For any college basketball fan, there’s no time like late March. The NCAA Tournament is in full swing, and with any luck your team is still in the hunt — and at the very least your bracket is still relatively intact.
But March Madness isn’t just happening in the basketball arenas throughout the country. As hospitals continue their long recovery from COVID-19 and the numerous surges, the local, regional, state, and federal legislative and regulatory issues are coming from all angles and making a full court press.
Hospitals must remain vigilant. At Hospital Council’s first board meeting of the year last week, we discussed the legislative and regulatory agenda for 2022. Our advocacy agenda was developed in coordination and collaboration with our One Team partners at CHA, the Hospital Association of Southern California, and the Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties. The agenda follows three over-arching themes for 2022:
- Safeguarding California hospitals
- Supporting all Californians
- Strengthening California’s health care system
These larger themes include subsections that are focused on topics such as:
- Strengthening the health care workforce by supporting investments in worker retention and improving education and training pipelines
- Promoting health equity by addressing Medi-Cal’s structural imbalance
- Holding insurance companies accountable by strengthening regulatory/agency enforcement and addressing the issue of “white bagging”
At the meeting, we also provided updates on other key Hospital Council priorities such as ensuring hospitals remain a priority for PG&E (see webinar details below), local behavioral health initiatives around opioid overdoses, and work at the local and statewide levels on ambulance patient offload times (see article below for advocacy materials).
But, just like any good basketball team, we’re not going to be successful if we try to go it alone and address all these issues by ourselves. It’s going to take a team effort to ensure that hospitals remain strong and can continue to provide care for all Californians whenever they need it. That’s why we will continue to partner with our hospital members, community organizations, and business and economic development organizations, along with our policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels.
While there is much work to be done, and many of these will likely have to be addressed in overtime, know that Hospital Council and our One Team partners will be working hard until that final buzzer sounds.