Right now, many of you are probably finalizing your Thanksgiving menus or travel plans if you’re headed out of town for the holiday. And although we all have our own ways in which we will observe the day, gratitude — along with lots of food — will likely be at the heart of the celebrations.
Looking back on the year, I’ve been blown away by what our hospitals have achieved. It brings to mind that Benjamin Franklin gem, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” So much of our success came down to the strength of our coordinated advocacy efforts and our collaboration with community partners.
Collectively, we tackled all of the challenges thrown our way — the ones we expected and the ones that popped up. Along the way, there were some big wins:
- We advocated to the County of San Diego Board of Supervisors for a delay in the implementation of Senate Bill 43. The new law expands the definition of “gravely disabled” for purposes of placing patients in an involuntary psychiatric hold or conservatorship, and it would have caused major challenges for emergency departments.
- We advocated for a change to the inpatient psychiatric approval process. That move cut non-billable days by almost 4% and improved our reimbursement by $3.3 million compared to last year.
- We responded to an increase in Hepatitis A cases around the region by working with the County of San Diego Public Health leadership to secure free Hepatitis A vaccinations for hospitals to administer to at-risk patients.
- We came together in person for our HASD&IC Annual Meeting. And it was a hit! This year had the highest number of attendees — more than 180.
While we can, let’s pause, take a breath, and appreciate the accomplishments of the past year that were from the efforts of your hospitals and staff and our partners in the community. We know a busy 2024 is right around the corner and we’ll be grappling with big issues including patients experiencing homelessness, low reimbursement rates, and challenges discharging patients to needed post-acute care facilities and services.
Most importantly, I hope you can share this season with friends and family and take pride in all that you have accomplished. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy holiday season!