CHA News

Federal ‘Conscience’ Rule Delayed

Yesterday, the federal Department of Health and Human Services announced it will delay by four months its expansion of protections for health workers. Referred to as the “conscience rule,” the regulation would protect health care workers who refuse to participate in services — such as abortion, sterilization, and assisted suicide — that run counter to their religious beliefs or moral convictions.

CMS Modifies Medicare Shared Savings Program Overlap Policy for BPCI Advanced Model

As referenced in a recently updated FAQ, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has been considering how to address model overlap between Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Advanced (BPCI Advanced) and the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) for Model Year 3, beginning Jan. 1, 2020. In an email last week to BPCI Advanced participants, CMS announced that, for Model Year 3 reconciliation calculations, BPCI Advanced will no longer exclude MSSP beneficiaries.

Agenda Set for 2019 Disaster Planning Conference

California may experience any number of disasters in the coming years — from fires to flooding, and more. The agenda for this year’s Disaster Planning for California Hospitals Conference, to be held Sept. 10-11 in Pasadena, reflects the diverse skill sets required of our responders. Covering topics such as lessons learned from active shooter events, integrating business continuity and emergency preparedness, creating resiliency across the continuum of care, and earthquake early warning systems, the event is not to be missed.

DHCS Releases New Hospital Directed Payment Data Sets

Last week, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) released two new hospital directed payment data sets, available via the Secure File Transfer Protocol site (the site is only intended for file transfers, and uploaded files will be deleted within 45 days). The data cover state fiscal year (SFY) 2017-18 Phase 2 (Jan. 1, 2018 – June 30, 2018) and SFY 2018-19 Phase 1 (July 1, 2018 – Dec. 31, 2018). 

CHA Secures Amendments to Nurse Staffing Ratio Bill, Continues Advocacy to Oppose

One of CHA’s highest legislative priorities this year has been Senate Bill (SB) 227 (Leyva, D-Chino), which would create duplicative and mandatory fines for hospitals if they do not meet required nurse staffing ratios. With help from member hospitals, our advocacy generated key amendments last week, including:

An exemption for hospitals that — in response to an unforeseeable and uncontrollable fluctuation — promptly make an effort to maintain staffing requirements
A 50% reduction in the fines (now $15,000 for the first violation and $30,000 subsequently)
A reduction in the length of time required to revert to a first violation (lowered from six years to three)

House Ways & Means Committee Passes CHA-Supported Opioid Workforce Act of 2019

On June 26, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee passed a measure that would increase graduate medical education slots for academic medical centers with existing pain and addiction training programs. H.R. 3414 — the Opioid Workforce Act of 2019 ­— is supported by CHA as it would benefit numerous academic medical centers throughout the state. It will now move to the full House for consideration.

New Data Highlight Teen Mental Health

The Health and Human Services’ Office of Adolescent Health has updated its national and state data sheets, which measure a range of adolescent health factors and behaviors. The analysis draws on large, nationally representative surveys, and measures include physical activity and nutrition, mentorship, family meals, cigarette and e-cigarette use, driving under the influence, depression systems, bullying, dating violence, and more.

CDPH Laboratory Field Services Changes License Delivery System

As of June 18, the California Department of Public Health’s Laboratory Field Services (LFS) is using a new method to deliver licenses and certificates for laboratory personnel, allowing them to download and print active licenses directly from the online system. LFS will no longer mail licenses, and licensees will no longer need to request or pay for a duplicate license.

Authors
  • Gail Blanchard-Saiger
    Vice President & Counsel, Labor & Employment
  • Lois Richardson
    Vice President, Legal Counsel