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OHCA Board Approves Advisory Committee Appointments and Deliberates Over Efforts to Expand Preventive Care

What’s happening: At its May 22 meeting, the Office of Health Care Affordability (OHCA) board discussed OHCA’s proposals to refocus the state’s health care system on prevention and encourage the use of payment arrangements aligned with that goal.  

What else to know: CHA submitted a letter to the OHCA board responding to the finalized spending growth target and urging the board to reevaluate the target annually.  

CHA Issues Draft Comments in Response to IRF, IPF Payment Proposed Rules

What’s happening: CHA has issued draft comments in response to the federal fiscal year 2025 inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRF) and inpatient psychiatric facilities (IPF) prospective payment system proposed rules. 

What else to know: CHA encourages members to use the drafts as a template for comments, which are due to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services by 2 p.m. (PT) on May 28.  

Summary: Finalized Skilled-Nursing Facility Staffing Standards

What’s happening: A summary is available of finalized new staffing standards for long-term care facilities, including skilled-nursing facilities (SNFs) and SNFs operated as distinct-part units of acute care hospitals. 

What else to know: The regulations are effective June 21, with compliance with overall ratios required beginning May 2026.   

Summary: Final Rule Expands Health Care Access to DACA Recipients

What’s happening: A summary is available of the final rule recently issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to expand access to health care for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.  

What else to know: All provisions of the final rule are effective on Nov. 1. 

HHS Launches New Program to Enhance Cybersecurity for Health Care Facilities

What’s happening: The Department of Health & Human Services’ (HHS) Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health launched a new program to enhance and automate cybersecurity for health care facilities. 

What else to know: The Universal PatchinG and Remediation for Autonomous DEfense (UPGRADE) program will invest more than $50 million to create tools for information technology teams to better defend hospital environments. 

Effort to Strengthen Medi-Cal Scores Major Political Party Endorsements

Earlier this week, both the California Democratic and California Republican parties — at their respective conventions — endorsed an upcoming ballot measure to strengthen Medi-Cal. This underscores two important facts: First, that health care access is critical to all, regardless of political affiliation, and second, that there is universal recognition that reliability and predictability are essential to support a strong health care delivery system in California.

CHA DataSuite Releases Medicare Hospital FFY 2025 Wage Index and Occupational Mix Analysis

What’s happening: CHA DataSuite issued a hospital-specific analysis of the Medicare hospital federal fiscal year (FFY) 2025 wage index and occupational mix data. 

What else to know: The data analyzed is final and is the third of three wage and occupational mix data public use files (PUFs) that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued to develop the hospital wage index for FFY 2025.