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’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
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.
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 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 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
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’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 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.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued the
attached proposed rule that would revise certain requirements for
Medicare Parts A, B and D claims appeals. The proposed rule
is intended to reduce regulatory burden and improve clarity and
consistency in the appeals process. Among the provisions, CMS
proposes to eliminate the requirement that appellants sign appeal
requests, and change the time frame for vacating dismissals from
six months (which can vary from 181 to 184 days) to 180 calendar
State law requires birthing hospitals to offer fathers — if
available — the opportunity to complete a Declaration of
Paternity form when the mother is unmarried.
Hospitals must attempt to have the parents complete all required
data elements on the
Declaration of Paternity form (CS 909) prior to submission to
the California Department of Child Support Services (DCSS). DCSS
has asked CHA to remind hospitals that the Social Security number
(SSN) field must be completed. Individuals who do not have a SSN
should check the box on the form that states, “By checking this
box, I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the
State of California that I do not have a Social Security number.”
If a parent declines to provide a SSN or select the check box,
the Declaration of Paternity form may not be used to establish
paternity. Incomplete forms should not be sent to DCSS.
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:
CHA’s publications include numerous legal manuals,
forms and other documents to help California hospitals understand
and comply with the law — and save time and money.
“CHA brings together state and federal statutes and
regulations in one place to make hospitals’ job easier,” said
Lois Richardson, Esq., CHA vice president and legal counsel. “The
manuals don’t just repeat the law; they explain complex legal
requirements in clear and concise language to tell you exactly
what you need to do to comply.”
Publications cover a variety of health care topics, including
health information privacy, consent law, mental health law,
hospital compliance, charity care and discount policies, minors,
patient “anti-dumping” laws, records retention and other key
All legal manuals are regularly reviewed and updated as needed to
ensure legal accuracy. Recent updates include the
standard-setting Consent Manual,
revised to cover legal changes through January
2018,and the 2018 EMTALA Manual. For the latest
editions, visit www.calhospital.org/Publications. New this
year, some publications are available in an electronic
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released the
End of Life Option Act Annual Report on Friday. The act,
which became effective in June 2016, allows terminally ill
individuals to obtain a prescription for a drug for the purpose
of ending their lives if certain requirements are met. It also
requires CDPH to publish aggregated annual reports on the act’s
usage. According to the 2017 report, during that calendar year
577 individuals received aid-in-dying drugs under the act, 374
individuals died following ingestion of the prescribed drugs (11
of whom had obtained the drugs in 2016) and 86 individuals died
without having ingested them; the outcome of the remaining
individuals is currently undetermined.
The median age of those who died as a result of ingesting
aid-in-dying drugs was 74 years. Almost 90 percent of those
patients were white, nearly 73 percent had at least some level of
college education and more than 83 percent were receiving hospice
or palliative care.
A California appeals court has reinstated the state’s End of Life
Option Act, which allows terminally ill individuals to obtain a
prescription for a drug for the purpose of ending their lives if
certain requirements are met. Last month, a Riverside County
Superior Court judge
declared the act unconstitutional because it was passed
during a special legislative session called by Gov. Brown
specifically to address certain budget shortfalls in health care
services. The attorney general and patients and providers
appealed this ruling; on Friday, the appeals court granted their
requests for an immediate stay of that ruling. The act will now
remain in effect — with patients and providers able to
participate in physician-assisted death in accordance with its
terms — pending further action by the appeals court.
A Riverside County Superior Court ruled in May that California’s
End of Life Option Act violated the state constitution because it
was passed during a special legislative session called to work on
other issues. The act, which went into effect in 2016, allows
terminally ill individuals to obtain a prescription for a drug to
end their life if they meet specified requirements.
The judge’s ruling was limited to this procedural issue; he did
not rule on the legality of physician-assisted death. The
California attorney general appealed the ruling and
requested the appellate court to allow the act to be effective
while the appeal is pending. The appellate court responded by
ordering the parties to submit briefs on the legal issues
involved. In addition, the attorney general filed a motion to
vacate the trial court judgment, and a hearing on that motion
will be held June 29.
In the meantime, the superior court’s ruling declaring the act
void and enjoining the state from recognizing it remains in
effect throughout the state. CHA will update its members on the
status of the case after the hearing later this month.
Yesterday, a trial court judge overturned California’s End of
Life Option Act on the ground that its approval by the
Legislature during a special session was unconstitutional. The
Act, which went into effect in 2016, allows terminally ill
individuals to obtain a prescription for a drug for the purpose
of ending their lives if certain requirements are met. A
Riverside County Superior Court judge ruled that the passage of
the Act during a special session of the Legislature violated the
state Constitution because the special session was called by the
Governor specifically to address budget shortfalls in health care
services to low-income and developmentally disabled Californians.
Article IV §3(b) of California’s Constitution states that
when the Legislature is assembled in a special session, it “has
power to legislate only on subjects specified in the proclamation
. . . .” The judge’s ruling is limited to this procedural issue;
he did not rule on the legality of physician-assisted death.
The ruling keeps the law in place for five days to give the
Attorney General time to appeal. The Attorney General intends to
appeal this ruling.