State Legislation

Each year, CAPH actively follows 40-50 health care related bills that could have an impact on California’s public health care systems, health care providers that serve a large number of low-income patients, or Medi-Cal beneficiaries and low-income communities.

Below is our fill list of 2019 priority bills. We also post bill summaries and applicable support or comment letters on this page.

Senate Bills

SB 10 (Beall) Mental Health: Peer, Parent, Transition-Age Specialist
Requires the State Department of Health Care Services to establish a statewide peer, parent, transition-age, and family support specialist certification Program, as a part of the state’s comprehensive mental health and substance use disorder delivery system and the Medi-Cal program. CAPH submitted a letter in support for this bill, as the peer workforce has been critical to Whole Person Care success.

SB 29 (Lara/Durazo) Expanded Medi-Cal Eligibility
SB 29 and AB 4 are identical bills that would extend coverage to all undocumented individuals that would otherwise eligible for Medi-Cal. Immigration status remains a barrier to coverage and access for some Californians. This bill would help close a critical gap for those who remain without coverage. CAPH submitted a letter of support for this bill.

SB 65 (Pan) Health Benefit Exchange: Financial Assistance
Requires the California Health Benefit Exchange/Covered California to administer financial assistance to help low-income and middle-income Californians access affordable healthcare coverage by requiring the Exchange to implement specified maximum premium contributions and to reduce copays and deductibles for individuals who meet specified income requirements. Requires the Exchange to administer financial assistance in a manner that maximizes federally funded subsidies.

SB 66 (Atkins) Medi-Cal: FQHC Same Day Visits
Authorizes reimbursement to providers for a maximum of 2 visits taking place at a federally qualified health center or rural health clinic on the same day at a single location if after the first visit the patient suffers illness or injury requiring additional diagnosis or treatment, or if the patient has a medical visit and a mental health visit or a dental visit. CAPH is pleased to co-sponsor this bill along with the California Primary Care Association (CPCA) and the Steinberg Institute. CAPH submitted a letter of support for this bill.

SB 175 (Pan) Healthcare Coverage: Minimum Essential Coverage
Requires a California resident to ensure that the resident, and any dependent of the resident, is covered under minimum essential coverage for each month beginning after 2019. Imposes a penalty for the failure to maintain minimum essential coverage. Requires the Exchange to determine the penalty for a resident and requires the Franchise Tax Board to collect the penalty. Requires the Exchange to determine whether to grant a certification that a resident is exempt from the requirement to maintain coverage.

SB 227 (Leyya) Health and Care Facilities: Inspections and Penalties
Requires the periodic inspections of specified health facilities to include reviews of compliance with the nurse-to-patient ratios and staff assignment regulations as described. Requires the Department to ensure that these inspections are not announced in advance of the date of inspection. Requires the Department to assess specified administrative penalties for a violation of the nurse-to-patient ratios and staff assignment regulations. A similar bill passed the legislature last year but was vetoed by the Governor.

SB 567 (Caballero) Workers’ Compensation: Hospital Employees
Defines “injury” for a hospital employee who provides direct patient care in an acute care hospital, to include infectious diseases, cancer, musculoskeletal injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder, and respiratory diseases.

Assembly Bills

AB 4 (Arambula) Medi-Cal: Eligibility
AB 4 and SB 29 are identical bills that would extend coverage to all undocumented individuals that would otherwise be eligible for Medi-Cal. CAPH submitted a letter of support for AB 4.

AB 962 (Burke) Hospitals: Procurement Contracts: Disclosures
Requires a licensed hospital with operating expenses of $25,000,000 or more to annually submit a report to the office on its minority, women, LGBT, and veteran-owned business enterprise procurement efforts. Requires each report to be submitted on July 1, 2020, and then annually thereafter. Imposes specified civil penalties for a failure to submit that report.

AB1611 (Chiu) Emergency Hospital Services: Costs
AB 1611 would require a health care service plan policy issued, amended, or renewed on or after January 1, 2020, to provide that if an enrollee receives covered services from a non-contracting hospital, the enrollee is prohibited from paying any more than what they have agreed to pay with their plan (co-pays, deductibles, etc.) for an in-network hospital. Furthermore, the bill would require a health care service plan to pay a non-contracting hospital for emergency services rendered to an enrollee pursuant to a specified formula, which would be the greater of the “average contracted commercial rate” in the geographic region or 150% of Medicare FFS. The bill would also provide a dispute resolution procedure if any party is dissatisfied with payment.

AB 174 (Wood) Personal Income Tax: Credit: Health Insurance Premiums
Allows a credit under the Personal Income Tax Law in an amount equal to the cost of health insurance premiums of the lowest cost bronze plan for the qualified individual, certified by the Covered California Board, or the qualified individual’s dependent that exceeds 8%, but not more than a specified percentage, of the qualified individual’s modified adjusted gross income.

AB 389 (Arambula) Substance Use Disorder Treatment: Peer Navigators
Requires the State Department of Health Care Services to either establish a pilot program or expand an existing pilot program for purposes of measuring the efficacy and cost avoidance of utilizing trained substance use disorder peer navigators and behavioral health peer navigators in the emergency department of an acute care hospital if funds for this purpose are appropriated in the annual Budget Act.

AB 577 (Eggman) MediCal: Maternal Mental Health
Extends Medi-Cal postpartum care for up to one year beginning on the last day of the pregnancy for an eligible individual diagnosed with a maternal mental health condition. Defines maternal mental health condition for purposes of the bill.

AB 682 (Eggman) Health Facilities: Residential Mental Health
Requires the Department of Public Health, in consultation with specified entities, to develop and submit a proposal to solicit a grant under the federal 21st Century Cures Act to develop a real-time, internet-based database to collect, aggregate, and display information about the availability of beds in inpatient psychiatric facilities, crisis stabilization units, residential community mental health facilities, crisis stabilization, community mental health and licensed alcoholism/drug abuse treatment.

AB 715 (Wood) Expanded Medi-Cal Aged and Disability Eligibility
This bill expands Medi-Cal eligibility for persons 65 and over and for persons with disabilities to 138 percent of the federal poverty level through the Medi-Cal Aged and Disabled Program. CAPH submitted a letter of support for this bill. 

AB 732 (Bonta) County Jails Pregnant Inmates
Requires an inmate of a county jail or state prison who is identified as possibly pregnant during an intake health examination to be scheduled treatment provided under the Medi-Cal program.

AB 769 (Smith) Federally Qualified Health Centers: Clinical Counselor
Includes a licensed professional clinical counselor within those health care professionals covered under the definition of visit for purposes of a face-to-face encounter between a patient of a federally qualified health center (FQHC) or rural health clinic (RHC) and specified health care professionals. Requires an FQHC or RHC that currently includes the cost of the services of a clinical counselor for the purposes of establishing its FQHC or RHC rate to apply to the department for a rate adjustment.

AB 844 (Irwin) Health Facilities: Mandated Hospital Services and Activities
This bill would establish an independent body to advise the Governor and Legislature on the financial impact of proposed mandated hospital services and activities. The bill would require the chair of a policy or fiscal committee to prepare a detailed background information regarding the proposal, including estimating the costs of the proposed legislation and analyzing specified information.

AB 1055 (Levine) Mental Health: Involuntary Commitment
Requires a person involuntarily committed who is released to also be referred for further care and treatment on a voluntary basis, and would require a psychiatrist, psychologist, or medical director approving the release, to, prior to that release, ensure that an initial outpatient appointment with a psychiatrist or psychologist within 5 business days of the release is scheduled.

AB 1058 (Salas) Medi-Cal: Specialty Mental Health Services
Declares the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to establish a pilot program in several counties to support the integration of specialty mental health services and substances use disorder treatment provided under the Medi-Cal program.

AB 1088 (Wood) Medi-Cal: Eligibility
This bill would allow for persons 65 and over and persons with disabilities, who would otherwise be eligible for Medi-Cal benefits, to be eligible for Medi-Cal without a share of cost. CAPH submitted a letter of support for this bill.

AB 1494 (Aguila-Curry) MediCal: Telehealth: State of Emergency
Provides that neither face to face contact nor a patient’s physical presence on the premises of an enrolled community clinic, is required for services provided by the clinic to a Medi-Cal beneficiary during or immediately following a state of emergency. Authorizes the department to apply this provision to services provided by another enrolled fee-for-service Medi-Cal provider, clinic or facility.

AB 1544 (Gipson) Community Paramedicine
Establishes the Community Paramedicine or Triage to Alternate Destination Act. Authorizes a local EMS agency to develop a community paramedicine or triage to alternate destination program, to provide specified community paramedicine services.

AB 1723 (Wood) Pharmacy: Clinics: Purchasing Drugs at Wholesale
Expands the number of clinics allowed to purchase drugs at wholesale for administration or dispensing, under the direction of a physician and surgeon, to patients registered for care at the clinic, including, among others, a clinic operated by a primary care community, county, or free clinic, operated on separate premises from a licensed clinic, from clinics open no more than 20 hours per week, to clinics open no more than 40 hours per week.