Newsroom

The newsroom includes access to CHA News, which provides timely information to members every Monday and Thursday and is at the core of CHA benefits. In addition, it is also home to resources such as toolkits and talking points designed to help member hospitals and health systems communicate with internal and external audiences on a range of current health care-related issues. Links to CHA media statements and press releases can also be found here.  

Layoffs, Furloughs, Pay Cuts Spike as Hospitals Report Record Losses from COVID-19 Crisis – $1 Billion Financial Lifeline Needed Now

Layoffs, Furloughs, Pay Cuts Spike as Hospitals Report Record Losses from COVID-19 Crisis – $1 Billion Financial Lifeline Needed Now

WHEN:       Friday, May 22, 2020

9:30 a.m. – Point-in-time hospital workforce impact information released to media

10:00 a.m. – Teleconference

WHERE:    Operator-Assisted Conference Call

Dial-in:  1-800-357-0498

Conference ID:  34752                                       

*CREDENTIALED MEDIA ONLY

WHAT:       Point-in-time data on the impact that the pandemic is having on various hospitals throughout the state will be released — with information on layoffs, furloughs, pay cuts, and other COVID-19-related consequences — illustrating the devastating impact of this unprecedented crisis on California’s hospital workforce.

WHO:          Carmela Coyle, President & CEO, California Hospital Association

WHY:          As California’s Legislature heads into the Memorial Day weekend, some of the most important state budget decisions in years will be on the table. While lawmakers debate the state’s fiscal priorities, mounting financial losses driven by the COVID-19 pandemic are already leading to widespread layoffs, furloughs, and salary cuts.

The short-term financial impact of COVID-19 on California hospitals is nearly $14 billion, and it’s California’s health care heroes who need the state’s support now. To continue to be ready for a second wave of COVID-19 through the summer and into the flu season, hospitals – essential pillars of counties’ reopening plans – need the state’s help to remain staffed, ready, and open.

No county in the state is spared from these impacts. Health care workers in rural, urban, and suburban districts are all experiencing the pain caused by COVID-19.  

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Contact:

Jan Emerson-Shea

(916) 552-7516

(916) 804-0663 – Cell

@jemersonshea – Twitter

David Simon

(443) 280-3313

[email protected]

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May Budget Revision Excludes Critical Funding to Help Hospitals Keep Ready

May Budget Revision Excludes Critical Funding to Help Hospitals Keep Ready

Hospitals Are Foundational to Reopening of California’s Economy

“There is no question California is facing one of the most challenging budget years this state has ever seen — far worse than the Great Recession of 2009,” said Carmela Coyle, President & CEO of the California Hospital Association. “As the budget is a reflection of the state’s values and priorities — even during devastating economic times when the state is working hard to return many sectors of our economy to more normal activity — it’s vital that hospitals be able to remain open, staffed, and ready for the state’s ongoing COVID-19 response.”

“While California’s hospitals recognize the difficult choices facing state leaders, hospital funds referenced in the May Revise are federal dollars, not state, and even still don’t come close to the $10 billion to $14 billion in short-term losses that hospitals are facing today,” Coyle said. “Hospitals across this state answered the call to respond in this unprecedented crisis. Without an immediate infusion of resources, many will remain in serious financial jeopardy.”

“We agree with the Governor that our state’s economy cannot begin to climb back unless hospitals are open, available, and fully staffed to provide care for the next expected wave of patients suffering from COVID-19. This cannot happen without immediate financial help from the state,” Coyle said. “We call upon the Legislature and Governor to prioritize the health of all Californians by providing $1 billion in financial relief to hospitals before June 30.”

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Contact:

Jan Emerson-Shea

(916) 552-7516

(916) 804-0663 – Cell

@jemersonshea – Twitter

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California Hospital Leaders Sound Alarm: Immediate Financial Relief Needed to Keep Hospitals Open, Caring for People

California Hospital Leaders Sound Alarm: Immediate Financial Relief Needed to Keep Hospitals Open, Caring for People

WHEN:          Thursday, May 7, 2020, 11 a.m.

WHERE:        For Dial-In Information, Email: [email protected]  – CREDENTIALED MEDIA ONLY

WHAT:          COVID-19’s Devastating Financial Impact on California’s Hospitals

WHO:               Carmela Coyle, President & CEO, California Hospital Association, Sacramento;  Scott Reiner, CEO, AdventistHealth, Roseville and Diane Hansen, CEO, Palomar Health, Escondido 

WHY:                COVID-19 has claimed the lives of more than 2,200 Californians, a tragic toll that could have been far greater if not for the women and men who put their own safety at risk to care for others. Now, California’s more than 400 hospitals are facing their own crisis – a deep financial abyss that will be difficult to overcome.

Hospitals are essential to California’s economic recovery. Schools and business cannot reopen, government services cannot operate and people cannot return to work unless hospitals are available to care for our communities. In this moment, hospitals need immediate financial support from the state.

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Contact:

Jan Emerson-Shea

(916) 552-7516

(916) 804-0663 – Cell

@jemersonshea – Twitter

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Health Care Provider Loan Program Provides a Much-Needed Cash Injection Ahead of Projected COVID-19 Surge

Health Care Provider Loan Program Provides a Much-Needed Cash Injection Ahead of Projected COVID-19 Surge

Funds Can Help Sustain Hospital Operations in Coming Weeks

“We are grateful that Blue Shield of California has stepped up to offer up to $200 million in short-term loans to help offset some of the heavy losses hospitals and doctors are enduring as they suspend normal operations before the expected surge of COVID-19 patients,” said Carmela Coyle, President & CEO of the California Hospital Association.

“Right now, hospitals are focused on one thing: caring for patients during this crisis,” Coyle said. “From a financial perspective, however, the immediate fiscal stress hospitals are facing pales in comparison to the long-term devastation that COVID-19 will wreak on California’s health care system as more and more hospitals are driven into the red financially.”

In addition to the Blue Shield loans, California’s health insurance industry can help immediately in three other ways during this public health emergency:

  • Expedite the processing of a backlog of outstanding insurance claims
  • Eliminate (or significantly scale back) the level of prior authorizations needed, as these cause ongoing payment delays
  • Provide an opportunity for health care providers to opt into advance payment programs for the duration of this crisis

“These three immediate actions would go a long way toward helping to stabilize the health care field,” Coyle said. “For many hospitals and doctors, the loss of revenue from normal work, paired with the massive resources needed to prepare for coronavirus, means there are struggles to meet basic needs, like paying bills and making payroll each week.”

“Everyone must play a part in ensuring providers can care for patients not only during the COVID-19 emergency, but after we emerge from it,” Coyle said. “When this is behind us, we will need a state and national discussion about the impact of COVID-19 on the health care field, and how we can, collectively, begin to rebuild.”

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Contact:

Jan Emerson-Shea

(916) 552-7516

(916) 804-0663 – Cell

@jemersonshea – Twitter

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Proposed Office of Health Care Affordability Offers Opportunity to Address Rising Costs Across Health Care System

Proposed Office of Health Care Affordability Offers Opportunity to Address Rising Costs Across Health Care System​

“California hospitals support the creation of a new statewide Office of Health Care Affordability, as it advances an important concept for addressing this issue,” said Carmela Coyle, President & CEO of the California Hospital Association. “We know that this work will be extremely difficult — and we know that many pieces must be aligned in order for this effort to be successful.

“This work is complex and demands equal responsibility and engagement from all segments of the health care field including providers, insurers, drug makers, medical device suppliers, labor, and others. We also know that there can be serious consequences for our state’s health care system.

“Changing California’s health care system to make care more affordable — and meet the needs of 40 million people — is a huge undertaking that has never been attempted at this scale. We look forward to working with policy leaders in developing the critical design elements of this office so that the needs of all Californians can be met.”  

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Contact:

Jan Emerson-Shea

(916) 552-7516

(916) 804-0663 – Cell

@jemersonshea – Twitter

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“Homeless Guardians” Digital Series Shines Spotlight on Quiet, Compassionate Care Provided by California Hospitals

“Homeless Guardians” Digital Series Shines Spotlight on Quiet, Compassionate Care Provided by California Hospitals

Frontline Caregivers Touch Thousands of Californians Experiencing Homelessness Every Year

SACRAMENTO (January 28, 2020) — Every day, a small army of women and men rise to help meet the needs of Californians experiencing homelessness. These are people who work at California’s hospitals: social workers, case managers, nurses, doctors and others. They are the frontline caregivers who dedicate themselves to tend to those in greatest need — those individuals who don’t know where they will sleep or when their next meal will be.

The compassionate care that these health care professionals provide to the most vulnerable among us is highlighted in a new digital series — Homeless Guardians — now available online at www.HomelessGuardians.com. The series is a special project of the California Hospital Association and Our Health California, a community of more than 1 million Californians dedicated to advancing access to quality, affordable care for all Californians.

The first two chapters of the series – highlighting the work of social workers Brynn Jones at Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento and Tonya Zelaya at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego — is now available online. Two additional chapters, featuring caregivers in Los Angeles and San Francisco, will come online within the next few weeks.

In simplest terms, Jones’ job is to help people with needs beyond the injuries that can be mended in the hospital’s emergency department. Things like helping the homeless access basic mental health counseling, connections to short-term homeless shelters, and often, just a sandwich or a pair of clean underwear. While these seemingly small gestures may be minuscule in the face of a crisis affecting some 134,000 people across the state — an estimated 25% of the nation’s total homeless population — to Jones success means that those she has cared for have found secure footing and are healthy.

“Homelessness is like a glass of milk on the table that keeps spilling over,” Jones says, “I’m over here on the floor wiping up the milk, but the glass keeps overflowing so I have to keep wiping.”

Zelaya, an immigrant from Guyana and the daughter of two nurses, says her job is to inject reality into the conversation about how patients will tend to their needs after they’ve been treated at the hospital. Part of Zelaya’s reality check-list is to determine whether temporary shelters will allow devices for breathing treatments, or where homeless individuals can go for follow-up care and stable access to nutritious food. Zelaya knows that if these questions aren’t adequately answered before a homeless person is discharged, there’s a good chance they will end up right back in the hospital.

“Each patient is unique because of their unique circumstances,” Zelaya says. “Our focus is on ensuring they can stabilize and recover after they leave the hospital.”

Jones and Zelaya are just two of the thousands of caring and compassionate health care professionals across California who work tirelessly — day in and day out — helping to protect vulnerable and disenfranchised people experiencing homelessness. They are the “Homeless Guardians” of the Golden State.

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Contact:

Jan Emerson-Shea

(916) 552-7516

(916) 804-0663 – Cell

@jemersonshea – Twitter

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Supreme Court Decision Creates Fear, Confusion for Millions in Need of Health Care

Supreme Court Decision Creates Fear, Confusion for Millions in Need of Health Care

“Monday’s Supreme Court decision advances a policy that jeopardizes access to health care and social support services for millions including children, seniors, the disabled and those with chronic conditions,” said Carmela Coyle, President & CEO of the California Hospital Association. “California is home to millions of immigrants, all of whom need the health care we all rely on to live better, longer lives. No hospital in California will ask a person’s immigration status when they seek care, and hospitals will always be a safe haven for those in need.”

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Contact:

Jan Emerson-Shea

(916) 552-7516

(916) 804-0663 – Cell

@jemersonshea – Twitter

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Gov. Newsom’s Proposed Office of Health Care Affordability Offers Framework to Tackle Cost Challenges

Gov. Newsom’s Proposed Office of Health Care Affordability Offers Framework to Tackle Cost Challenges​

“Governor Newsom’s proposal to create the state’s Office of Health Care Affordability advances an important opportunity to make health care more affordable so we can continue caring for every Californian every day,” said Carmela Coyle, President & CEO of the California Hospital Association. 

“This work is complex and demands equal responsibility and engagement from all segments of the health care field including providers, insurers, suppliers, and others. While more detail is needed to fully understand the mechanics of this proposal, the goals of greater access and affordability should be priorities for everyone who cares for Californians.”

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Contact:

Jan Emerson-Shea

(916) 552-7516

(916) 804-0663 – Cell

@jemersonshea – Twitter

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Federal Appeals Court Ruling Puts Millions of Californians At Risk of Losing Life-Saving Health Care Coverage

Federal Appeals Court Ruling Puts Millions of Californians At Risk of Losing Life-Saving Health Care Coverage

California Hospitals Denounce Appeals Court Decision, Reaffirm Support of Affordable Care Act

“The latest judicial volley in the ongoing legal battles over the Affordable Care Act (ACA) threatens to unravel the tremendous strides California has made in expanding access to care to the most vulnerable among us, and casts an ominous shadow over the lives of real people in communities throughout the Golden State,” said Carmela Coyle, President & CEO of the California Hospital Association.

“Yesterday’s ruling by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals strikes at the heart of everything the ACA has accomplished in California:

  • 5.1 million people who now have access to doctors, hospitals, medicine and other services, including 3.7 million low-income individuals for whom health care had previously been out-of-reach
  • Coverage for hundreds of thousands of people who had previously been excluded due to a pre-existing condition
  • Expansion of health care services, including preventive screenings, to underserved communities

“As California’s hospital leaders have stated countless times, the ACA has literally been a lifeline for millions of our neighbors and friends,” Coyle noted. “That’s why we are reaffirming our support of the ACA, and will vigorously oppose any efforts to undo the tremendous gains our state has made in ensuring that all Californians receive the care they need and deserve.”

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Contact:

Jan Emerson-Shea

(916) 552-7516

(916) 804-0663 – Cell

@jemersonshea – Twitter

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JOINT STATEMENT ON CONGRESSIONAL EFFORTS TO ADDRESS SURPRISE MEDICAL BILLING

California Hospital Association (CHA) President & CEO Carmela Coyle and California Medical Association (CMA) CEO Dustin Corcoran have issued the following joint statement on congressional efforts to address surprise medical billing:

Over the past few days, two new federal proposals to eliminate surprise billing have emerged from different congressional committees. We appreciate Wednesday’s announcement by the House Ways and Means Committee of another bipartisan alternative to consider. It shows promise as a more balanced approach. While efforts to address this important issue are welcome, the complexities involved demand thoughtful and thorough debate so lawmakers can fully understand the impact of both proposals, rather than trying to jam legislation through Congress before the end of the year.

“Hospitals and doctors care for people in times of greatest need — the birth of their children, treatment for devastating diseases, critical care after an accident,” Coyle said. “It’s during these times that patients should be focused on what matters most, not on how much they will be billed for their care. That’s why hospitals and doctors stand united in supporting the elimination of surprise medical billing. No patient should ever pay more for emergency care just because their insurance company chooses not to contract with a hospital or a physician.”

In particular, CHA and CMA are concerned about the proposed “benchmark rate” for payment included in the Senate HELP/House Energy & Commerce Committee proposal. This proposal threatens access to care for millions of Californians by giving insurers the power to game the system by dropping providers from their networks and make it harder to have on-call specialists available around-the-clock in hospital emergency departments.

“As we have experienced in California, benchmark rates become the de facto rate for all doctors and hospitals, including those who are in-network,” Corcoran said. “It gives insurers an excuse to drop contracts with physicians — with the end result being fewer physicians, disruptions in care for patients, and a destabilization of our entire medical care system.”

CHA and CMA strongly urge Congress to oppose a benchmark rate as a way of addressing surprise medical billing. Additionally, we call on our lawmakers to give this important issue the time and attention necessary to craft a solution that truly benefits patients, not insurance companies.

Press Contact

Jan Emerson-Shea
Vice President, External Affairs
(916) 552-7516

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