OAKLAND, CA, May 14, 2020 – The California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (CAPH) recognizes the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on our economy and the significant fiscal challenges ahead as outlined in the May Revision.
California’s 21 public health care systems have been serving an integral role in the COVID-19 response, particularly for many in California’s Medi-Cal population, those who remain uninsured, and other vulnerable patients such as those experiencing homelessness. Working alongside local public health departments and emergency personnel, public health care systems have made dramatic changes to their operations to prepare for surge capacity, freeing up space within their facilities, and converting non clinical spaces into care settings. Public health care systems have also been at the forefront of accelerating California’s testing capacity and increasing access to tests. County and University of California health care systems have treated thousands of patients with COVID-19, saving as many lives as possible in these extremely challenging times.
Though it includes several potentially damaging cuts to critical services, the May Revision also seeks to support safety net services where possible. As the budget process moves forward, CAPH remains committed to partnering with the Governor, Legislature, and federal officials to find creative solutions to ensure the viability of the safety net during COVID-19, and beyond.
“The public has never been more reliant on the essential services provided by public health care systems. We appreciate the Governor’s recognition of the need to preserve and increase federal support, in order to keep our doors open to all who need care,” said Erica Murray, President and CEO of CAPH. “Public health care systems hope Congress will prioritize the HEROES Act in order to support California’s health care safety net and the critical services provided by states and localities during the COVID-19 pandemic and into the future.”
About California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems
The California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (CAPH) represents California’s 21 public health care systems, which include county-affiliated systems and the five University of California academic medical centers. Together, these systems form the core of the state’s health care safety net. Though accounting for just 6% of hospitals in the state, the public health care systems operate in 15 counties where more than 80% of the state’s population lives. They provide 40% of all hospital care to California’s remaining uninsured and 35% of all hospital care to Medi-Cal beneficiaries in the communities they serve. These 21 health care systems serve 2.85 million patients annually, operate more than 200 outpatient clinic facilities, and provide more than 10 million outpatient visits each year. They operate more than half of California’s top-level burn and trauma centers, and train more than half of all new doctors in the state. For more information, visit www.caph.org.
Director of Communications