The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has announced a statewide effort, the Debt Free 2021 Campaign, to investigate and close backlogged complaints and facility-reported incidents by the end of 2021. In All Facilities Letter (AFL) 19-42, CDPH details the strategies it will use throughout the campaign and the impact it may have on health care facilities.
Backlogged complaints are those older than six months for the non-long-term care facilities CDPH licenses, such as acute care hospitals.
According to the AFL, CDPH is starting the campaign with 22,902 complaints and facility-reported incident investigations for all of the facilities it licenses, including acute care hospitals and skilled-nursing facilities, among others. CDPH’s Center for Health Care Quality (CHCQ) will adjust workload priorities to expand its focus on conducting timely and thorough investigations.
For facility-reported incidents, facilities should expect requests for documents and records to be readily available for surveyors when they arrive, which may include planning ahead to investigate multiple cases during the same visit. CDPH may also send additional surveyors.
More details about the campaign are available in the AFL; questions can also be directed to the CHCQ Performance Improvement Office at CHCQ_PIM@cdph.ca.gov.