Minutes from May 6, 2014 Open Meeting-Bill Emmerson, CHA

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

 Open Board of Directors Meeting
 San Bernardino Community College District
114 S. Del Rosa Drive
San Bernardino, CA 92408


Present: Dimitrios Alexiou, Deborah Barmack, Carole Beswick, Ann Bryan, Ken Coate, Bill Easley, Ron Griffin, Dick Hart, Matthew Issac, Tim Johnson, Mark Kaenel, Lowell King, Sue McKee, John Mirau, Bev Powell, Brian Reider, Susan Rice, Kristine Scott, Larry Sharp, Paul Shimoff, Wendy Strack, and Stan Weisser.    

Guests:  Shaun Ayvazi, Harris Koenig and Linda Smith 

Announcements:   1)There will be a memorial service for former Inland Action chairman Allen Gresham on Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. at the Scottish Rite, Valley of San Bernardino, 4400 North Varsity Ave., San Bernardino, CA. A reception will follow.  Cards of condolence may be sent to Clara Gresham, 825 Vista Dr., San Bernardino, CA 92405.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to San Bernardino Symphony Association, 198 North Arrowhead Ave., San Bernardino, CA 92408.  The membership will be notified by e-mail. 2) Committees were reminded that their position papers for the state advocacy trip are due today.  3) The county wide “Give BIG” is a 24-hour online giving campaign on 5/8/2014 that allows you to give to your favorite causes in our community.  The membership will be notified by e-mail. 4)  Life Stream (formally Blood Bank of San Bernardino) has been proposed for membership.  This is the second announcement of this proposed member.  The membership will vote next week, May 13, 2014. 

M/S/P: Minutes from April 22, 2014 

Dr. Richard Hart introduced former state Senator Bill Emmerson, Sr. Vice President of State Relations, Hospital Association of Southern California. 

There are four major issues on the November ballot that impact hospitals in our state.   

California is the only state in the country to have a voter initiative process whereby citizens may initiate and ratify amendments to their state constitutions without the legislature.  This process is a tool used by many special interest groups. It only requires gathering signatures to get on the ballot.  Once on the ballot, voters must accept or reject the initiative as there is no option to change or modify it.  

Darrell Steinberg has introduced a bill (SB 1253) that would update the law and allow for increased transparency, inclusion and public comprehension of ballot initiatives.  It creates mechanisms should a proponent need to amend or remove their initiative from the ballot.  The California Hospital Association (CHA) strongly supports this initiative.    

 The CHA has a ballot initiative to protect Medi-Cal funding.  The initiative called the Medi-Cal Funding and Accountability Act 2014 will ensure that the fees contributed are used for their intended purposes and prohibits the state from diverting the money for non-health care purposes.    

This fall we will also see an initiative for rate regulation that will be controlled by our elected Insurance Commissioner.  If passed, it would give a great amount of power to one politician and creates another layer of costly bureaucracy and ultimately higher insurance premiums.  This measure would reform a large and complicated health system without the input from patients, doctors, hospitals or health plans.  

The mal-practice monetary limit in California for pain and suffering is currently $250,000.  The initiative on the November ballot proposes to raise that amount to $1.1 million.  In addition to raising the cap on these awards, the initiative would require random drug testing of doctors in the wake of growing concern about over-prescription of addictive pain medications.   Changing the cap will be harmful to the industry and will negatively impact our already underserved area.   

A Q & A period followed 

Meeting adjourned at 8:34a.m.