seminar and its Labor and Employment seminar.  

CHA News Article

Proposition 56 Graduate Medical Education Grant Application Cycle Opens
For CEOs, government relations staff, and designated institutional officers

Grant applications for California’s graduate medical education (GME) CalMedForce program are being accepted through Oct. 28. The $40 million in available funding is allocated for primary care and emergency medicine residency programs, with priority given to programs that benefit medically underserved areas and populations.

Publication

Roadmap to Creating a Health Care Work-Based Learning Program

In 2014-15, with support from the James Irvine Foundation, CHA partnered with hospitals, educators, funders and other experts to identify strategies for increasing the number of high-quality, health care work-based learning opportunities for California high school students. Health care as a whole is one of the fastest growing industries in the nation. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 17 of the 30 fastest growing occupations are in the health sector.

CHA News Article

CHA Releases Health Facility Work-Based Learning Program Guide

CHA, in partnership with the California Department of Education, has created the Health Facility Work-Based Learning Program Guide in response to requests from hospitals for information, tools and tips for partnering with local K-12 educational institutions. The guide’s purpose is to provide a resource for all health care employers (not just hospitals) seeking work-based learning partnerships with local K-12 institutions. Not only is it intended to be used by employers developing new partnerships, it can also serve as a valuable tool for existing work-based learning programs. The guide features a spectrum of model employer/K-12 partnerships that serve as real life examples of successful programs. It also includes turn-key forms and documents that can be used when developing a program, as well as links to additional information. The guide is attached.

Commands