CHA Asks Davis to Exempt Hospitals from Rolling Blackout
The California Healthcare Association has sent a letter urging Gov. Gray Davis (D) to issue an executive order exempting all hospitals from the state's rolling blackouts, AHA News Now reports. The CHA says that the state lacks a consistent policy regarding hospitals and rolling blackouts: while some utility companies exempt all hospitals, others exempt only those facilities with over 100 beds and some provide no special consideration for hospitals at all. The letter also asks Davis to remove hospitals from the "large commercial" rate category, for which the Public Utilities Commission recently approved a 90-day rate increase of 15% (AHA News Now, 1/19). Although the planned power outages last week caused a few troubles for some California hospitals, there were no serious problems, the Chico Enterprise-Record reports. Enloe Medical Center had to reschedule some radiation appointments for cancer patients on Thursday because equipment in the radiation-oncology department could not use generator-supplied power. However, a hospital spokesperson reports that in general, staff and patients at Enloe facilities did not notice any changes when the center switched to generator power. The Enloe Children's Center was left in the dark for two hours Thursday, but providers continued to care for patients using flashlights (Mitchell, Chico Enterprise-Record, 1/19).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.