Biweekly Briefing Articles

5 Things To Know: Governor’s Budget Proposal, Behavioral Health Grants, Skilled-Nursing Facility Updates

NEW LIVE WELL ON WHEELS BUS: During a Feb. 1 press conference, San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and the Health and Human Services Agency announced the addition of a second Live Well on Wheels (WOW) bus. The bus will provide and deliver same-day services such as health care and food assistance, application assistance, or linkage to mental health services. In 2021, the Live WOW bus served nearly 23,000 people at more than 200 community events, mostly for COVID-19 services. Two additional Live WOW buses and one Public Health Lab bus are also on the way. These buses are available by request to attend community events that are co-hosted by community partners.

IMPERIAL COUNTY HOUSING: On Jan. 25, the Imperial County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution to submit a joint application with Pacific Southwest Community Development Corporation and Imperial Housing Coalition to seek $18 million in grant funds from the state’s Homekey Program to convert a local motel into apartments.

BEHAVIORAL HEALTH GRANTS: The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and Department of Social Services have announced the release of a joint request for applications (RFA) for the Behavioral Health Continuum Infrastructure Program (BHCIP) and Community Care Expansion (CCE) Program. DHCS was authorized through 2021 legislation to establish BHCIP and award $2.1 billion to construct, acquire, and expand properties and invest in mobile crisis infrastructure related to behavioral health. The CCE Program was established by Assembly Bill 172 and will provide $805 million in funding for acquisition, construction, and rehabilitation to preserve and expand adult and senior care facilities. DHCS is releasing these funds through six grant rounds targeting various gaps in the state’s behavioral health facility infrastructure. Application information is available on the Improving California’s Infrastructure RFA page. Interested applicants can hear from the two state agencies overseeing these programs, as well as the administrative entity for BHCIP and CCE — Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. — during a webinar on Feb. 10 at 10:30 a.m. (PT).

GOVERNOR’S BUDGET PROPOSAL: On Feb. 3, the Senate Budget Committee on Health and Human Services will hear several items of interest to hospitals, including workforce and support of the care economy. CHA submitted a letter of support for the governor’s budget proposal to fund incentives for increasing the  state’s nurses, social workers, emergency medical technicians, and behavioral and community health workers.

SKILLED-NURSING FACILITY UPDATE: Last week, the county of San Diego updated case managers on COVID-19-positive sites. Medical Health Operational Area Coordinators continue to work with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Emergency Medical Services Agency to deploy staff to skilled-nursing facilities (SNFs) so they can open more COVID-19-positive beds. Currently, CDPH has provided additional staffing at Victoria Post Acute Care and San Diego Post Acute. Capacity remains limited, even at the state level, in some areas. At least 75% of SNFs are in outbreak, and many are facing staffing shortages or could be hesitant to take back patients. Hospitals should email Grace Kang (and cc Jennifer Wheeler) with problems about specific facilities and specific residents; she will facilitate a conversation with the SNF to resolve any issues. Below is a list of COVID-19-positive sites:

  • Victoria Post Acute Care
  • Avocado Post Acute
  • San Diego Post Acute
  • Reo Vista Healthcare
  • The Pavilion at Ocean Point
  • Community Care Center
  • Jacob Healthcare
  • Mission Hills Post Acute
  • Cottonwood Canyon
  • NEW: Hillcrest Heights (4033 Sixth Ave., San Diego)