Legislative & Regulatory Updates

2017-18 Legislative Bills to Follow

2015-16 Legislative Bills


CMS Releases Final Rule on Fire Safety Requirements
Applies to certain health care facilities, takes effect July 5

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the attached final rule updating fire safety requirements for certain health care facilities, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, critical access hospitals, inpatient hospice facilities, ambulatory surgical centers and more. The rule adopts updated provisions of the National Fire Protection Association’s 2012 edition of the Life Safety Code, as well as provisions of its 2012 edition of the Health Care Facilities Code. CHA is working with the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development and the state fire marshal to determine whether or how this may differ from current regulations, and will inform members of the rule’s impact.

Attached:   Final Rule


CHA-CSHE Letter to California Building Standards Commission (CBSC)

The California Hospital Association (CHA) and the California Society for Healthcare Engineering, Inc. (CSHE) the California chapter of the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) submitted a comment letter in support of the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) proposed code changes being heard by the CBSC on January 19, 2016.  A copy of the letter is available here.

Hospitals Should Conduct Risk Assessments When Lowering OR Humidity Below 30 Percent

Report identifies issues, offers guidance

The attached report, Relative Humidity Levels in the Operating Room Joint Communication to Healthcare Delivery Organizations, January, 2015, was developed by a broad group of interested stakeholders to identify issues hospitals may confront and offers assessment guidance for lowering the operating room relative humidity (RH) below 30 percent.

Several years ago, hospitals in California and other states requested that regulatory bodies modify the operating room lower RH level from 30 percent to 20 percent. Several national organizations supported this effort, and as a result, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and The Joint Commission adopted the 20 percent humidity level. California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development also incorporated the lower level in the 2013 California Building Standards Code.

However, during recent survey activity, issues were identified with equipment and supply manufacturers’ guidelines and warnings about RH levels lower than 30 percent – specifically related to the impact on the integrity and functionality of products used in the operating room.

At California Hospital Association’s direction, a stakeholder meeting was held to address these concerns and to develop consensus guidelines, offered in the attached report.



The American Meteorological Society Policy Program today proposed a three-step strategy for increasing the resilience of health care facilities and services to high-impact weather events. “The foundational layer for increasing resilience is risk management,” the report states. “The second layer focuses on creating durable facilities. The next layer ensures the continuity of health services, finally topped with a layer of usable information to assist with decision making. Resilience is more likely to be achieved when all of these layers are present, particularly at the community level.” The AMS Policy Program conducts research on societal challenges related to weather, water and climate.

Hospital Owners Need to Submit an Energy Audit to CEC if Selling, Leasing or Refinancing a Building After January 1

Deadline to Register Hospital Medium-Sized Refrigeration Systems Is March 1
Memo dated:  December 24, 2013
Relative Humidity (RH):  Waiver of Life Safety Code (LSC) Location Requirements: Discussion of Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Operating Room Requirements
Memo dated:   April 19, 2013
 Memo dated: August 30, 2013
Memo dated: November 30, 2012 

The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) has released Guide for Working on Projects Under OSHPD Jurisdiction - Tips from the Experts, which is an update to its popular "best practices" manual published in 2006.
November 8, 2012

NFPA 110 requires a 4-hour load test every three years per paragraph 8.4.2;; and; actual run time to achieve that test, including cool-down is about four hours.
October 1, 2012
SCAQMD Rule 1470 Risk Reduction Fund Program Announcement
If your hospital is located in the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) you should have received a copy of the SCAQMD Rule 1470 Program Funding Announcement...
July 24, 2012

New Refrigerant Requirements Effective Jan. 1

A new California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulation to minimize leaks of environmentally harmful refrigerants took effect Jan. 1. The new requirements build on long-established federal regulations for refrigeration systems.

All facilities with stationary non-residential refrigeration systems with more than 50 pounds of refrigerant are now required to perform refrigerant leak-detection inspections, leak repair and record keeping. This new regulation does not affect refrigeration systems that use ammonia or carbon dioxide as refrigerants.

Service technicians must be U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-certified and follow specified practices, including repairing leaks prior to recharging and properly evacuating cylinders before disposal. Refrigerant distributors, wholesalers and reclaimers are required to begin record keeping of received or distributed refrigerants, and sell refrigerants only to certified technicians or their employers.

For details on all requirements, go to http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/rmp/rmp.htm, e-mail reftrackinfo@arb.ca.gov or call CARB at (916) 324-2517. Contact: Roger Richter, (916) 552-7570, rrichter@calhospital.org