Hospital Topics

Overview Jenna Eckert

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 Lindsay Mohler

CHA Encourages Hospitals to Respond to CDPH Stroke Care Survey by May 31
For CMOs, CNOs, Licensing & Certification Staff

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Stroke Registry/California Coverdell Program requests that hospitals participate in its annual stroke survey. Responses to the survey will be used to assess hospitals’ capacity to provide stroke care, describe the quality improvement intervention work underway in hospital settings, and identify acute stroke care service gaps.

CHA News Article Brianna Nathan

CHA Submits Pre-Regulatory Title 22 Comments on Regulations for Acute Care Hospitals
For COOs, Licensing Staff, Rehabilitation Staff

CHA recently submitted comments to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), responding to its requests for input on changes to Title 22 regulations. In the letter, CHA thanks CDPH for undertaking the process of revising the regulations, noting that the majority are outdated and no longer relevant to current hospital care delivery. 

CHA News Article Brianna Nathan

CDPH Proposes Increase in Hospital Licensing Fees

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) proposes to increase hospital licensing fees by 20 percent for state fiscal year 2019-20, raising fees from $550 to $661 per bed.

CHA News Article

Providers Alerted About Resistant Infections in Patients Receiving Surgery Abroad

A travel alert recently issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notifies providers of recent cases of surgical site infections in U.S. residents who underwent invasive medical procedures in Tijuana, Mexico.

CHA News Article

Webinar Recording on Reporting Data to Parkinson’s Disease Registry Now Available

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has made available a recorded webinar addressing the new California Parkinson’s Disease Registry. To access the webinar, use the password CPDRdec2018.

Overview Emily Ireland

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 Brianna Nathan

Webinars Begin Next Week on New Opioid Safety Designation for Hospitals
For CMOs, CNOs, Quality & Patient Safety Staff

Cal Hospital Compare, a nonprofit performance reporting initiative, will launch an opioid safety designation program for hospitals later this month, intended to accelerate improvement and recognize California hospitals’ efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. A series of five no-cost webinars – the first to be held May 9 at 11 a.m. (PT) – will explain a self-assessment tool integral to the new designation, and will feature peer-to-peer learning on a variety of safe opioid practices.

Education event For Members

Discharge Planning for Homeless Patients Mid-Year Updates Webinar
Implementation Strategies for July 1 Requirements

May 29, 2019
1:30 – 3:00 p.m., Pacific Time

On July 1, 2019, SB 1152 requires hospitals to have a written plan for coordinating services and referrals for homeless patients. Successful implementation will hinge upon working with your regional health care and social service agencies to ensure appropriate homeless patient discharge. Further, the law requires that hospitals maintain a log of homeless patients discharged and the destinations to which they were released after discharge.

CHA News Article Brianna Nathan

CDPH Releases Questions for Meeting on Hospital Infection Control, Physical Plant Regulations

In preparation for an upcoming meeting to solicit stakeholder feedback on possible changes to Title 22  infection control and physical plant regulations for general acute care hospitals, the California Department of Public Health has released a series of questions. More details are available in All Facilities Letter 18-56.1.

CHA News Article Lindsay Mohler

Health Care Facilities Reminded of New Requirement to Provide Plant-Based Meals

The California Department of Public Health reminds health care providers that, effective Jan. 1, they must make plant-based meal options — without meat, poultry, fish, dairy or eggs — available to patients, in accordance with their physician’s orders. For more information about the law, see page 15 of CHA’s 2018 Report on Legislation.

CHA News Article Allison Bradley

CDC Updates Alert on Life-Threatening Coagulopathy Associated with Synthetic Cannabinoids

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its health alertaddressing a multistate outbreak of coagulopathy — a bleeding disorder that impacts the way blood clots — that has been linked to synthetic cannabinoid use.

Overview Lisa Geraty

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 Brianna Nathan

CDPH Changes Approval Process for Sterile Compounding Physical Plant Construction Projects
For CEOs, COOs, Pharmacists-in-Charge, Lead Engineers/Construction

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) earlier this week released All Facilities Letter 19-19, which updates its application process for new or remodeled pharmacy clean rooms and mobile sterile compounding units (MSCUs). Notably, CDPH will no longer accept incomplete applications for pharmacy clean rooms or MSCUs. CDPH states the update is in response to Assembly Bill 2978 (Chapter 992, Statutes of 2018), which requires CDPH to review or deny applications within 100 days of receipt.

CHA News Article Brianna Nathan

Building Standards Commission Accepting Comments on Proposed Changes to Building Codes
Attestation due Dec. 31 for hospitals that will not meet 2030 seismic standards

The California Building Standards Commission is now accepting comments on proposed rules that would align current building codes with a law enacted last year, Assembly Bill (AB) 2190 (Chapter 673, Statutes of 2018).

CHA News Article Brianna Nathan

$750 Million in Hazard Mitigation Grant Funding Could Assist Some Hospitals with Seismic Compliance Costs
Deadline for submitting notice of interest is March 15

A $750 million funding opportunity available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) could help some hospitals offset the cost of meeting seismic compliance requirements for certain acute care buildings.

CHA News Article

Building Standards Commission Provides Notice of Proposed Code Changes
Comments due Oct. 29

The California Building Standards Commission has announced proposed code changes to Title 24, intended for the 2019 California Building Standards Code. The changes were developed by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development in collaboration with the Hospital Building Safety Board, industry representatives and other stakeholders. The changes are consistent with the draft terms reviewed during the pre-regulatory phase, detailed in the attached memo. CHA has been engaged throughout this process and is currently reviewing the proposed changes with a workgroup to determine whether it will submit comments. Comments are due Oct. 29.

CHA News Article For Members

CHA Submits Pre-Regulatory Comments on Title 22 Regulations

Today, CHA submitted comments to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) regarding several areas of Title 22 regulations that CDPH plans to revise. CDPH issued seven All Facilities Letters (AFLs) earlier this month, requesting stakeholder input to inform its regulation development process. CHA commented on the following:

Comments are due to CDPH on Aug. 31. Questions should be submitted to CHCQRegulationsUnit@cdph.ca.gov.​

Overview Allison Bradley

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 Brianna Nathan

3.6M Californians Would Benefit from Coverage Expansion, Report Finds
For CEOs, CFOs, Government Relations Staff

A new report from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research examines how current policy proposals to expand coverage would impact residents across the state, finding that as many as 3.6 million Californians would benefit.

CHA News Article Brianna Nathan

Governor’s Revised Budget Makes Important Coverage Investments, Fails to Include Vital Medi-Cal Funding

Yesterday, CHA issued a news release on Gov. Newsom’s revised 2019-20 state budget. CHA applauds the Governor for making investments that improve Californians’ health and well-being, including: ongoing support for expanding Medi-Cal coverage to young adults, regardless of immigration status; imposing a state-level individual coverage mandate; broader premium subsidies for low and middle-income families; and significant investments in behavioral health.

CHA News Article Brianna Nathan

New Tool Shows Regional Health Care Cost and Quality Benchmarks
For CEOs, CFOs, Government Relations Staff

New research suggests that risk sharing appears to offer better value than fee-for-service arrangements. The California Regional Health Care Cost and Quality Atlas shows wide variance in quality and cost across California based on 2017 performance data for provider risk sharing arrangements; accountable care organizations; large, small, and self-insured employers; individually insured members; and commercial health maintenance organizations and preferred provider organizations.

CHA News Article Lindsay Mohler

CMS Approves Cal MediConnect Extension Through 2022
For CEOs, CFOs, Government Relations Executives

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) last week received federal approval of a three-year extension of its Cal MediConnect (CMC) program, which provides coordinated services to patients who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.

CHA News Article Brianna Nathan

DHCS Allots $100M in State Funding to Support Housing Provided by Whole Person Care Pilots
For CEOs, CFOs, Government Relations Staff

The Department of Health Care Services earlier this week announced how it will distribute the Governor’s $100 million budget allocation to support active Whole Person Care pilot programs that provide housing services, as well as its methodology for determining the distributed amounts.

Overview Jenna Eckert

Emergency Preparedness
Is your hospital prepared?

Visit CHA’s Emergency Preparedness website at calhospitalprepare.org

About

Through the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Office of Preparedness and Emergency Operations, Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) grant, CHA has created a web site specifically devoted to Emergency Preparedness at www.calhospitalprepare.org.

   
CHA News Article

PG&E Expands, Enhances Wildfire Safety Efforts
For CEOs, Government Relations Staff, Facilities Staff, Disaster Readiness Staff

Given the continued and growing threat of extreme weather, and as an additional precautionary measure following the 2017 and 2018 wildfires, PG&E is enhancing and expanding its Community Wildfire Safety Program to further reduce wildfire risks and help keep customers and communities safe.

CHA News Article Brianna Nathan

Annual FEMA Catastrophic Planning Workshop Set for May 16

On May 16 in Rancho Cucamonga, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will host its annual Catastrophic Planning Workshop. The workshop, specific to Southern California, will include a discussion of best practices and lessons learned from the past year of disasters in California, as well as interagency changes implemented during the year.

CHA News Article Brianna Nathan

Registration Open for Disaster Planning for California Hospitals Conference
Sept. 10-11 in Pasadena, livestreaming available

Wildfires. Mudslides. Floods. Mass shootings. These once rare or infrequent events have become regular occurrences, and no two disasters are ever the same. Now more than ever, hospitals must reevaluate our procedures and redefine preparation. 

CHA News Article Jenna Eckert

New Resources Help Meet Serious Mental Illness Needs in Disasters
Emergency planning should consider strategies focused on mental health

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released a series of resources intended to help providers incorporate, in their disaster planning, strategies to care for patients with serious mental illness.

CHA News Article Brianna Nathan

House Reauthorizes Hospital Preparedness Program

The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed legislation (H.R. 269) that includes the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act. The measure reauthorized the Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) at an increased amount, including reserving a percentage of HPP funds for the purpose of developing regional health care emergency preparedness and response systems. CHA supports the measure and is hopeful that the Senate will act soon. 

Overview Lisa Evans

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 Jenna Eckert

Hospitals Reminded to Post Updated Prop. 65 Signs
New signage requirements took effect Aug. 30

CHA reminds members that the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65) requires hospitals and other businesses to post warning signs about potential exposure to certain chemicals. Beginning Aug. 30, the required content of the signs changed. Previously, the signs were not required to list any specific chemicals but now must inform consumers and employees of at least one specific chemical to which they may be exposed in the area.

Each sign must also include a symbol consisting of a black exclamation point in a yellow equilateral triangle with a bold black outline; if no color is used in printing, then black and white is acceptable. Many commercial vendors sell these signs.

CHA News Article Brianna Nathan

CDPH Issues Guidance on Reducing Legionella Risk in Water Systems

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued the attached All Facilities Letter 18-39, which addresses Legionella risks in health care facility water systems. Hospitals, critical access hospitals and skilled-nursing facilities must develop and adhere to policies and procedures that inhibit microbial growth in building water systems, in order to reduce the growth and spread of Legionella and other pathogens in water. CDPH directs facilities to guidance issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which clarifies expectations and notes that facilities must:

  • Conduct a facility risk assessment to identify where Legionella and other pathogens could grow and spread.
  • Develop and implement a water management program.
  • Specify testing protocols and document testing results.
  • Comply with other federal, state and local requirements.
CHA News Article Brianna Nathan

Hospitals Reminded That Prop. 65 Warning Regulations Take Effect Aug. 30
New requirements apply to content and types of warnings

CHA reminds hospitals that new regulations related to Proposition 65 and warnings that must be publicly posted take effect Aug. 30. Failure to comply could subject hospitals to potential penalties of up to $2,500 per day, per violation. The new regulations specify separate safe harbor warnings based on the types of listed chemicals, the number of listed chemicals and the methods of transmission. They also significantly revise the required content, including adding these elements:

  • The name of at least one listed chemical that prompted the warning
  • The Internet address for the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment’s (OEHHA) new Proposition 65 warnings website, www.P65Warnings.ca.gov, which includes additional information on the health effects of listed chemicals and ways to reduce or eliminate exposure to them
  • A triangular yellow warning symbol on most warnings
CHA News Article Brianna Nathan

Workshops Will Detail Proposed Regulations for Toxic Emissions Reporting

A new series of workshops presented by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will share draft language and concepts for proposed regulations related to toxic emissions reporting. The regulations, required by Assembly Bill 617 (Chapter 136, Statutes of 2017), are intended to support certain CARB programs — including the Community Air Protection Program, established by AB 617, and the Air Toxics Hot Spots Program — as well as state implementation plans, air toxic control measures and monitoring studies. Workshops will be held in July and August throughout the state. A full list of dates and locations, as well as registration information, is available online.

CHA News Article Brianna Nathan

Hospitals Notified of Digital TV Channel Frequency Change
Potentially affects telemetry systems

The Federal Communications Commission requires television stations to notify health care facilities within their service area when they change the frequency on which they transmit, because such changes can affect hospitals’ wireless monitoring equipment. CHA has received the attached notice from Widelity ­— a company retained by KRNS-CD television station in Reno, NV — to make the required notifications that the frequency on which it transmits will change. Widelity is one of a few organizations along with select television stations that will notify health care facilities in their coverage of similar changes over the next three years.

While many hospitals no longer use television channels for wireless monitoring or equipment, those that do will need to move and retune equipment. Hospitals should work with the manufacturer of their telemetry systems to determine which channels and frequencies to use. Attached are a presentation that includes a list of facilities in the Widelity region and an overview of the process, as well as a list of California stations that are or will be changing frequencies.

Overview Jenna Eckert

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 Brianna Nathan

More Than 300 Members of Congress Sign Bipartisan Letter Urging Delay of Medicaid DSH Cuts
For CEOs, CFOs, Government Relations Staff

A total of 302 members of Congress signed on to a bipartisan House letter urging Congress to delay cuts to Medicaid disproportionate share hospitals for at least two years. An overwhelming majority — 48 of 53 — of members of the California delegation cosigned the letter. CHA strongly supports this bipartisan effort and thanks members for their engagement on this critical issue.

CHA News Article Brianna Nathan

Improvements Announced for Medicare Recovery Audit Contractor Program
For CFOs

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) this week announced a number of improvements to the Medicare Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) Program, seeking to reduce providers’ burden by better targeting program integrity efforts. 

CHA News Article Brianna Nathan

Governor’s Revised Budget Makes Important Coverage Investments, Fails to Include Vital Medi-Cal Funding

Yesterday, CHA issued a news release on Gov. Newsom’s revised 2019-20 state budget. CHA applauds the Governor for making investments that improve Californians’ health and well-being, including: ongoing support for expanding Medi-Cal coverage to young adults, regardless of immigration status; imposing a state-level individual coverage mandate; broader premium subsidies for low and middle-income families; and significant investments in behavioral health.

CHA News Article Jenna Eckert

DHCS to Host Webinars on FY 2019-20 Changes in DRG Implementation
For CFOs

On May 21 at 11 a.m. (PT) and May 23 at 2 p.m. (PT), the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) will host a webinar explaining upcoming changes to diagnosis-related group (DRG) policies that will be implemented for state fiscal year 2019-20. To register, email DRG@dhcs.ca.gov; once approved, DHCS will send instructions for joining the webinar.

Education event

Explaining County Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services and Funding Webinar

June 13, 2019
1:30 – 3:30 p.m., Pacific Time

There are 58 counties in California. Not all of them have similar protocols or relationships with our hospitals. In fact, California hospitals have reported frustration or confusion when trying to decipher county mental health and substance use disorder services. Navigating multiple funding streams across multiple counties can be confusing.

Overview Jenna Eckert

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 Brianna Nathan

Comment Deadline Extended for Interoperability Proposed Rules
For CFOs, CIOs, Government Relations Staff

In response to requests from CHA and other stakeholders, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has extended the comment period for its two proposed rules on interoperability and information blocking to June 3.

CHA News Article Nicole Hoffman

Proposed Rules Issued on Interoperability and Information Blocking

The Department of Health and Human Services has issued two proposed 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.

CHA News Article Brianna Nathan

CHA Comments on Draft Strategy to Reduce Health IT and Electronic Health Record Burden

Yesterday, CHA submitted comments on the Office of the National Coordinator’s (ONC) draft strategy to reduce regulatory and administrative burden related to health information technology and electronic health record (EHR) use.

CHA News Article

Updated Record and Data Retention Schedule Now Available
Available in print and electronic formats

CHA is pleased to announce the new release of its Record and Data Retention Schedule, the first update of this publication in seven years. The guidebook provides an overview of practical considerations in record retention policies and helps hospitals determine which records need to be kept and for how long.

The guide can help reduce storage costs and avoid legal pitfalls by making clear when it is safe to dispose of certain records.

CHA News Article

CHA Attends Site Visit With ONC Deputy National Coordinator

CHA last week joined the American Hospital Association in a site visit with Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) Deputy National Coordinator Jon White, MD. Dr. White visited Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla to understand the successes and challenges of meaningful use programs and to discuss how to improve interoperability in the exchange of health information.

From left: Megan Howard, senior policy analyst, CHA; Shane Thielman, AVP information services, Scripps Health; Joseph Stein, MD, Scripps Health; Jon White, MD, deputy national coordinator for health information technology, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; David Wetherhold, MD, Scripps Health; Andy Crowder, corporate senior VP & CIO, Scripps Health; Chantal Worzala, VP health information & policy operations, American Hospital Association; Diane Jones, director IT health policy, American Hospital Association; Amber Ter-Vrugt, senior director government relations, Scripps Health
Overview Jenna Eckert

Hospital Community Programs

Overview Allison Bradley

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

CMS Approves Hospital Fee Program Managed Care Rates for State Fiscal Year 2015-16

This week, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) shared four approval letters, dated March 18, from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Hospitals should share the relevant letters, linked here, with their accounting firms:

CHA News Article

DHCS Releases Final Guidance on Network Provider Status
CHA to host webinar on impact for Hospital Fee Program

Last week, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) issued its final All Plan Letter (APL) 19-001, specifying contractual requirements that must exist between Medi-Cal managed care plans (MCPs) and hospitals for a hospital to be considered a network provider.

CHA News Article

CMS Approves Hospital Fee Program Managed Care Rates
Rate package covers expansion population for Jan. 1 – June 30, 2015

Yesterday, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) shared four approval letters. dated Dec. 12, from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Hospitals should share the relevant letters, linked here, with their accounting firms:

CHA News Article

Deadline Extended for Hospitals to Report Information for Statewide Directory
Due by July 13

The Department of Health Care Services’ (DHCS) has extended the deadline for private hospitals to submit contact information for the new statewide hospital and health plan directory. The directory, which will be publicly available online, will identify primary points of contact for each organization that other plans or hospitals may use for inquiries related to the Hospital Fee Program. Providers are encouraged to complete DHCS’ online form to identify points of contact for general inquiries, encounter data inquiries and contracting inquiries. Information should be submitted by July 13. If a hospital does not provide the requested contacts by the deadline, DHCS will list the primary contact provided in the National Provider Identifier spreadsheet as the contact for all general, encounter data and contracting questions in the statewide directory.   

Overview Brianna Nathan

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 Brianna Nathan

CHA Asks Hospitals to Urge Legislators to Oppose Nurse Staffing Ratio Penalties

Earlier this week, CHA sent an Advocacy Alert to hospital leaders about Senate Bill 227 (Leyva, D-Chino), a bill that would create significant penalties for hospitals that do not meet nurse staffing ratios. CHA urges hospital leaders to contact their representatives about this harmful bill, which would increase costs without providing any benefit to patients.

CHA News Article Brianna Nathan

CHA Supports Resident Physician Shortage Act of 2019
Urges California delegation to cosponsor

CHA sent a letter to the California congressional delegation this week, urging support of the Resident Physician Shortage Act of 2019 (H.R. 1763), which takes steps to reduce nationwide physician shortages by increasing the number of Medicare-supported residency positions.

CHA News Article Brianna Nathan

CHA Submits Comments on Draft Regulations for Indoor Heat Illness
Requests a fresh approach from Division of Occupational Safety and Health

CHA recently submitted a comment letter to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) on its draft regulations for minimizing heat-related illness among workers in indoor places of employment.

CHA News Article For Members Brianna Nathan

Hospitals Should Review Policies on Reporting Time Pay
California appellate court issues new decision

Earlier this week, a California appellate court issued a published decision interpreting California’s reporting time pay requirement. While the decision in Ward v. Tilly’s Inc. was not unanimous and could be appealed to the California Supreme Court, employers should take note of the case’s reasoning.

CHA News Article

California’s Minimum Wage, Other Pay Rates Increase Jan. 1, 2019

The California Labor Code requires an increase to the state minimum wage each year. Effective Jan. 1, 2019, the statewide minimum wage will increase from $11 to $12 per hour for employers with more than 25 employees. This also impacts other wage and hour obligations, such as the minimum salary requirement for exempt employees, which will increase to $49,920.

Overview Jenna Eckert

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.

Education event For Members

Discharge Planning for Homeless Patients Mid-Year Updates Webinar
Implementation Strategies for July 1 Requirements

May 29, 2019
1:30 – 3:00 p.m., Pacific Time

On July 1, 2019, SB 1152 requires hospitals to have a written plan for coordinating services and referrals for homeless patients. Successful implementation will hinge upon working with your regional health care and social service agencies to ensure appropriate homeless patient discharge. Further, the law requires that hospitals maintain a log of homeless patients discharged and the destinations to which they were released after discharge.

CHA News Article Brianna Nathan

Registration Open for Disaster Planning for California Hospitals Conference
Sept. 10-11 in Pasadena, livestreaming available

Wildfires. Mudslides. Floods. Mass shootings. These once rare or infrequent events have become regular occurrences, and no two disasters are ever the same. Now more than ever, hospitals must reevaluate our procedures and redefine preparation. 

CHA News Article Brianna Nathan

2019 California Hospital Compliance Manual Now Available

CHA has released the 10th edition of the Hospital Compliance Manual, written specifically to help California’s hospital compliance officers, chief financial officers, legal counsel, and risk managers stay abreast of pertinent state and federal laws. The manual focuses on high-risk compliance issues and addresses the key components of an effective compliance plan.

CHA News Article Lindsay Mohler

CHA Comments on Modifying HIPAA Provisions to Improve Coordinated Care

CHA has submitted comments to the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in response to a request for information about modifying Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy and security rules.

Education event Jessica Lightle

Consent Law Seminar
Serial consent, scope of practice, high utilizers, engaging law enforcement, homeless patient discharge, new laws and more!

Location:
May 23, Oakland       
June 6, Sacramento
June 6, New Live Stream Option    

Consent for treatment decisions often must be made quickly and may carry significant ramifications for patients, their families and your hospital. Ever-changing regulations further complicate matters.

Overview Jenna Eckert

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.

Education event Jessica Lightle

Consent Law Seminar
Serial consent, scope of practice, high utilizers, engaging law enforcement, homeless patient discharge, new laws and more!

Location:
May 23, Oakland       
June 6, Sacramento
June 6, New Live Stream Option    

Consent for treatment decisions often must be made quickly and may carry significant ramifications for patients, their families and your hospital. Ever-changing regulations further complicate matters.

CHA News Article Brianna Nathan

CHA Guidebook Explains Discharge Planning for Homeless Patients

The California Department of Public Health has issued All Facilities Letter 19-01 reminding hospitals of the new law requiring that they try to coordinate homeless patients’ discharge to appropriate area shelters or other community-based services. To help hospitals comply with the law, CHA has developed a guidebook titled Discharge Planning for Homeless Patients.

CHA News Article Brianna Nathan

Homeless Patient Discharge Planning Guidebook Now Available for Free Download
Print copies also available

CHA’s latest guidebook, Discharge Planning for Homeless Patients, explains California’s new homeless patient discharge planning law and offers insights to help hospitals prepare to return homeless patients to the community. 

CHA News Article Allison Bradley

Court of Appeal Grants CHA Request for Published Opinion
Court ruled in favor of hospital, physicians in wrongful death suit

The California Court of Appeal last week granted CHA’s request to publish its opinion in Alexander v. Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla et al. CHA requested that the court publish the decision because of the important legal issues it addresses, and because having it published allows attorneys in future cases to rely on it.

In the case, a patient with incurable stage four pancreatic cancer was transferred to a hospital from a skilled-nursing facility (SNF) for evaluation. The transferring physician did not believe she would return to the SNF, as he believed her death was imminent. The patient had completed an advance directive and a Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) form electing to have all measures taken to prolong her life, including full resuscitation if necessary. All physicians caring for the patient agreed that cardiac compression would be futile and cause harm and suffering. The family said they understood her condition was terminal, but still wanted full resuscitation.

Overview Jenna Eckert

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

Upcoming Conferences to Focus on Opioid Crisis

The Health Services Advisory Group’s Hospital Improvement Innovation Network will hold conferences over the next two months — June 25 in Pasadena and July 10 in Sacramento — focused on combating the opioid crisis.

CHA News Article Brianna Nathan

Application Period Open for National Quality Award
For Performance Improvement Executives, Population Health Executives, Quality and Patient Safety Staff, Patient Engagement Staff

The American Hospital Association is now accepting applications for its annual Quest for Quality Prize, which recognizes health care leadership and innovation in improving quality and advancing health in communities. Applications are due Sept. 30; successful applicants will demonstrate commitments to access, health, innovation, affordability, and partnership.

CHA News Article Allison Bradley

Application Deadline for 2019 C. Duane Dauner Quality Award Is Wednesday
For CEOs, Quality and Patient Safety Staff

Showcase your hospital’s great work in quality and patient safety by submitting an application for the Hospital Quality Institute’s (HQI) 2019 C. Duane Dauner Quality Award. This prestigious annual award recognizes outstanding achievement in the areas of patient safety, quality improvement and patient experience. Applications will be accepted through May 15.

CHA News Article Jenna Eckert

UnitedHealthcare Delays Change to Sepsis Review Policy Following CHA Advocacy
For CEOs, CFOs, Government Relations Executives

In a May 3 letter to CHA, UnitedHealthcare (UHC) announced it will temporarily suspend implementation of its new sepsis review policy in California until Nov. 1. The delay — a result of CHA’s advocacy on the issue — is intended to allow additional time to work through administrative and other issues that are unique to the California market, in particular due to California hospitals’ prevalent use of full-risk, capitated, delegated network arrangements.

CHA News Article Brianna Nathan

Webinars Begin Next Week on New Opioid Safety Designation for Hospitals
For CMOs, CNOs, Quality & Patient Safety Staff

Cal Hospital Compare, a nonprofit performance reporting initiative, will launch an opioid safety designation program for hospitals later this month, intended to accelerate improvement and recognize California hospitals’ efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. A series of five no-cost webinars – the first to be held May 9 at 11 a.m. (PT) – will explain a self-assessment tool integral to the new designation, and will feature peer-to-peer learning on a variety of safe opioid practices.

Overview Brianna Nathan

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

Bill to Allow Nurse Practitioners Independent Practice Authority Passes Assembly Committee
For CEOs, CMOs, CNOs

A CHA-supported bill that would allow nurse practitioners (NPs) to practice to the full extent of their education and training – AB 890 (Wood, D-Santa Rosa) – passed the Assembly Committee on Business and Professions today.

CHA News Article Brianna Nathan

CHA Supports Resident Physician Shortage Act of 2019
Urges California delegation to cosponsor

CHA sent a letter to the California congressional delegation this week, urging support of the Resident Physician Shortage Act of 2019 (H.R. 1763), which takes steps to reduce nationwide physician shortages by increasing the number of Medicare-supported residency positions.

CHA News Article Brianna Nathan

Report Provides Educational Solutions, Regional Forecasts for California RN Workforce

A new report identifies the clinical capacity of and training needs for the state’s nursing workforce, particularly RN surpluses and shortages by region. The report is the culmination of a landmark initiative to identify innovative solutions for the most challenging nursing education issues facing California.

CHA News Article

CHA Supports Commission’s Recommendations to Grow, Diversify California’s Health Care Workforce

A new report, “Meeting the Demand for Health,” outlines the need for a statewide infrastructure designed to produce a steady pipeline of professionals who can care for California’s growing and aging population.

CHA News Article

CalMedForce Awards $38 Million in Proposition 56 Graduate Medical Education Funding

This week, Physicians for a Healthy California announced 73 awards totaling $38 million in the inaugural cycle of its CalMedForce Program, which provides funding for graduate medical education programs in California.

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