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News of the Month – September 2023

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Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital will receive $10 million from a $300 million worth of zero-interest loans for struggling hospitals announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom, reported The Hollister hospital, which declared bankruptcy earlier this year, will receive the funds in the coming weeks.

The National Labor Relations Board issued a major ruling this month that would force an employer to recognize and bargain with a union if a majority of workers had previously requested a union and the company had broken labor laws that would require setting aside the results of a subsequent election.

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to overhaul how California counties pay for behavioral health care is one step closer to going before voters in March — over heavy opposition from patient advocates, service providers and local government officials.

Becker’s Hospital Review reports that a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals judge is apparently leaning towards undoing Sutter Health’s trial court victory in a $400 million antitrust suit brought by insurance plan purchasers, as she repeatedly questioned during oral arguments why certain evidence was excluded from trial and how the jury could do its work without seeing it.

Middle-class Americans, those earning between $50,000 and $100,000 a year, are the most likely to be saddled with medical debt, reports Axios, with nearly 1 in 4 — or roughly 17 million people — having unpaid medical bills, according to a report shared first with Axios from center-left think tank Third Way.

StatNews reports that a bipartisan group of senators wants federal tax regulators to probe nonprofit hospitals’ compliance with community benefit requirements. Nonprofit hospitals are often subsidized by state or federal funding and exempt from many taxes but they are required to provide free or discounted care to low-income patients. At the center of the tax debate is what counts as community care and charity. For instance, 82% of nonprofit hospital systems spent less on community programs than the value of their tax exemptions in 2019, according to a Lown Institute report.

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