The shortage of health care professionals in California is deepening every year and affects every aspect of care. Statewide, more than 11 million people live in an area without enough primary care providers, and according to a UC San Francisco study of the state’s nursing shortage, it will take until 2026 to close the state’s current nursing gap. All told, California needs to add 500,000 new allied health care professionals by 2024 in order to provide needed care. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated health care staffing shortages. Many front-line health care workers have reached their breaking point and are choosing to leave the profession altogether (hundreds of thousands of health care jobs have been lost since the pandemic began).
Rural and low-income communities are disproportionately affected by the scarcity — and there’s a second disparate impact we must address as the state works to rebuild a depleted workforce: According to the California Future Health Workforce Commission, people of color will be a majority of Californians by 2030 but are severely underrepresented in the health care workforce.
Each year hospitals invest millions of dollars in training California’s next generation of health care providers, but closing the massive gaps ahead will require additional long- and short-term solutions:
- Partnerships among all who recognize the need to protect the health of Californians: employers, workers, policymakers, colleges, licensing entities, and others
- Public investments in workforce training through college and university programs to both retain current workers and build a pipeline of future professionals
- Regulatory changes to improve efficiency and transparency in licensing, address limitations on scope of practice, and enhance education and training for nurses and nurse assistants
SAN DIEGO CITY COUNCIL DECLARES BEHAVIORAL HEALTH BED CRISIS: On Dec. 5, the San Diego City Council declared a behavioral health crisis due to the lack of available behavioral health beds in the city. A recent survey of hospital members found that on any given day in the HASD&IC region, about 50 patients who are […]
ENGAGING AND SUPPORTING REFUGEE COMMUNITIES – FREE TRAINING FOR HEALTH PROVIDERS: On Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to noon (PT), the San Diego Refugee Communities Coalition will lead cultural competency training — Engaging and Supporting Refugee Communities — for health care providers. It will include a comprehensive overview of the refugee resettlement process, shedding light […]
FLU SEASON MANDATES: The San Diego Health and Human Services Agency has issued a health officer order reminding health care personnel of the influenza vaccination or masking requirement during flu season, beginning Nov. 1. CDPH LEADERSHIP UPDATES AND DISTRICT SESSIONS: On Nov. 7 from 9 to 11 a.m. (PT), CHA will host its annual meeting […]
PRESCRIPTION DRUG USE SURVEY: Physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, dental practitioners, and pharmacists are asked to participate in a needs assessment survey for the County of San Diego Overdose Data to Action grant. The purpose of this survey is to assess licensed health care providers’ perceptions of prescription drug use and prescribing opioids. Your feedback will provide valuable insight into the development of opioid stewardship recommendations and best practices for our region. The survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Responses will remain confidential and will be grouped with those of other respondents for reporting.
FAQS ON MCO TAX AGREEMENT: CHA has issued FAQs on the 2023 state budget agreement on the managed care organization tax. The agreement renews the tax and commits the majority of the funding to provider payment increases, including for hospitals. Contact Ben Johnson at email@example.com with any questions.
MEDI-CAL MANAGED CARE PLAN TRANSITION: The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has released an All Plan Letter that provides guidance to all Medi-Cal managed care health plans (MCPs) regarding the 2024 MCP Transition, which is effective Jan. 1, 2024. In addition, DHCS has developed the 2024 Managed Care Plan Transition Policy Guide, which establishes and details the requirements for the implementation of the 2024 MCP Transition. The Policy Guide was initially published in May 2023 and will continue to be updated throughout 2023. All updates will be specifically identified in a dedicated section in the Policy Guide and will outline updates from prior versions in order to manage version history. The Policy Guide, which is also available on the DHCS 2024 MCP Transition web page, will denote effective dates and end dates, if applicable, to the specific policies contained therein.
MEDI-CAL ENROLLMENT SYSTEMS AND DISENROLLMENTS: The current enrollment system (MyBenefits CalWIN) that hospitals, clinics, schools, and social service providers use to connect San Diegans to CalFresh and Medi-Cal will shut down on June 29. The new system, BenefitsCal, will not be available until July 3. As a result, hospitals will have to use alternate methods for assisting patients with Medi-Cal applications between June 29 and July 3. July 1 is also the first month that Medi-Cal beneficiaries will be disenrolled if they didn’t renew their coverage. Please reach out to Lindsey Wade at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.
Before Josue Ramos became a respiratory therapist at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, he was a high school senior and patient at the hospital.
WORKFORCE: The San Diego Workforce Partnership recently launched the Healthcare Administration Pathways Program. This program will put participants with no health care experience (but preferable experience in hospitality or retail) through the UC San Diego (UCSD) Division of Extended Studies Revenue Cycle and Management Intensive Course at no cost to them. The partnership is working with UCSD, Rady’s Children’s Hospital, and Scripps Health to fill patient access representative I positions in hopes of diversifying the pipeline of workers. Participants who complete the course will also be eligible to sit for the certified revenue cycle specialist exam, which the workforce partnership will also fund. The San Diego Workforce Partnership is looking to expand partnerships with more hospitals in the region for this program.
CALAIM INCENTIVE PAYMENT PLAN PROGRAM UPDATE: The California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) Incentive Payment Program is intended to support the implementation and expansion of enhanced care management and community supports by incentivizing managed care plans (MCPs) to drive MCP delivery system investment in provider capacity and delivery system infrastructure. It is also intended to bridge current silos across physical and behavioral health care service delivery; reduce health disparities and promote health equity; achieve improvements in quality performance; and encourage take-up of community supports. More information on the MCP Incentive Payment Plan Program Year 1 Gap Filling Plan is available by county (San Diego and Imperial included) on the Department of Health Care Services website. Additional general information on the Incentive Payment Program can be found on the CalAIM Roundtables by Region web pages for San Diego and Imperial counties.