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Agenda Set for Summit on Caring for Patients Who Are Homeless

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The agenda for CHA’s Caring for Our Patients Who Are Homeless Summit — Dec. 11 in Riverside — will include unique approaches for discharging patients experiencing homelessness, ideas for helping to stop a generational cycle of homelessness, and other insightful discussions attendees can adapt for their own hospitals.

Associations Work Closely With Utilities to Minimize Impact of Planned Outages on Hospitals, Patients

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Communities across California experienced another round of intentional blackouts this week in the latest power company strategy for mitigating fire risk during extremely dry and windy conditions. CHA and the Regional Associations continue to partner with the state’s investor-owned electric utilities — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) — as well as state and local government officials to ensure they grasp the obstacles hospitals must overcome to continue providing seamless care during power shutoffs.  

CHA Posts 2019 Report on Legislation

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CHA has published its 2019 Report on Legislation, summarizing important state health care legislation enacted during the first year of the 2019-20 legislative session. Developed to help hospitals understand the implications of the year’s significant bills, the report also serves as a reference tool for the broad range of legislative activity that occurred this session.

CHA to Participate in Workgroups Addressing Medi-Cal Innovation

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The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has appointed CHA to two important workgroups for its multi-year California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) initiative, which seeks to improve health outcomes for Medi-Cal members through payment, program, and delivery system reforms.

Updates for the Week of Oct. 21

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has released the following information:

New Medicare Card: Claim Reject Codes After January 1
Clinical Diagnostic Laboratory Test Payment System: Data Reporting Call — November 14
November 15: IRF, LTCH, SNF Quality Reporting Program Submission Deadline
October 2019 Nursing Home Compare Refresh Available

Safety-Net Hospitals Need Congress to Protect Patients

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It’s easy to be distracted by the news coming out of Washington, D.C., these days, much of which has little to do with sound policies that advance hospitals’ efforts to care for their patients. But on the issue of Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments, we cannot afford to lose focus in our fight against devastating funding cuts to hospitals that serve the uninsured and underinsured.

This issue tops our current federal advocacy priorities because it is time sensitive: the DSH cuts were scheduled to take effect on Oct. 1 but were briefly delayed by the current temporary spending bill. When that measure expires on Nov. 21, unless the cuts are eliminated or further delayed, they will take effect immediately.

Now is the time for a full-court press urging Congress to continue this vital source of funding for safety-net hospitals.

Medicaid DSH cuts were adopted as part of the Affordable Care Act, on the assumption that the number of uninsured Americans would decrease more than it has. In California, 2.9 million people remain without health insurance. Those patients are disproportionately served by our safety-net hospitals, which rely heavily on DSH payments to offset the cost of the uncompensated care they provide.

As planned, the cuts will be unsustainable for California’s safety-net hospitals, reducing DSH allotments in the state by $500 million in 2020 and by about $950 million a year from 2021 through 2025.

So far, members of Congress have been willing to delay these drastic reductions while millions remain without coverage, but the time has come to once again impress upon Congress the essential nature of DSH payments to safety-net hospitals and their patients. To that end, CHA is leading an effort to press the California congressional delegation to sign a letter that urges House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to support eliminating the cuts for another two years. 

Next week, we’ll be sending an Advocacy Alert to member hospitals, asking you to contact your representative about signing the letter. This is an issue that all hospitals should care about — because cuts of this magnitude will jeopardize access to care for millions.

For lawmakers to support a policy that diminishes access to care for California’s most vulnerable patients is unacceptable. It is incumbent upon all of us to let them know that.

— Carmela

Legislative Advocate

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The California Hospital Association is the statewide leader representing the interests of more than 400 hospitals and health systems in California.  We collaborate with our members to provide strong and effective representation and advocacy to advance the interests of California hospitals, patients and communities. CHA is a trusted resource, working with members to achieve legislative, regulatory, and legal accomplishments at the state and federal level.

Mark Your Calendar for California Hospital Volunteer Leadership Conference in February

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The 2020 California Hospital Volunteer Leadership Conference, “Engineering Change. Inspiring Leadership,” has been set for Feb. 17-19, 2020, at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach. 

The conference is designed as an educational and networking experience for paid staff who manage volunteer programs, hospital volunteer leaders, community partners, and hospital inter-professional peers looking to expand their hospital services through the use of volunteer programs.

Learning experiences and dialogue topics will include emergency services, retail, social determinants of health, volunteer management, youth programs and workforce. 

Two keynote presenters include California Hospital Association President & CEO Carmela Coyle and Sharp HealthCare’s Daniel Gross, DNSc, RN, executive vice president, hospital operations. 

Online registration for attendees, sponsors, exhibitors, and advertisers will be available soon. 

Discounted sleeping rooms are available at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach until Jan. 24, 2020. To book, call (800) 233-1442 and mention CAHHS or California hospital volunteers. For more information about the conference, visit www.calhospital.org/2020-volunteer-conference.