It’s hard to believe, but it is already mid-December and the new year is just around the corner. As I look back on 2022, it feels like it was just yesterday that hospitals were dealing with the impacts of the omicron surge. Now, with some hospitals at or near capacity and emergency department and inpatient rates equal to or higher than what you experienced during omicron, your hospitals have — once again — stepped up to meet the health care needs of Californians as COVID-19, flu, and RSV collide to create a “tripledemic.”
As your hospitals continue to treat all who need care, Hospital Council and CHA are continuing to advocate on your behalf with leaders and decision-makers in your region, in Sacramento, and in Washington, D.C. And while many legislative and regulatory challenges will follow us into 2023 — including minimum wage measures, seismic mandate, and ongoing workforce shortages — there were many successes on the advocacy front in 2022:
- Advocated for funding to address the state’s acute shortage of health care professionals, helping secure over $1.4 billion in workforce development investments for behavioral health, public health, primary care, clinic, and reproductive health
- Worked closely with the administration and other stakeholders to resolve implementation issues with $1 billion in funding for health care worker retention payments, so that hospitals can administer the funds and workers can receive the maximum they qualify for
- Crafted, as part of a broad coalition, a historic agreement to modernize the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act by extending vital protections for access to care while ensuring Californians are cared for in all ways
- Defeated a bill that would have created a standing presumption (rebuttable after the fact) in the workers’ compensation system that an infectious disease, musculoskeletal injury, or respiratory disease arose out of work for any hospital worker involved in direct patient care
- Partnered with PG&E to mitigate the impacts of public safety power shutoffs on hospitals to ZERO and advocated for hospital power resiliency to be a priority in grid hardening and sustainability
Significant challenges remain but your Hospital Council team is excited, dedicated, and committed to working in partnership with CHA, community partners, and elected officials to ensure that the highest quality of care can continue to be provided to all Californians during these unprecedented times.
On behalf of the entire Hospital Council team, wishing you and your teams a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season.