Biweekly Briefing Articles

5 Things To Know: Workforce Relief Letters, Updated Vaccine FAQs, Health Services Task Force

CHA REQUEST FOR WORKFORCE RELIEF: CHA has sent letters to the Health and Human Services Secretary and California’s Attorney General. The letter to Dr. Mark Ghaly asks for direct and immediate relief from the California Department of Public Health  to mitigate the workforce challenges you’re facing during this surge. The letter to Attorney General Rob Bonta asks that his office use its resources and expertise to promptly investigate concerns around skyrocketing prices charged by staffing agencies and act accordingly on their findings. In addition, CHA is sharing these FAQs for hospitals that cannot meet the state’s nurse-to-patient staffing ratio requirements.

BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES REPORT: The Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Fiscal Year 2021-22 Annual Update was recently presented to the Behavioral Health Advisory Board. It included budget and programmatic changes to the three-year plan. The majority of services outlined in the annual update are a continuation of programs previously approved by the board in the three-year plan. As mandated by the MHSA, the three-year plan and subsequent annual updates require approval by the board prior to submission to the California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission.

ASSESS AND REFER: Because emergency medical services (EMS) providers are likely to encounter known or suspected COVID-19 patients with a variety of presentations, from asymptomatic to critically ill, San Diego County EMS is implementing an Assess and Refer policy. To preserve critical 911 and emergency department resources, low-risk patients or those requesting COVID-19 testing or health care system navigation assistance may be referred to existing health care and community resources.

HEALTH SERVICES TASK FORCE: The Imperial County EMS director has joined the San Diego County Health Services Capacity Task Force to help enhance situational awareness, communication, and coordination between the two counties during the continued pandemic response.

UPDATED VACCINE FAQS: On Aug. 13, CHA issued FAQs on the state vaccine and testing requirements mandated by the recent public health orders. CHA has updated the FAQs to address member questions and help hospitals respond to an employee’s request for a religious belief exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine.