This week, Hospital Council holds its first board meeting of the year.
We’ll gather and greet the new leaders of our board, thanking the incoming and outgoing team members for their time, service, and expertise.
Then we’ll get down to business.
Siri Nelson, President and CEO of Marshall Medical Center, will serve as chair this year. Chair-elect is David Klein, MD, President and CEO of Marin Health. Rick Shumway, President and CEO of Stanford Health Care Tri-Valley, will be our Secretary/Treasurer.
They, along with all of Hospital Council’s members, have critical policy issues before them this year. We’ll focus on these issues at the board meeting:
- Efforts to raise the minimum wage for hospital and health care workers, which continue at the local level and could reach statewide heights.
- On the financial side, over 50% of California hospitals had negative margins last year. The number of Medi-Cal and Medicare beneficiaries is growing as reimbursement rates — 74 cents and 75 cents per dollar, respectively — stay stagnant.
- Communication and advocacy efforts related to the financial challenges that hospitals are facing. This includes a hospital that has already closed and others that are on the brink.
- An overview of the state’s regulatory and political environment and the best way to advance the policy issues that help hospitals meet the needs of all Californians.
We’ve got a lot on our collective plates, and all of it while juggling the expiring state of emergency and the federal public health emergency. In addition to everything else hospitals do, they must now deal with additional operational processes to ensure their facilities have the workforce and space necessary to serve their patients.
That’s one reason why earlier this week, the California Hospital Association issued a state and federal alert that urges elected officials to help hospitals deal with their extreme financial straits.
Our state’s hospitals — you and your team — have always been there for the people who need care. We now advocate for our state and federal officials to be there for our hospitals.
We will talk about these and other issues at our board meeting this week.
And then we’ll take action.