As California’s political leaders head into critical weeks of budget negotiations this year, hospitals are in the thick of the conversation, with key state lawmakers sharing the concern about the growing crisis in access to care yet differing about the path to address the problem.
On Tuesday, dozens of supporters of a bill that would raise the minimum wage for all health care workers in California to $25 an hour, starting Jan. 1, 2024, descended on Sacramento. Their message: This bill is needed to address staffing shortages in hospitals and other health care settings.
The theme of the American Hospital Association’s National Hospital Week celebration this year is deceptively simple: “We Are Healthcare.”
The emergency budget action taken this week by the state Senate, Assembly, and Gov. Newsom holds the promise of pulling a small number of hospitals at imminent risk of closure back from the financial brink.
“There is incredible value in being of service to others.” — Elizabeth Berg, author
The latest report from national health care management consulting firm Kaufman Hall shows that one in five California hospitals — dozens throughout the state — is at risk of closure. That means health care services for millions of Californians are at risk.
A bill that claims to address health care worker retention in fact jeopardizes health care jobs, treats California’s essential workers inequitably, and reduces access to care throughout the state.
Late last week, the state regulatory agency that oversees health plans issued a sweeping letter to every plan in California making it clear that unfair payment practices must cease.
Last week, the independent agency that advises Congress on Medicare rates delivered its March report, which describes hospital profit margins that hit all-time highs in 2021 and calls attention to the $200 billion in taxpayer subsidies that provided hospitals with a cushion to get through the worst of the pandemic.
The final tally is impressive: 350-plus names of California hospitals and health systems whose leaders signed on to letters seeking state and federal help to protect access to critical health care services.