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

State Deactivates Medical and Health Coordination Center
For CNOs, Infection Preventionists

On July 1, the California Department of Public Health and the Emergency Medical Services Authority deactivated the Medical and Health Coordination Center, which was activated in response to the April 2019 measles outbreak. Local health jurisdictions are no longer required to submit weekly situation reports and cost tracking related to the outbreak. Instead, they should follow the defined response protocols in the Public Health and Medical Emergency Operations Manual.

CHA News Article

CDPH Announces Changes to Application Submission Process
For Licensing and Certification Staff

Beginning July 1, the California Department of Public Health will not accept payment for health facility license application fees until its Licensing & Certification Centralized Applications Branch validates that all required forms and supporting documentation have been received. For more information, see All Facilities Letter 19-20.

CHA News Article

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

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.

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

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.

CHA News Article

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

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.

CHA News Article

CDPH Changes Name, Email Address of Centralized Applications Unit

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has reorganized its Center for Health Care Quality, Licensing & Certification Unit and Centralized Applications Unit. Now combined and renamed as the Centralized Applications Branch, the new structure consists of four distinct sections: Non-Long-Term Care, Long-Term Care, Report of Change, and Licensing-Certification and Policy. In the attached All Facilities Letter 18-44, CDPH notes that the change is intended to “provide additional resources and realign […] sections to better meet provider needs.” The new email address is CAB@cdph.ca.gov.

CHA News Article

Proposed Regulations Establish Best Practices for Stroke, STEMI Care Systems

The Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) has released the attached proposed regulations that would establish standardized best practices for stroke and ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) critical care systems. According to EMSA, the proposed regulations will protect public health and safety by establishing minimum requirements for the development and implementation of a STEMI or stroke critical care system plan, plan update requirements, the process for hospital designation and data collection. The regulations would also authorize EMSA to annually review and approve STEMI and stroke critical care system plans and plan updates submitted by local emergency medical services agencies.

CHA is currently reviewing the proposed regulations in anticipation of submitting comments, which are due July 25. For more information, including public comment forms, visit the EMSA website.

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

Hospitals Must Submit Attestations of 2030 Seismic Safety Deadline to OSHPD by Dec. 31
For CEOs, Chief Legal Counsel, Facilities Staff

On July 17, the California Building Standards Commission certified emergency building standards proposed by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) to implement CHA’s sponsored bill from last year, Assembly Bill (AB) 2190 (Chapter 673, Statutes of 2018).

CHA News Article

9/11 First Responder Will Speak at CHA Disaster Preparedness Conference
For CEOs, Public Relations Staff, Disaster Readiness Staff, Government Relations Staff, Facilities Staff

For the first time, CHA’s Disaster Planning for California Hospitals conference will take place on Sept. 11. To honor those who gave everything they had — and those who continue to put their lives at risk — CHA has invited a Ground Zero 9/11 first responder, Glen Klein, to help us remember how that day has shaped our world.

CHA News Article

2019 California Building Standards Codes Available
For Facilities Management Staff

The California Building Standards Commission has announced the availability of the 2019 California Building Standards Code, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2020. The 2016 Building Standards Code remains in effect until Dec. 31, 2019.

CHA News Article

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

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).

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 Releases Guidance Related to Authorization of Specialty Mental Health Services
For CEOs, CFOs, Government Relations Executives, Behavioral Health Leads

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) recently released Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services Information Notice 19-026 to communicate to county mental health plans (MHPs) federal requirements related to the authorization of specialty mental health services (SMHS).

CHA News Article

Covered California Announces Preliminary Rates and Carriers for 2020
For CEOs, CFOs, Government Relations Leads

Covered California announced today that the preliminary average rate change for the 2020 individual market will be 0.8% — lower than the actual average increase over the past five years (7.9%), and the lowest rate change since Covered California first began offering coverage in 2014. 

CHA News Article

DHCS Issues June Stakeholder Update

The Department of Health care Services has released a stakeholder update with information on key programs and services, including the Assisted Living Waiver renewal, the Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System Waiver, the Medication Assisted Treatment Expansion Project, and updates to the Medi-Cal provider manual.

CHA News Article

VA Issues Final Rule Implementing Veterans Community Care Program
For CFOs, Reimbursement Staff

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has issued its final rule implementing the criteria for determining when covered veterans may elect to receive necessary hospital, medical, and extended care services from non-VA entities or providers under the Veterans Community Care Program. The final rule became effective June 6, when the Veterans Community Care Program replaced the Veterans Choice Program, as required by the MISSION Act of 2018.

CHA News Article

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.

Overview

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

9/11 First Responder Will Speak at CHA Disaster Preparedness Conference
For CEOs, Public Relations Staff, Disaster Readiness Staff, Government Relations Staff, Facilities Staff

For the first time, CHA’s Disaster Planning for California Hospitals conference will take place on Sept. 11. To honor those who gave everything they had — and those who continue to put their lives at risk — CHA has invited a Ground Zero 9/11 first responder, Glen Klein, to help us remember how that day has shaped our world.

CHA News Article

Patients Safe, Health Facilities Operational After Major Earthquakes

Patients at Ridgecrest Regional Hospital and Bella Sera Skilled Nursing Facility are safe, and both facilities are fully operating except for minor repairs after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake on July 5 and a 6.4 magnitude tremor the day before, both centered near Ridgecrest. After the first quake on July 4, the critical access hospital’s patients were evacuated, but the Emergency Department continued to triage incoming patients, directing them to other facilities as needed. Following the even larger earthquake on July 5, Bella Sera Skilled Nursing Facility lost power and worked with local, regional and state partners to prepare for evacuation, which ultimately wasn’t necessary.

CHA News Article

Agenda Set for 2019 Disaster Planning Conference
For CEOs, Case Managers, CNOs, Licensing and Certification Staff, Infection Preventionists, Quality & Patient Safety Staff, Facilities Staff, Disaster Readiness Staff

California may experience any number of disasters in the coming years — from fires to flooding, and more. The agenda for this year’s Disaster Planning for California Hospitals Conference, to be held Sept. 10-11 in Pasadena, reflects the diverse skill sets required of our responders. Covering topics such as lessons learned from active shooter events, integrating business continuity and emergency preparedness, creating resiliency across the continuum of care, and earthquake early warning systems, the event is not to be missed.

CHA News Article

CDPH Issues Hot Summer Weather Advisory
For COOs, Quality and Patient Safety Staff, Facilities Staff

The California Department of Public Health’s Licensing and Certification Program has issued a reminder to health care facilities that, as the hot summer weather begins, they should have contingency plans in place to deal with the potential loss of air conditioning; ensure patients and residents are free of adverse conditions that may cause heat-related complications; and report extreme heat conditions that compromise patient health or require evacuation, transfer, or discharge of patients. More information and guidance are available in All Facilities Letter 19-21.

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.

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

9/11 First Responder Will Speak at CHA Disaster Preparedness Conference
For CEOs, Public Relations Staff, Disaster Readiness Staff, Government Relations Staff, Facilities Staff

For the first time, CHA’s Disaster Planning for California Hospitals conference will take place on Sept. 11. To honor those who gave everything they had — and those who continue to put their lives at risk — CHA has invited a Ground Zero 9/11 first responder, Glen Klein, to help us remember how that day has shaped our world.

Education event

Disaster Planning for California Hospitals
The New Norm: Adjusting our Strategies

September 10 – 11, 2019
Pasadena, CA

CHA’s Disaster Planning for California Hospitals conference is the largest statewide conference developed by and for California hospitals. Mark your calendars for this annual event where you will bolster your emergency preparedness knowledge and learn about innovative programs, tools and lessons learned from across the industry.

CHA News Article

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

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

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.

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

Hospital Finance and Reimbursement Seminar Will Help Hospitals Prepare for Upcoming Changes
For CFOs, COOs, Reimbursement Directors, Legal Counsel

CHA’s upcoming Hospital Finance and Reimbursement Seminar will address significant, imminent changes to Medi-Cal and Medicare reimbursement. Over the past year, federal and state lawmakers and agencies have made changes that will directly impact how hospitals are reimbursed, ultimately transforming the way care will be delivered in the future.

CHA News Article

CMS Delays Billing Edit Requiring Exact Matching for OPPS Providers With Multiple Service Locations Until October
For CFOs, Reimbursement Staff

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has postponed the activation of billing edits requiring exact matching for the address on claims data for outpatient prospective payment system providers with multiple service locations. The edits will now be implemented in October 2019.  

CHA News Article

President Trump Issues Executive Order on Price Transparency
For CEOs, CFOs, COOs, Government Relations Staff

President Trump has issued an executive order instructing federal agencies to take a number of steps to promote price transparency and high-quality care, including a requirement that hospitals post standard charge information.

CHA News Article

CHA Comments on Proposed Changes to Calculation of Official Poverty Measure
For CFOs, Reimbursement Staff, Government Relations Staff

CHA has submitted comments to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on its proposal to change how inflation is calculated in the Census Bureau’s Official Poverty Measure (OPM).

CHA News Article

CHA Provides Comments on IRF PPS, SNF Proposed Rules for FFY 2020
For CFOs, Reimbursement Staff, Quality Reporting Leaders, Post-Acute Care Leaders, Government Relations Staff

CHA has submitted comments on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) federal fiscal year (FFY) 2020 proposed rules for the prospective payment systems (PPS) for inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs) and skilled-nursing facilities (SNFs). 

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

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

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

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

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.

Education event

Hospital Finance and Reimbursement Seminar

July 23, Sacramento (Location Change)
July 23, New Live Stream Option
July 25, Glendale

Significant changes to Medi-Cal and Medicare reimbursement are imminent – is your hospital ready? Over the past year, there’s been a lot of activity at federal and state level that will directly impact how hospitals are reimbursed, which can lead to transforming the way  care is delivered in the future.

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

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

Federal ‘Conscience’ Rule Delayed

Yesterday, the federal Department of Health and Human Services announced it will delay by four months its expansion of protections for health workers. Referred to as the “conscience rule,” the regulation would protect health care workers who refuse to participate in services — such as abortion, sterilization, and assisted suicide — that run counter to their religious beliefs or moral convictions.

Education event For Members

Human Resources & Workforce Development Member Forum

September 12, 2019, Sacramento
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., Pacific Time

Members-only

This one-day member forum is open to all CHA members who have interest or responsibility in human resources or workforce development. Join CHA’s Human Resources and Workforce Committee members to gain information and help shape CHA’s advocacy and member resources.

CHA News Article

CHA Secures Amendments to Nurse Staffing Ratio Bill, Continues Advocacy to Oppose
For CEOs, CNOs, Government Relations Staff

One of CHA’s highest legislative priorities this year has been Senate Bill (SB) 227 (Leyva, D-Chino), which would create duplicative and mandatory fines for hospitals if they do not meet required nurse staffing ratios. With help from member hospitals, our advocacy generated key amendments last week, including:

  • An exemption for hospitals that — in response to an unforeseeable and uncontrollable fluctuation — promptly make an effort to maintain staffing requirements
  • A 50% reduction in the fines (now $15,000 for the first violation and $30,000 subsequently)
  • A reduction in the length of time required to revert to a first violation (lowered from six years to three)
CHA News Article

Contact Legislators and Urge Opposition to Nurse Staffing Ratio Bill
For CEOs, Government Relations Executives

CHA has extended the deadline for its Advocacy Alert asking members to urge their assemblymembers to oppose Senate Bill (SB) 227, which would create an unreasonable, mandatory penalty system for hospitals that do not meet nurse staffing ratios. The deadline for letters is now 5 p.m. on June 11. 

CHA News Article

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.

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

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

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

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.

CHA News Article

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

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.

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

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. 

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

Upcoming Webinar to Explain Medication Profile Process for High-Risk Patients
For Pharmacists, Quality and Patient Safety Staff

The California Society of Health-System Pharmacists (CSHP) will host a webinar Aug. 1 to share updates about implementation of a new law — Senate Bill 1254 (Chapter 697, Statutes of 2018) — that requires hospitals to establish criteria for defining high-risk patients and complete a medication profile for those patients.

CHA News Article

State Enforcement Actions Dashboard Makes Hospital Penalty Information More Publicly Accessible
For Licensing and Certification Staff, Quality and Patient Safety Staff

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Licensing and Certification Program has published a State Enforcement Actions Dashboard that allows members of the public to search for hospital administrative penalties and medical information breach administrative penalties.

CHA News Article

CMS Issues FAQs for Psychiatric Hospitals on Complying with EMTALA
For Chief Legal Counsel, Licensing and Certification Staff, Quality and Patient Safety Staff

On July 2, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a memo to state survey agency directors including frequently asked questions (FAQs) that address common inquiries from psychiatric hospitals about compliance with the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA).

CHA News Article

HQI Conference Session to Focus on a System’s Approach to Health Equity
For Quality and Patient Safety Staff

The 2019 Hospital Quality Institute Conference — themed Respect, Reliability, Resilience — features sessions on the most critical issues facing quality and patient safety leaders and professionals. This year, the conference will be held Oct. 14-15 in Sacramento at the Golden One Center and the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel.

CHA News Article

Agenda Set for 2019 Disaster Planning Conference
For CEOs, Case Managers, CNOs, Licensing and Certification Staff, Infection Preventionists, Quality & Patient Safety Staff, Facilities Staff, Disaster Readiness Staff

California may experience any number of disasters in the coming years — from fires to flooding, and more. The agenda for this year’s Disaster Planning for California Hospitals Conference, to be held Sept. 10-11 in Pasadena, reflects the diverse skill sets required of our responders. Covering topics such as lessons learned from active shooter events, integrating business continuity and emergency preparedness, creating resiliency across the continuum of care, and earthquake early warning systems, the event is not to be missed.

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

Next Round of Proposition 56 Graduate Medical Education Funding Available Soon
For CEOs, Government Relations Staff, and Designated Institutional Officers

This week, Physicians for a Healthy California announced it will award approximately $40 million in the second cycle of its CalMedForce Program, which provides funding for graduate medical education (GME) programs in California. Applications will be released Sept. 23 and are due Oct. 28.

Education event For Members

Human Resources & Workforce Development Member Forum

September 12, 2019, Sacramento
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., Pacific Time

Members-only

This one-day member forum is open to all CHA members who have interest or responsibility in human resources or workforce development. Join CHA’s Human Resources and Workforce Committee members to gain information and help shape CHA’s advocacy and member resources.

CHA News Article

House Ways & Means Committee Passes CHA-Supported Opioid Workforce Act of 2019
For Government Relations Staff, Workforce Specialists, Behavioral Health Staff

On June 26, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee passed a measure that would increase graduate medical education slots for academic medical centers with existing pain and addiction training programs. H.R. 3414 — the Opioid Workforce Act of 2019 ­— is supported by CHA as it would benefit numerous academic medical centers throughout the state. It will now move to the full House for consideration.

CHA News Article

CDPH Laboratory Field Services Changes License Delivery System
For Laboratory Directors, Workforce Specialists

As of June 18, the California Department of Public Health’s Laboratory Field Services (LFS) is using a new method to deliver licenses and certificates for laboratory personnel, allowing them to download and print active licenses directly from the online system. LFS will no longer mail licenses, and licensees will no longer need to request or pay for a duplicate license.

CHA News Article

CHA Campaign Advances Solutions for California’s Health Care Workforce Shortages
For CEOs, Government Relations Staff, Workforce Specialists

In an effort to reinforce to lawmakers the need to address California’s severe health care workforce shortages, CHA just completed a month-long social media campaign to position hospitals’ leadership role in developing the current and future health workforce. Developed as a catalyst for more funding and enactment of key policy recommendations ahead of the state budget deadline in June, the campaign included an opinion editorial issued jointly with the California Primary Care Association, a video produced in collaboration with Sharp HealthCare, and an issue brief developed specifically for state legislators.

Commands