A collection of 10 far-northern counties is considering working together to change their counties’ structure for Medi-Cal managed care to a county organized health system.
A decision must be made soon to adhere with the state’s request for proposal process, with a deadline for each county to submit a letter of intent by March 31. If successful, the counties would no longer contract with Anthem and California Health & Wellness for their Medi-Cal patients.
On Feb. 10, the Hospital Council Northern Sierra CEOs gathered to share updates on their pandemic response. Of note is that, for most hospitals in the region, COVID-19 cases are down and, for COVID-19-positive patients in hospitals, the need for ICU levels of care has decreased. The biggest issue remains staffing. While travelers are more readily available, and many employees on leave are returning, significant staff exhaustion is still a factor. Shortage of vaccine is universal, and many hospitals are the major vaccinators for their counties. There are fairly universal reports of nearly 100% vaccinations of physicians, and far less, around 50%, for other staff. Normal volumes — especially in the emergency department — are down, causing concern about long-term financial status. Hospitals administering monoclonal antibodies are reporting good outcomes for individual patients, along with reduced community spread.