CEO Message

CEO Message: Progress on State Help Amid Crisis

There is no way to sugarcoat this, nor should we: California’s hospitals are in the middle of a full-blown crisis. 

COVID-19 cases are hitting new heights every day (more than 50,000 on Wednesday), hospitalizations for COVID-19 this week topped 16,000, and ICU capacity is rapidly dwindling (it was less than 2% in Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley this week) due to shortfalls of critical care nurses. 

The state projects the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals will double in a month’s time.  

CEO Message: As Crisis Grows, Awaiting State Relief

As the outbreak accelerates even more, due in part to the Thanksgiving holiday (tonight, the greater Sacramento region joins Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley as three of five regions now subject to a regional stay-at-home order), hospitals continue to await much-needed flexibility to ensure they can care not only for the coming surge of COVID-19 patients, but also Californians’ other health needs. 

CEO Message: Managing Scarcity Amid a Record COVID-19 Surge

“… good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding.” – Albert Camus 

The strong recommendation issued last week by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to regularly test hospital workers for COVID-19 may have been born of good intent: to protect our vital health care workforce and make them feel even safer. 

CEO Message: All of the ‘Thank You-s’

Normally, each year around the Thanksgiving holiday, this space is used to express gratitude for hospital workers who have committed their careers and their lives to helping others – the very stuff hospitals are made of. 

It’s an important, sincere message that is too often taken for granted amid the daily grind, and one that I have looked forward to writing for many years. 

This year, it feels … for lack of a better word, “inadequate.”  

CEO Message: Preparing for a Record COVID-19 Surge

Toward the end of July, the number of positive COVID-19 cases reached a high for the year, topping a little more than 12,000 in a single day. On Nov. 14, there were nearly 11,000 cases, according to the state’s dashboard, with projections for an exponential rise in the coming weeks that could dwarf the summer’s peak (the first week of November alone saw more than a 51% increase in cases in a one-week period). 

To date, more than 18,000 Californians have lost their lives due to COVID-19. 

CEO Message: Fate of ACA in the Hands of the High Court

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in California v. Texas, a case that has the potential to strike down parts, or all, of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  

It’s encouraging that several key justices signaled they would vote to reject the latest challenge, as upending the ACA would devastate Californians who rely on coverage provided under the law’s umbrella. Among the biggest impacts if the law is negated: 

CEO Message: As Political Landscape Shifts, Priorities for Hospitals Persist

“Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.”
~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

The 2020 federal and state elections are now in the books (mostly). As of Thursday afternoon, at the federal level: 

CEO Message: Politics Aside, Hospitals Need Help

The 2020 presidential, congressional, and state races, along with several important ballot initiatives, will be decided by voters in just a few days, and while the election can feel all-consuming at times, the mission of health care providers remains unchanged as you press on through a pandemic whose spread is accelerating each week. 

CEO Message: Flawed Price Transparency Rule Continues to Advance

Last week, America’s hospitals faced a challenging day in an appeals court in Washington, D.C., where a panel of judges appeared skeptical of legal arguments in the American Hospital Association’s (AHA’s) attempt to overturn a federal rule requiring hospitals to disclose confidential, privately negotiated payment rates with insurers —  a fight we are in together.

If the rule is not struck down, it will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021. It is not clear when the court will issue a decision, but one is expected ahead of the effective date.

CEO Message: Hard Work on COVID-19 Vaccine Just Beginning

Across the world, researchers are racing to develop a safe vaccine for COVID-19 and, depending on their progress, approval of one or more vaccines could come as soon as the next couple of months or, more likely, into the second quarter of 2021. And then, mass production of vaccine would just begin.