In case you missed it, on Feb. 25 Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order extending until June 30 key hospital-related provisions that were set to expire March 31.
The executive order:
- Authorizes the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to suspend certain licensing requirements found in the Health and Safety Code and Title 22 for general acute care hospitals, acute psychiatric hospitals, skilled-nursing facilities, and other facility types. The authority for CDPH to issue the space waiver for hospitals in All-Facilities Letter 20-26.11 and for skilled-nursing facilities in AFL 21-36.1 is now extended.
- Authorizes the Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) to allow out-of-state health care personnel to practice in California. For details, see EMSA’s COVID-19 website under “Authorization of Out-Of-State Medical Personnel.”
- Authorizes EMSA to suspend any licensing, certification, or training requirements for EMS personnel. This authority includes allowing EMS personnel to provide services in any setting, including hospitals. EMSA has provided additional details.
- Authorizes EMSA to add to optional scopes of practice for paramedics without first consulting with a committee of local EMS medical directors.
- Authorizes CDPH to waive professional licensing, certification, and scopes of practice for certified nursing assistants, home health aides, nursing home administrators, and certified hemodialysis technicians.
- Authorizes CDPH to waive licensing requirements for clinics, adult day health care, hospices, and mobile health care units.
- Authorizes the Department of Social Services to waive licensing requirements for childcare facilities, residential care facilities for the elderly, and community care facilities.
- Revises certain state laws related to telehealth, including waiving breach penalties and extending the deadline to report privacy breaches.
CHA communicated to the state the critical need to extend these flexibilities, which make it possible for hospitals to retain out-of-state staff and temporary flexed spaces like emergency department triage tents.
CHA remains engaged with CDPH and EMSA and has urged them to release announcements as soon as possible that will formally extend these waivers.