Today, CHA member hospitals participated in a lobby action day in Sacramento to encourage legislators to ask the administration to reset the calculation of Proposition 55 funds. During the event, 20 hospital leaders met with key legislators and their staff, urging them to support the voters’ intent and direct crucial health care funding to Medi-Cal.
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Yesterday, CHA launched a new month-long social media campaign — directed at lawmakers in California — related to the ongoing issue of health care affordability. The launch included a special video message from Carmela Coyle, CHA President & CEO, which highlights the many factors that contribute to rising health care costs.
This week, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) shared four approval letters, dated March 18, from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Hospitals should share the relevant letters, linked here, with their accounting firms:
County-organized health system counties
Geographic managed care counties
Rural expansion counties
CHA has submitted comments to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on its proposed rule implementing the Veterans Community Care Program, which will replace the Veterans Choice Program as required by the MISSON Act of 2018.
The patient appeared to be dying. She had chronic lung disease, and she had been told she had little reserve left and had barely survived on home oxygen for the past few years. Each time she picked up a lung infection, the buzzards circled closer. Now she had tripped, fallen, broken a bone, had surgery, and her subsequent infection seemed to have pushed her past the point of no return. Still, I held off the palliative care/comfort care team for as long as I could, and she rallied. Everyone saw how tough she was and a fighter and praised my intervention, but it just wasn’t enough in the end and she died.
CHA has begun widely sharing — via email and social media — a video of 2019 Board Chair Cal Knight, president & CEO of John Muir Health. In the video, Knight talks about the challenges and opportunities facing California’s hospitals over the next year, and touches on many of our priorities — including coverage, access, and behavioral health.
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.
Both the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) and the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) have issued their March 2019 reports to Congress, based on recommendations approved at their January meetings. The MedPAC report evaluates Medicare payment issues, while the MACPAC report recommends — among other items — that if planned Medicaid disproportionate share hospital (DSH) cuts proceed, they should be phased-in to give states and hospitals more time to respond.
CHA will host a Lobby Action Day on April 2 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to provide members an opportunity to share their support for Senate Bill 758 (Portantino, D-La Cañada 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.
We’re now in the silly season of the Democratic primary — a season that, I worry, may last all the way to the nomination. There are many honorable exceptions, but an awful lot of reporting seems to be third order — not about the candidates, let alone their policy proposals, but about pundits’ views about voters’ views of candidates’ electability.