COVID-19 Advocacy

State Advocacy

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospital associations have advocated for hospitals with Gov. Newsom’s office and Administration on the importance of caring for all Californians — those with COVID-19 and those with other medical needs. Advancing hospitals’ needs at the highest levels of state government has included:

  • Recommendations on planning for COVID-19 resurgences to the California Health and Human Services Agency, and subsequent guidance to counties from the California Department of Public Health on surge planning. The guidance advises counties to consult with the state before issuing local health orders. It also clarifies that counties should consider the impact of local health orders that cancel scheduled surgeries and non-emergency procedures on the ability to provide medically necessary care — and that local health officers and county health care coalitions should co-convene hospitals to review the guidance on surge planning.
  • State guidelines for resuming deferred health care, including restarting scheduled admissions
  • request that the state take a more effective approach to testing policy

Federal Advocacy

Hospitals’ most fundamental need during this crisis is financial relief, so they can continue to provide care in their communities. The hospital associations have been at the forefront of advocacy for the $8.6 billion California hospitals have received in federal funding. The associations have also facilitated and distributed $14.2 million in federal grants to hospitals through the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness Response.

The following resources carefully track, detail, and summarize the direct funding available from various federal sources, including the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Paycheck Protection Program, and the Health Care Enhancement Act:

  • An overview of direct funding available to hospitals and health systems from the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund and additional opportunities 
  • FAQs explaining the COVID-19 Uninsured Program administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration. Through this program, health care providers are eligible for reimbursement for COVID-19 testing, treatment, and related services provided to the uninsured.