CEO Messages

Legislative Session Ends but the Fight for Hospitals Continues

The 2021 legislative session is in the books, and the governor has signed over 700 — yes, over 700 — bills into law. As usual, many of those bills will impact hospitals.

They include:  

  • Senate Bill (SB) 311, which requires hospitals and other specified health care facilities to allow a terminally ill patient to use medicinal cannabis in the facility subject to certain restrictions 
  • Assembly Bill 1204, which requires all hospitals to annually submit an equity report that includes health status and disparities in access to care for patients on the basis of race, ethnicity, and payer, as well as plans for addressing those disparities 
  • SB 510, which requires health plans and insurers to pay for COVID-19 testing and related health care services (such as hospital or provider office visits, test administration, and supplies) without cost sharing, for in-network and out-of-network providers

 While these are just a few of the numerous bills that hospitals must comply with, Hospital Council and CHA were able to pause several others that would challenge us in providing the most effective care for the communities you serve. For example, we were able to pause bills that would have: 

  • Required hospitals to report all layoffs, furloughs, and repeated canceled shifts to the California Department of Public Health 
  • Given unprecedented decision-making authority to the state attorney general to limit hospitals’ ability to participate in managed care arrangements or affiliate with another health care organization 
  • Created a rebuttable presumption in the workers’ compensation system, essentially requiring hospitals to accept more claims with little to no evidence that they are work-related 

In addition, a bill that would have mandated bonus pay for health care workers was halted. 

We know the issues your hospitals have faced are numerous — and there are challenges that emerge, sometimes on a daily basis. And when the Legislature returns in January, there will no doubt be new challenges to navigate; both Hospital Council and CHA are finalizing our legislative and regulatory agendas for 2022.

As your hospitals wage what, at times, may feel like an unrelenting fight against the pandemic, the Hospital Council and CHA teams will continue to advocate and fight on behalf of not only our members but for the Californians we care for when they need us the most.  

Other Items of Interest

Just finished a great book by Jon Acuff – Soundtracks: The Surprising Solution to Overthinking. The theory is that our brain uses soundtracks (thoughts, music, pictures) to help to tell us how we think, feel or act in certain situations. By recognizing these “soundtracks” we can determine if they are helping or inhibiting our success with a particular task, project, or relationship. I have started the process outlined in Acuff’s book — Retire. Replace. Repeat. —  to change our thoughts from a super problem into a superpower:

  • Retire your broken soundtracks.
  • Replace them with new ones.
  • Repeat them until they’re as automatic as the old ones.