Biweekly Briefing Articles

5 Things To Know: Monoclonal Antibodies Survey, Updated COVID-19 Surge FAQs, Mental Health Resources

MONOCLONAL ANTIBODIES: A reminder that monoclonal antibodies are available for early treatment of COVID-19 in both San Diego and Imperial counties. More information, including treatment sites and how to refer patients, is available for San Diego County and Imperial County providers. In addition, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is requesting that providers complete by Dec. 3 an updated survey to help understand how frequently monoclonal antibodies are being used at health care facilities (both for treatment and as post-exposure prophylaxis). This information will be used to ensure that CDPH adequately addresses supply, education, and/or resource gaps. The updated survey includes new questions to reflect the evolving landscape of distribution. Health care facilities are encouraged to complete the survey, even if they completed it previously.

LAO MEDI-CAL OUTLOOK: The Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) has released its Medi-Cal Fiscal Outlook, which describes the major factors that the office expects to drive changes in General Fund spending in Medi-Cal, and a number of key underlying assumptions. The LAO estimates that Medi-Cal General Fund spending will be $27.5 billion in 2021-22, a downward adjustment of $470 million compared to the 2021-22 Budget Act estimate. Between the revised 2021-22 estimate and 2022-23, the LAO projects General Fund costs in Medi-Cal to grow by $3.6 billion to $31.1 billion. Longer term, the LAO projects annual General Fund costs in Medi-Cal will grow from $31.1 billion to $34.6 billion between 2022-23 and 2025-26. This reflects an average net annual General Fund cost growth of nearly $1.2 billion (3%).

EMS STRATEGIC PLAN: The County of San Diego Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Office is working on a strategic plan to create “the finest pre-hospital care system in the nation by 2030.” Next steps in building the framework for the future include hiring a consultant to help guide the process of developing the strategic plan; the county hopes to have it completed by this spring. The goal is to maximize collaboration and communication, so the EMS office helps lead the region through critical public health challenges.

UPDATED CHA COVID-19 SURGE FAQs: As hospitals and health systems continue to care for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, CHA has updated its FAQs and links to help inform the surge response to challenges such as staffing and space. In particular, the document includes a reminder that hospitals that cannot obtain sufficient nurses or other personnel through their contracted staffing agencies can submit a resource request for staff to their medical health operational area coordinator. The state continues to contract directly with staffing agencies and may be able to provide your hospital with staff. These would be provided through a Memorandum of Understanding under which the state provides the staff, and the hospital reimburses the state for the cost of the staff. Please see the FAQs for additional resources.

MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES: While the pandemic has impacted nearly every segment of society, health care workers have been particularly hard hit. San Diego County has a number of resources to help health care professionals better manage stress and their behavioral health during this challenging time.