In the 1993 film Groundhog Day, Bill Murray plays a man who repeats the same day over and over, hoping for a different outcome. As Groundhog Day approaches next week on Feb. 2, it may seem a little like the movie as many issues our hospitals previously faced are once again front and center this year. From seismic issues to ambulance patient offload times, regulatory oversight and overreach issues, to challenges with payers, many issues are repeating. The reality is they are resurfacing in a different environment, as hospitals confront escalating financial challenges, worsening workforce shortages, and an ever-increasing demand for health care services.
Last week, Hospital Council held our first board meeting of the year to discuss these issues and many others. This conversation and direct input from member hospitals helps the Regional Associations and the California Hospital Association finalize our collective advocacy agenda.
As we execute our agenda, we’ll need to continue building relationships with new players in the health care space — we will likely see a 40-member turnover in the state Assembly and Senate, and Hospital Council experienced significant change with a 40% turnover in hospital leadership just in the past year.
Change can be positive. At our meeting, we welcomed a significant number of new board members who will provide valuable guidance and perspective on the challenges we face. We also asked our members to engage in the California Hospital Association Political Action Committee, which allows us to build these crucial relationships with lawmakers.
As we move forward into the year, it’s important to remember that we are all part of the One Team — ensuring our advocacy strategy is coordinated at the regional, state, and federal levels of government to deal with the multitude of issues facing