Clinical Care

About Clinical Care

Taking care of patients and their communities is at the heart of what hospitals do, and that wouldn’t be possible without the clinical services that hospitals provide. These services touch all aspects of a hospital’s operations, ranging from the emergency department to behavioral health. Through its numerous area-specific groups, CHA provides advocacy and representation on all aspects of operations — guiding hospitals in meeting regulatory, legal, and licensing requirements.

CDC Issues Health Advisory About Influenza

Influenza activity remains high across the United States, according to a health alert recently issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC notes that the season is likely to last several more weeks and continues to recommend antiviral medications for influenza treatment, regardless of whether a patient received the influenza vaccine.

CDPH Issues Health Advisory About Measles Cases

A new health advisory from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reminds providers to be aware of potential measles cases, as 16 cases have been reported in California since Jan. 1. CDPH notes that providers should not rule out a measles diagnosis based solely on patients reporting they previously received a measles immunization.

CHA Asks Hospitals to Urge Legislators to Oppose Nurse Staffing Ratio Penalties

Earlier this week, CHA sent an Advocacy Alert to hospital leaders about Senate Bill 227 (Leyva, D-Chino), a bill that would create significant penalties for hospitals that do not meet nurse staffing ratios. CHA urges hospital leaders to contact their representatives about this harmful bill, which would increase costs without providing any benefit to patients.

CMS Issues Guidance on Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule Reporting Requirements

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued additional guidance for laboratories that are required to report private payer data for laboratory tests under the clinical laboratory fee schedule (CLFS). CHA urges any hospital with a laboratory that bills Medicare on a Form CMS-1450 14x Type of Bill to carefully review the guidance to determine its status as an applicable laboratory.

Report Examines Trends in Emergency Department Use

A new report from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) examines emergency department (ED) use across the state from 2005-16, focusing on ED use after 2014 — when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance expansions were fully implemented.

While PPIC notes encouraging findings related to the ACA’s impact, it also identifies a need to more closely examine the role of EDs in an evolving health care system, especially since ED use has grown since 2005.

Key findings include:

ACA expansions resulted in a large reduction of the number of uninsured Californians, and did not increase ED use among adults under the age of 65.
Among non-elderly adults, women ages 19-34 have the highest rates of ED use, due in part to pregnancy-related visits.
Approximately 90 percent of ED visits are outpatient visits.
Since 2005, ED outpatient use has increased substantially across all demographic groups and for all reasons.

DEA Moves Cannabis-Derived Drug From Schedule I to Schedule V

The Drug Enforcement Administration has moved Epidiolex from Schedule I to Schedule V. According to All Facilities Letter 19-06, issued last week by the California Department of Public Health, cannabis-derived drugs that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration and that have no more than 0.1 percent residual tetrahydrocannabinols will be moved to Schedule V. Currently, only Epidiolex meets those requirements. Drugs that do not meet these criteria may not be prescribed or dispensed.