Hospital Council members receive Council Connect,
our electronic newsletter that shares everything we’re
working on for you.
In articles as diverse as our membership — from rural
to urban, and Sierra to sea — we spotlight the
individuals and institutions who are moving the ball forward,
while also sharing news on new ideas and innovative approaches
from our endorsed business partners.
Earlier this week, as we do every year, the nation paused to honor the social and economic achievements of American workers and specifically the legacy and ongoing work of the nation’s labor unions. This year, more than ever, our health care workers deserve recognition for their continued efforts to safeguard our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With a Sept. 30 deadline to submit information on COVID-19 Provider Relief Funds, health care providers have just a few weeks left to meet the reporting requirements, which require a sizable investment of time and energy.
The outstanding care teams at California hospitals are again dealing with the relentless COVID-19 as both positivity and hospitalization rates continue to increase. As we have seen with three previous surges over the past 18 months, without quick, decisive, and compassionate intervention, many Californians will become infected, hospitalized, and potentially lose their lives because of this virus.
Here’s a look at how Hospital Council’s RVPs have been working on
behalf of hospitals over the past few weeks.
On June 29, Contra Costa County issued a health
order requiring workers in hospitals and other high-risk settings
to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or wear face
coverings on the job and get tested weekly for the virus.
In 2020, PG&E waived the requirement for medical
practitioners to certify a patient’s request to enroll in its
Medical Baseline Program. However, this temporary waiver
allowing customers to self-certify their eligibility to enroll
ended on June 30, and a signature from a qualified medical
practitioner is now required.
If you were in Northern California last Thursday, there’s a good chance you felt the 6.0-magnitude earthquake, whose epicenter was south of Lake Tahoe. Many of our member hospitals did as well, and within 30 minutes our RVPs had connected with 37 hospitals to get status updates; within 90 minutes, RVPs had been in touch with over 100 hospitals.
The July 1 Hospital Supplier Diversity reporting deadline
mandated by Assembly Bill (AB) 962 has left many hospitals
seeking support in identifying which of their suppliers meet
these criteria. While CHA has several
informational resources for members, another resource is
Proximo’s Proveedor, which is designed to assist hospitals in
compiling these reports.
For more than 15 months, while most of the state, and the country, hunkered down — created home offices, studied via Zoom, and ordered takeout dinners to avoid the potential for COVID-19 infection — your hospitals were on the front lines, each and every day. While many retreated, you confronted the pandemic head-on.
In the midst of a health care crisis, people often turn to hospitals for help — whether it’s during a pandemic, for a behavioral health problem, or any number of other kinds of emergencies.
Such is the case with the recent closure of 29 Lags Medical Centers, which operate high-volume pain management clinics in California. Because of those closures, some of your emergency departments may see high numbers of patients needing prescription refills.
The Hospital Association of Southern California has
released a COVID-19
Vaccination Communications Toolkit that contains
customizable fliers, posters, and social media
assets that hospitals can share
via their own communications platforms.
California’s county-by-county approach to behavioral health care
creates a system that leaves many people without the crisis
behavioral health care they need. These disparities are a result
of a fragmented payment system and services that are not
coordinated statewide, leading to a confusing behavioral health
care system throughout California.
As the July 1
deadline approaches for submitting hospital
supplier diversity reports to the Office of Statewide Health
Planning and Development (OSHPD), CHA has
developed FAQs to
assist hospitals in preparing their
reports on minority, women, LGBT, and disabled veteran
business enterprise procurement efforts.
With the support of Sonoma County hospitals, Transcendence
Theatre Company is proud to present “My Hero,” a
night of drive-in musical theater under the stars to support,
honor, and entertain front-line health care workers.
The recent warm-up in temperatures, along with a few gusty days, serve as a good reminder of what’s to come. And just like in the past few years, it’s not a matter of if — but when — hospitals will experience a summer of fire conditions followed by autumn public safety power shutoffs (PSPS) during high-risk weather conditions.
For adults and children who have experienced some level of
collective trauma as a result of the COVID-19
pandemic, CalHOPE, a
multi-media campaign launched in June 2020, offers free
outreach, crisis counseling, and support services.
Hospitals are the backbone of the communities they serve and are there to provide care to all who need it, no matter the time or day of the week. And never have hospitals been more vital than throughout the pandemic. While we have always known that hospitals are critically important to our communities and to the state, the pandemic clearly showed just how important effective leadership and outstanding care are during a disaster.
In late 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
announced the hospital price transparency rule, which requires
hospitals — beginning on Jan. 1, 2021 — to provide publicly
accessible standard charge information about the items and
services they render.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced it
will begin accepting applications for Round 2 of the COVID-19
Telehealth Program on April 29. The application
portal will be open for seven calendar days, closing on
Hospital Council is pleased to announce that its member
hospitals will soon be receiving checks through its endorsed
business partner MCAG. The total amount for member hospitals
participating in MCAG’s services will be over $105,000.
The pandemic that has consumed the country — the world — for more than a year has come with a hefty psychological toll for many, especially hospital staff and front-line health care workers. They’ve been working non-stop to care for both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients. Staff burnout is real, and it’s been the topic of many recent discussions with hospital leaders. As we inch toward the finish line and start to contemplate a post-pandemic landscape, we need to keep our health care workers top of mind.
Since early 2020, the Hospital Council has convened a Sacramento
Region Behavioral Health Task Force, which consists of leaders of
general acute care hospitals, stand-alone psychiatric hospitals,
county behavioral health departments, and non-hospital outpatient
behavioral health programs.
On April 22 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. (PT), CHA will host a
complimentary, members-only webinar on
how to comply with the new Office of Statewide
Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) supplier
diversity regulations. The
statutes require hospitals to report on their minority,
women, LGBT, and disabled-veteran business enterprise procurement
efforts by July 1.
Here’s a look at how Hospital Council’s RVPs have been working on
behalf of hospitals over the past few weeks.
On April 5, the Alameda County Board of
Supervisors held a special briefing with its federal lobbyist
about the American Rescue Plan (Alameda County is expecting to
receive $326 million in direct funding), followed by discussion
of additional initiatives to watch for from the Biden
For those who haven’t seen it yet, CHA has modernized and
redesigned its website for
desktop and mobile. Designed to help members find the information
they need quicker and easier, the new site reorganizes the
materials CHA provides, sorting them by the topics that matter
most to members. Content can be filtered not just by issue area,
but also by type of resource: infographics, key messages, news
articles, and more.
Hospital Council and its foundation were honored to support a One Team opportunity for health care workers. Walmart, through CHA and Hospital Council, provided $200,000 toward appreciation meals for hospitals with ICUs in the Central Valley, one of the state’s most impacted areas.
Hospitals have been on the front lines of this pandemic since the beginning, through the multiple surges and now, leading the vaccine distribution while continuing to provide care for ALL patients. As you have navigated some very challenging circumstances, it’s been an honor and privilege for CHA and the three Regional Associations (One Team) to support you.
Through every tragedy, hospitals have been there to aid the sick and the injured. They’re open 24/7/365 — often the first stop for someone who is ill or the last stop for those who have not received the care they need.
If COVID-19 has done anything, it’s shone the spotlight on the fact that hospitals intrinsically put others first. Their workers are selfless, compassionate, devoted. Their doors are wide open to all who need help. But now, more than a year into the pandemic, it’s the hospitals that need help.
The calendar may say March, but it’s never too soon to start thinking about wildfire season — and public safety power shutoffs (PSPS). But in fact, when it comes planning for PSPS, Hospital Council’s and CHA’s teams have never stopped working on this issue as we continue to refine and improve our partnership with PG&E. For example, PSPS events continued at their near record pace in 2020, and we had PSPS events that lasted into December and even January of this year — a very concerning trend.
Grief, anger, exhaustion, frustration — COVID-19 has been about so many different things for so many people. For hospitals — and their front-line workers — as many are well aware, it’s been about saving lives. Put simply, it’s been about “doing the right thing.”
At the first Hospital Council board meeting of the year, that was the clear consensus among board members. But as many of you have discovered throughout the course of the past year, often it’s been “so hard to do the right thing.”
When the Hospital Council board of directors meets on Friday, COVID-19 will — naturally — dominate much of the discussion. But in addition to COVID-19, public safety power shutoffs (PSPS) and cybersecurity remain critically important, and Hospital Council RVPs continue to advocate for members on local issues.
Here’s a look at some of the issues that Hospital Council is currently working on:
Although the vaccine may be helping to turn the corner on the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re not out of the woods just yet. Hospitalizations have started to level off in some parts of the state and counties are slowly reopening, but other regions remain teetering on the brink and are faced with the prospect of having to implement crisis standards of care.
While we had hoped that a new year would bring some relief, many of the issues and concerns that hospitals faced early in the pandemic and through the holiday season have followed them into the beginning of 2021.
Think back, if you can, to last New Year’s Eve. 2020 was just on the horizon — bringing with it, as most new years do, hope and promise.
And for a very short time, it seemed like 2020 would be just like any other year. Then March came and, seemingly overnight, the state ground to a halt. By April, it appeared the state had “flattened the curve” on infections. At that time, it would have been hard for any of us to imagine that nearly a year later we’d still be struggling to contain it.
Good communication is key to so much of our daily lives and success in work and relationships. Without effective communication, a message can turn into error, misunderstanding, frustration, or more — lessons that we have all likely learned the hard way.
The above quote and picture came from our daughter, Zoey, eight-and-a-half years ago. In preparation for Thanksgiving, Zoey’s preschool teacher asked each student what they were thankful for and wrote their answers down on the sharing board for the parent program. When our family saw this quote, it immediately became our favorite Thanksgiving memory.
In a year that has uprooted our lives, brought so much heartache and devastation, and left us with so many questions, it’s not likely even the late “Jeopardy” host Alex Trebek would have had the correct answers. While we don’t know all of the answers surrounding the multitude of health care issues — COVID-19, Affordable Care Act, etc. — we certainly know the questions that our hospital members and the people who depend on our care have for the newly elected.
At last Thursday’s board meeting, a new slate for the Board of Directors was installed. The board, which is the governing body of the Hospital Council and is responsible for the ultimate direction of the management of the affairs of the organization, includes:
With the 2019-2020 legislative session behind us, it’s time to breathe a brief sigh of relief. We can — and should — take a moment to relish the accomplishments over the past months, and in the recently concluded legislative session:
In a year that has already brought so many challenges, the last thing we needed were the lights to go out — without any warning. However, that’s what some of your hospitals encountered during the recent heat wave. Recognizing that this situation likely remains top of mind for many of you, especially as we approach the public safety power shutoff (PSPS) season, we wanted to update you on where things stand with PG&E.
“Meet this moment.” It’s a phrase that for months Gov. Newsom has
been uttering during his press conferences and regular COVID-19
updates. And while he has at times taken flack on social media
for what may be considered by some to be overused, it’s safe to
say that it’s a fitting phrase for this time.
Just like Californians have “met this moment” by social
distancing, staying at home, wearing masks, etc., your hospitals
have more than “met this moment” and will continue to do so in
the months to come. And at the Hospital Council, it’s our job to
support you in any way that we can.
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