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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Jan Emerson-Shea (916) 552-7516 Office (916) 804-0663 Cell @jemersonshea Twitter CALIFORNIA HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION THANKS ASSEMBLYMEMBER LUIS A. ALEJO (D-WATSONVILLE) FOR SUPPORTING VITAL HEALTH CARE SERVICES FOR PATIENTS SACRAMENTO (November 6, 2013) With Governor Jerry Browns signature on SB 239 (Hernandez, D-West Covina/Steinberg, D-Sacramento), a historic agreement which protects Californias most vulnerable patients and brings more than $10 billion in new federal Medicaid funds to California is now the law. Among the elected officials who played a key role in the enactment of SB 239 was Assemblymember Luis A. Alejo (D-Watsonville). Assemblymember Alejo has been a tireless champion for poor and elderly patients who depend upon the specialized services of hospital-based skilled-nursing facilities, said California Hospital Association President/CEO C. Duane Dauner. Thanks to Assemblymember Alejos leadership, access to quality health care services has been preserved throughout the state. The groundwork for this health care solution was laid earlier this year via CHA-sponsored AB 900 (Alejo, DWatsonville), a measure that would have reversed looming Medi-Cal payment cuts to hospital-based skillednursing facilities. The Medi-Cal cuts stemmed from legislation enacted in 2011 (AB 97). Although AB 900 received overwhelming bipartisan support in the Legislature, the bill stalled in the Senate Appropriations Committee in late August. Following this setback, Assemblymember Alejo joined with other legislative leaders and the Administration to amend another CHA-sponsored bill SB 239 to incorporate the reversal of the MediCal cuts. SB 239 will help sustain 36,000 health care jobs and an estimated $2 billion in annual contributions to the states economy. SB 239 also creates a new Medi-Cal hospital fee program that will strengthen the ability of hospitals to respond to increased demands resulting from the implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA). The $10 billion in new federal funds resulting from the hospital fee program will be paid to hospitals in the form of supplemental Medi-Cal payments. Additionally, the program will provide $2.4 billion in additional revenue to the State General Fund. Reversing the Medi-Cal Cuts was one of 2013s more important legislative priorities because the consequences of inaction were so real and painful, said Arthur A. Sponseller, President/CEO of the Hospital Council of Northern and Central California. Assemblymember Alejo understood the stakes and stood up for our local health care providers. Hes been a true champion for Northern California hospitals. Medi-Cal beneficiaries make up more than 70 percent of the patients receiving care in hospital-based skillednursing facilities. These patients require specialized, medically complex care that freestanding nursing homes and other health care providers will not or cannot provide. In the past five years, approximately 40 hospital-based skilled-nursing facilities in California (about one-third) have closed their doors due to financial issues. SB 239 provides needed relief for these patients and their families. ###