7Jul, 2021

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE: Healing the Emotional Scars from the Pandemic

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Even in the best of times, burnout is common for health care workers. The pandemic — which uprooted workplace routines and turned knowns into unknowns — has only made these stressful and demanding jobs that much harder. In the early days and months of the pandemic, the public rallied around health care workers — sporting lawn signs thanking them, donating meals to hospitals, and sending notes of appreciation. However, the public displays of support eventually waned, although the demands of caring for COVID-19 patients day in and day out did not. Now the state is “open” for business, and hospitals are no longer overwhelmed by COVID-19 […]
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7Jul, 2021

5 THINGS TO KNOW: Disaster Planning, EMS Changes, Addressing Chronic Homelessness

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Addressing Chronic Homelessness: On June 28, the first phase of a partnership between the City and County of San Diego launched, with outreach teams hitting the streets to address the immediate and long-term challenges faced by people experiencing homelessness. This month-long outreach campaign is designed to connect individuals to immediate shelter, housing navigation and behavioral health services, and medical care. The second phase, scheduled to launch in August, will address the struggle of those who experience chronic homelessness with severe substance use disorder. It will connect them with teams who […]
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30Jun, 2021

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE: Best Wishes to Sara Steinhoffer of Sharp HealthCare

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While the Biweekly Briefing was not originally scheduled to publish this week, I would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge Sara Steinhoffer, who is retiring on July 2 after 12 years as vice president of government relations at Sharp HealthCare. Sara joined Sharp HealthCare in 2009 as an experienced government relations professional and has worked tirelessly with senior management, medical groups, Sharp Health Plan, system clinical leadership, and the Sharp HealthCare Board of Directors Advocacy Committee to advocate at local, state, and national levels of government. Prior to coming to Sharp […]
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16Jun, 2021

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE : Optimism as California Fully Reopens

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More than a year ago, the world as we had known it changed — perhaps forever. Those who were working in offices were sent home. Restaurants pivoted to delivery and take out. Doctors’ and dentists’ offices turned to telehealth or even closed temporarily. But not hospitals. While many were adjusting to life at home, turning spare rooms into offices and helping kids navigate Zoom learning, your hospitals were on the front lines each and every day. As so many of us retreated from the crowds, the people, the potential for […]
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16Jun, 2021

5 THINGS TO KNOW: Hazard Pay, Imperial Valley Wellness Foundation, Medi-Cal CalAIM

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Hazard Pay: The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted to spend $36 million of American Rescue Plan funding on hazard pay for the county’s essential employees. Mandatory bonus pay has been the subject of much discussion around the state as we emerge from the pandemic. The Culver City Council has passed an ordinance that requires $5 per hour hero pay for employees at the city’s only hospital, and Assembly Bill (AB) 650 would mandate bonuses of up to $10,000 for hospital employees and contractors. However, AB 650 was moved […]
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2Jun, 2021

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE: Drastic Changes Ahead for Medi-Cal Contracts

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By year’s end, we should know which two health plans the state has chosen to administer Medi-Cal contracts in San Diego County. While the Department of Health Care Services’ (DHCS) decision to drastically change the Medi-Cal managed care markets throughout the state won’t take effect until 2024, there is already concern over gaps and challenges this may create. Not to mention the logistical challenges in San Diego County, where five plans will be eliminated by going from seven to two. As we’ve seen the number of Medi-Cal recipients increase exponentially, […]
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2Jun, 2021

5 THINGS TO KNOW: Naloxone Treatment, New County Office, FEMA Releases Pandemic Guidance

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Naloxone Treatment: With the number of drug-related deaths growing at an alarming rate locally, the county of San Diego will soon make naloxone, an overdose reversal medication, widely available at several community-based locations and clinics throughout the county. While concerns over the increase in fentanyl-related overdoses and deaths were growing prior to the pandemic, fentanyl-related deaths increased 202% from 2019 to 2020 with more than 457 fentanyl-related deaths countywide in 2020. New County Office: The San Diego County Board of Supervisors recently approved the creation of an Office of Evaluation, […]
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19May, 2021

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE: Shining the Spotlight on Behavioral Health

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May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and this year — more than ever — it’s important to put the spotlight on this issue. Accessing behavioral health care is a big problem in California — and it’s only getting worse. While the impending tsunami of behavioral health issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic has yet to hit, we must brace ourselves for its arrival. In any given year, an estimated 7.5 million people in California experience a mental health condition, and only one-third of adults who experience mental illness are getting […]
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19May, 2021

5 THINGS TO KNOW: Cross-Border Vaccination Planning, Tiny Home Village, City Council Special Election

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Medi-Cal Managed Care: Last fall, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) began the process of re-procuring Medi-Cal managed care plan contracts. At the end of April, DHCS provided updates on both San Diego and Imperial counties. Imperial County submitted a request to create a County Organized Health System with California Health and Wellness; San Diego County decided not to pursue a local health initiative model, and DHCS indicated that it will award no more than two Medi-Cal managed care contracts in San Diego County. The draft request for proposal […]
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5May, 2021

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE: Hospitals’ Vital Role in Helping Counties Hit Vaccine Milestones

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San Diego County hit a milestone last week in the fight against COVID-19: 1 million vaccines administered. That puts the county halfway to what public health officials say is their goal of fully vaccinating 75% — or 2,017,011 — of San Diego County residents 16 and older. While part of this can be attributed to the increased supply of vaccine doses available, it also couldn’t have been reached without the partnerships with hospitals, which supplied the staff and volunteers for the vaccination super stations and were vital in helping the […]
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