Biweekly Briefing Articles

5 Things To Know: Medi-Cal RFP Update, Board Meeting Highlights, Key Messaging on Workforce Shortages

MANAGED CARE PLAN RFP UPDATE: The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has adjusted the release date of the Medi-Cal Managed Care Plan Request for Proposal (RFP) to Feb. 2, 2022. Although the RFP was scheduled to be released at the end of this year, the change will not affect the implementation date of Jan. 1, 2024. Additional time is needed to address stakeholder comments received during the comment period for the draft RFP. Updates to the RFP schedule will be posted on the DHCS website. HASD&IC will continue to engage with County of San Diego officials on the process. The Imperial County Board of Supervisors has approved the adoption of a single-managed care plan model through an 1115 Waiver.

HEALTHCARE STANDARDS FOR INTIMATE VIOLENCE: San Diego County has released its first Healthcare Standards for Intimate Violence, which was developed through a collaborative effort between the County of San Diego and health care organizations throughout the county. The document includes practice guidelines and tools for screening and responding to domestic violence and strangulation in health care settings. Health care personnel and organizations are asked to implement these practices, and training on the standards is available quarterly at no-cost through the San Diego Domestic Violence Council.

WORKFORCE SHORTAGES: As workforce shortages continue to threaten health care for Californians, CHA has prepared key messages that hospitals can use or customize when talking with policy makers, the media, or the public about this issue. As a reminder, CHA has prepared FAQs for hospitals facing critical staffing shortages, including nurses. The document answers questions for hospitals that cannot meet the state’s nurse-to-patient staffing ratio requirements.

HASD&IC BOARD MEETING HIGHLIGHTS: The HASD&IC Board of Directors convened on Oct. 6. Chair Steve Dietlin, CEO of Tri-City Healthcare District, officiated.

  • Welcome: Captain Kimberly D. Davis, director of Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD), was welcomed as the new Department of Defense liaison to the board. Capt. Davis hails from a family of Naval physicians and is an ophthalmologist by training. Prior to her assignment at NMCSD, she served a dual role as U.S. Navy South/Commander Fourth Fleet Surgeon in Mayport, FL, from July 2019 to April 2021, providing medical expertise and support to remote assets for advancement of mission success, hurricane and pandemic responses, maritime exercises, global health, and USNS Comfort missions.
  • Best Wishes: Megan Montgomery-West, CEO of Alvarado Parkway Institute (API) Behavioral Health System, announced she will be departing from API and resigning from the HASD&IC board effective Oct. 29. Megan has been an integral part of our behavioral health community through her work at API for over 21 years. Appreciation was expressed for her leadership, partnership, and for being a champion for behavioral health.
  • Special Guest: Dr. Luke Bergmann, director of behavioral health services for the County of San Diego, presented an update on the department’s current efforts and focus for the future.
  • 2021 CHPAC/CHPAC-FED Campaign: Board members were thanked for their collective support of CHPAC and helping to elect and connect with candidates who understand the important role hospitals play in our state. Please visit CHPAC to learn more and join in support.
  • 2022 HASD&IC Regional Priorities: The priorities established for 2021 continue to be relevant in 2022. The two areas of increased priority are workforce and operational sustainability. Visit the HASD&IC website to view all the current priorities.
  • Hospital Quality Institute (HQI): Members were introduced to and encouraged to participate in HQI Cares BETA HEART® program, a collaborative partnership of HQI with BETA Healthcare Group. BETA HEART (healing, empathy, accountability, resolution, and trust) is a coordinated program that helps organizations create a reliable, sustainable, and transparent culture of safety. Email HQI’s Director of Programs Boris Kalanj or call (916) 552-7694 for more information.

California Hospital Association (CHA): Carmela Coyle, CHA President & CEO, gave an update and led discussion in several areas:

  • COVID-19: Health care worker vaccine mandates have been an important focus. Board members reported minimal to no impact to operations and a high rate of compliance. Surge plans are being reviewed as the flu season approaches. Supply chain disruption and staff shortages are the issues of greatest concern reported by the board at this time.
  • State Legislative Wrap-Up: Major developments of the 2021 legislative session included halting a mandatory bonus pay bill, pausing a presumptive eligibility proposal, passing a behavioral health pilot project, pausing of the Office of Health Care Affordability and the disaster preparedness/hospital seismic mandate. Oct. 10 was the last day for the governor to sign bills. CHA’s 2021 Report on State Legislation, which was forthcoming at the time of last week’s board meeting, has now been released.
  • 2022 Priorities: CHA’s 2022 advocacy agenda has been presented to the CHA Board of Trustees for approval and will be released to members later this month.

PRESCRIPTION DRUG TAKE BACK DAY: The next nationwide Community Prescription Drug Take Back Day will be Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (PT). Numerous drive-thru locations are available throughout the county, where residents can safely dispose of expired, unused, and unneeded medications, including animal medications, no questions asked. These locations DO NOT accept sharps. Vape devices will be accepted, as long as batteries are removed prior to disposal.