So far this year, one hospital in California has already closed its doors. Several have cut services or closed departments. Others are likely not far behind. And, as the financial challenges continue to mount for your hospitals, it’s the most vulnerable patients who are suffering the most.
Help is needed — immediately.
That’s why CHA is asking for an emergency lifeline of $1.5 billion from the state budget to support funding to care for Medi-Cal patients and help absorb the impact of the ongoing inflationary crisis. This would be followed by structural Medi-Cal rate increases, which would stabilize hospitals and help protect access for Californians with the greatest health needs. At the federal level, we must work to protect Medicare and Medicaid funding from budget cuts.
Earlier this week, CHA issued a joint state and federal alert urging all California hospitals to contact their lawmakers to support hospitals with immediate financial relief. As tireless advocates for the patients and communities you serve, it is critical that elected officials — in California and Washington, D.C. — hear directly from you about the dire financial situation that hospitals are facing. Here’s what we are asking: for each of your hospitals to call or email your Assembly member, state senator, and U.S. representative and senators by Feb. 28 and let them know about your specific financial challenges, how they impact access to care, and the needs of the communities in their districts.
Included in the alert are several resources to help you in your outreach. As always, you are encouraged to tell your story as it relates to your particular hospital:
- CHA slide deck: California Health Care in Crisis
- Financial Instability “Script”
- Infographic: Critical Hospital Services Face Uncertain Future
The next few months will be crucial as federal lawmakers consider potential Medicare budget cuts as part of agreeing to a new U.S. debt limit and state lawmakers negotiate ahead of the May budget revision and CHA works to oppose any cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. Now, more than ever, we need you to make your collective voices heard on the need for immediate and ongoing financial relief for hospitals.
Given the urgency — and the severity of the problem — in the coming weeks, we’ll also be asking you to engage in a new and different way. Stay tuned for more details. I know we can count on you to do all that is needed to help protect hospitals, so they can continue to serve Californians in need.