Governor Newsom takes action to strengthen California’s health care delivery system to respond to COVID-19

Governor Gavin Newsom today directed more than $42 million in emergency funding to expand California’s health care infrastructure and secure equipment and services to support California’s response to COVID-19.

Posted: Mar 21, 2020 1:28 PM

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today directed more than $42 million in emergency funding to expand California’s health care infrastructure and secure equipment and services to support California’s response to COVID-19.

Of this amount, $30 million will allow the state to lease Seton Medical Center in Daly City and St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles for a three-month basis. Seton Medical Center is currently operating and will expand capacity to provide care for up to 120 COVID-19 patients beginning as soon as next Wednesday. Verity will operate Seton Medical Center on the state’s behalf. St. Vincent Medical Center closed in January, but California is readying the facility to begin providing care for up to 366 COVID-19 patients as soon as possible.

This builds on California’s previous work, in partnership with local officials, to reopen Community Hospital in Long Beach for the specific purpose of accepting patients transferred from other hospitals in the area. The hospital will begin accepting transfer patients on Saturday and has a capacity of 158 beds.

“California is mobilizing every part of government to support our health care delivery system, its workers, and those among us who are most vulnerable to COVID-19,” said Governor Newsom.

California is making historic investments to strengthen our health care delivery system:

$30 million to lease and operate two facilities and to expand the state’s hospital capacity.
Seton Medical Center in Daly City.
St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles.
$1,420,000 to expand capacity of the state’s public health lab in Richmond.
$8,647,000 to purchase new ventilators, as well as IV fusion pumps, and refurbish additional ventilators.
$2 million to contract with American Medical Response to provide patient transportation.

This past week, California began receiving shipments from a prior request from the Strategic National Stockpile. The request included:

Personal Protective Equipment:
358,381 N95 masks
853,730 surgical masks
162,565 face shields
132,544 surgical gowns
678 coveralls
471,941 gloves

In addition, California this week requested the following additional supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile:

Personal Protective Equipment:
20 million N95 masks
10 million surgical masks
600,000 surgical gowns
600,000 face shields
600,000 gloves
300,000 goggles
100,000 coveralls

Medical Supplies:

10,000 ventilators

Lab and Diagnostic Supplies:

2 million swabs
200,000 RNA extraction kits

California Expands Tele-Health Options

This week, California acted to remove barriers to telehealth services for 22 million Californians. Increasing access to medical and behavioral care through telehealth allows individuals to receive the care and treatment they need remotely while isolating at home and practicing social distancing, thus limiting potential exposure to COVID-19 and unnecessary impacts to the health care delivery system during this time when we want to preserve the system for our sickest and most critically ill neighbors. Commercial and Medi-Cal managed care plans were directed to allow members to obtain health care via telehealth when medically appropriate to do so. Providers will be reimbursed at the same rate, whether a service is provided in-person or through telehealth. For example, if a provider is paid $100 for an in-person visit, they will be paid $100 for an equivalent visit done via telehealth. Removing barriers to telehealth will improve access and help ensure that hospitals and health systems can focus on providing care to those who need it most.

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