CEO Messages

Seeking State Relief as Workforce Challenges Persist


As you are probably aware, CHA recently submitted letters to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Attorney General that seek relief for the state’s ongoing workforce challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly, MD, asked for several things, including:  

  • Restoration of the state cost-sharing for travel nurses, retroactive to July 1  
  • An All Facilities Letter that extends provisional approval of team nursing program flexibility requests  
  • An increase in the oversight of health plans during the state of emergency, as it pertains to preauthorization and payment for services 
  • Suspension of CDPH survey activity for the remainder of the year 

The letter to Attorney General Rob Bonta asked for his office to investigate skyrocketing prices charged by staffing agencies for traveler nurses and to act accordingly, depending on the findings.

Late last week, Dr. Ghaly responded to CHA’s letter. While his response does address a few of CHA’s concerns such as consideration of team nursing waivers for a region, a reminder to health plans of the flexibilities afforded by the public health emergency, and prioritization for only immediate jeopardy investigations, we do not believe it does enough to help hospitals manage their current problems. CHA is continuing to work with state leaders to address all the concerns.

Now that the recall election is behind us, it’s time for the state and the governor to put the focus back on public health and get down to brass tacks. As the state continues to try to balance the needs and desires of so many — from anti-maskers to labor — until there’s a consensus as to how to best navigate the pandemic, it’s the patients who will suffer. 

Other Items of Interest

  • Potential Book of the Year candidate is Jon Acuff’s Soundtracks: The Surprising Solution to Overthinking. It provides great analysis on how your brain works and frustratingly simple, but very effective, ways to move forward with control of our thoughts instead of our thoughts controlling us. This is a quick read that will have long-term benefits!
  • I recently saw an interesting documentary by Michelle Wax called American Happiness (trailer) where she traveled to all 50 states to find out how Americans achieve internal happiness regardless of external circumstances. Michelle interviewed more than 500 self-described happy people to learn how they create more joy in their everyday lives. It is a great documentary to watch alone or with your friends and family. Here are the four most common behaviors that she documented during her journey.