Right now, as California leans in to the COVID-19 storm, hospital leaders have their heads down, laser focused precisely where they should be: on how to best care for patients and communities in the middle of this global health crisis. And their commitment extends well beyond the life and surge of the current coronavirus pandemic.
While you’re focused on the care, we’ve got your backs on the vitally important financial support you need today — to keep paying the bills and make payroll — and the support you’ll need after this crisis to right the ship of the health care delivery system. CHA is working on this problem in three ways.
Short-term: Because the financial health of so many hospitals depends on elective, non-urgent procedures reimbursed by commercial payers, and those procedures have been suspended or rescheduled, hospitals are facing an immediate threat to their financial viability. CHA is working on policies to remedy this, including regular, scheduled insurance company payments to hospitals to serve as bridge funding during this period.
Mid-term: The federal government will provide some financial resources to hospitals, but the amount for California hospitals and the ways those funds will be allocated are not yet known. We’ll work to maximize the resources provided to California’s hospitals, in response to the financial hit you’re now enduring.
Long-term: After the crisis subsides, we’ll need a state and national conversation about how to stabilize a threatened health care delivery system; how we ensure its success moving ahead as one of the largest employers in the state and nation and significant contributor to the economy; and how we, as a country, want to invest in health care capacity to better address crises like this in the future.
The ultimate impact of this pandemic on our nation’s economy, its health care system, and our society as a whole remains to be seen. The long-term effects will be felt for years, if not decades, and the early and ongoing planning for those changes that takes place in the coming months will be critical to ensure that our state’s hospitals can continue to be there for all Californians in all ways.