CHA News

Hospital Leaders Advance Debate on Seismic Mandate

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CHA member hospitals today gathered in Sacramento for a Lobby Action Day (photo gallery) to urge legislators to support Senate Bill 758 (Portantino, D-La Canada Flintridge), a bill that will be amended to give hospitals the flexibility they need to tailor post-disaster care to meet the unique needs of their communities. Today’s event followed a radio interview that CHA President & CEO Carmela Coyle participated in yesterday about a new report that says current seismic requirements may be outdated and prohibitively expensive.

CHA has also issued a press release on the study, conducted by the RAND Corporation, which suggests lawmakers revisit the current requirement that hospitals, by 2030, ensure they can remain operational after a major earthquake. Nearly all hospitals statewide are already structurally sound, per a 2020 mandate. The report estimates hospitals’ cost of complying with the 2030 requirements at more than $100 billion.

The message hospital leaders carried to their legislators is that, across California, they have collectively invested billions of dollars to ensure that every patient, employee and visitor will be safe when the next earthquake strikes. Now, the focus must shift to preserving access to critical health care services following a disaster. In addition to costing upward of $100 billion, current regulations do not reflect the way care is delivered today. Unless the laws are modernized, some local hospitals may be forced to close before the next earthquake strikes.

CHA thanks the hospital representatives who participated in today’s Lobby Action Day for helping legislators understand the importance of a law that strikes the right balance between ensuring rapid access to life-saving services and preventing the premature closure of some hospitals.