CHA has received a response to its Sept. 15 letter seeking various forms of regulatory and financial relief to combat California’s persistent and growing health care workforce crisis.
Health Secretary Mark Ghaly, MD has agreed to convene joint CHA/state teams to develop potential solutions to the immediate challenges, in addition to his Sept. 16 response, which includes a few steps forward:
- A commitment that the agency will communicate with health plans and will consider investigating a specific issue a hospital has with a health plan. The Department of Managed Health Care and Department of Health Care Services will issue follow-up All Plan Letters reminding health plans of the current flexibilities related to prior authorizations that remain in effect and will engage relevant health plan associations to remind them of health plans’ obligations pursuant to the state requirements.
- A memorialization of prioritization for only the highest-level investigations (immediate jeopardy), a practice nearly a month old that CHA pressed for early in this surge.
- A commitment to effectively approve all team nursing requests for hospitals that have demonstrated that they have tried to meet staffing ratios and cannot. Also, the agency will consider team nursing waivers for a region facing challenges, which could negate the need for individual hospital applications.
The response does not go far enough to help hospitals as they manage current and future patient needs. CHA will continue to press the administration for additional support.