CSAC Health and Human Services New Laws
CSAC recently reported on the final outcomes of measures that were approved by the Legislature and delivered to Governor Newsom for action. To keep counties informed of new laws of interest and impact, CSAC will publish a series of articles to spotlight those laws in each policy area. This week, the Health and Human Services policy area provides information on new laws affecting behavioral health, health services, and human services in California counties.
The new laws listed below become effective January 1, 2023 unless otherwise noted.
AB 988 (Bauer-Kahan) – Mental health: 988 Suicide and Crisis Line.
AB 988 implements a statewide 9-8-8 suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline as required by federal law. As part of that implementation, the measure requires the California Health and Human Services Agency to convene a state 988 advisory group consisting of various participants, including county representatives, to advise the Agency on a set of recommendations to support a five-year implementation plan. To support ongoing costs, the measure establishes a new surcharge initially set at $0.08 per access line per month, and beginning January 1, 2025, at an amount specified by formula to be capped at $0.30 per access line per month. Now that AB 988 has been signed by Governor Newsom, CSAC will continue to advocate for sufficient funding as the 988 system is developed and implemented, including adequate resources to operate mobile crisis teams and serve the expected influx of clients into the county specialty mental health system. AB 988 included an urgency clause and therefore took effect immediately following the Governor’s signature.
AB 1051 (Bennett) – Medi-Cal: specialty mental health services: foster children.
This measure requires the county of original jurisdiction for a foster child or probation-supervised youth to maintain responsibility for the arrangement of specialty mental health services (SMHS) when the youth is placed out of the county in a treatment facility, group home, or short-term residential therapeutic program unless specified circumstances exist.
AB 2117 (Garcia) – Mobile stroke units.
This measure, which was sponsored by the County of Los Angeles, defines a “mobile stroke unit” as a multijurisdictional mobile facility that operates as an emergency response critical care ambulance under the direction and approval of a local emergency medical services agency. Additionally, a mobile stroke unit is defined as a diagnostic, evaluation, and treatment unit that provides radiographic imagining, laboratory testing, and medical treatment under the supervisor of a physician in person or via telehealth for patients with symptoms of a stroke.
AB 2275 (Wood) – Mental health: involuntary commitment.
This measure clarifies that the 72 hours of detention under a Lanterman-Petris-Short Welfare and Institutions Code section 5150 involuntary hold begins at the time when the person is first detained. AB 2275 also specifies timelines for holding a certification review hearing when a person is certified for intensive treatment and requires that a person be advised of rights to a hearing when they are detained.
AB 2317 (Ramos) – Children’s psychiatric residential treatment facilities.
This measure requires the Department of Health Care Services to license and establish regulations for psychiatric residential treatment facilities (PRTFs). Additionally, this measure adds inpatient psychiatric services provided to youth under 21 years of age in a licensed children’s crisis PRTF as mental health services provided under Medi-Cal.
AB 2324 (Irwin) – Oath of office: health officers.
This measure requires health officers to file their oath of office with the Secretary of State. Currently, some countries only recognize an official document, such as a birth certificate, if it is authenticated by the Secretary of State in which the document was issued. However, the Secretary of State can only authenticate documents signed by officials whose oaths are filed with their office. This measure is intended to reduce the number of official documents rejected abroad, as health officers are often the public officials who sign these documents.
AB 2724 (Arambula) – Medi-Cal: alternate health care service plan
This measure authorizes the Department of Health Care Services to enter into a direct statewide contract with an alternate health care service plan, as defined (Kaiser Permanente), to provide care for certain Medi-Cal beneficiaries. CSAC joined numerous local health plans and community health centers opposed to AB 2724 due to concerns that this new contract would exempt Kaiser from the locally organized health care safety net and terminate input and oversight for Kaiser operation within each county. Prior to the bill’s passage, amendments were taken to clarify that the new contract would be limited to areas where Kaiser already has a commercial presence. Additionally, AB 2724 was amended to require Kaiser to periodically consult with counties and local health plans in the regions Kaiser operates.
SB 872 (Dodd) – Pharmacies: mobile units.
SB 872, which was co-sponsored by the Counties of Santa Clara and San Diego, and supported by CSAC, authorizes a city and county to operate a licensed mobile unit to provide prescription medication to individuals within the county’s jurisdiction, subject to specified criteria.
SB 928 (Wieckowski) – Public administrators: compensation.
This measure increases the minimum fee a county Public Administrator may charge for managing estates and making final arrangements for descendants without known or willing relatives. The minimum compensation threshold of $1,000, which was set nearly 20 years ago, will increase to $3,000 beginning on January 1, 2023. SB 928, while modest, will help Public Administrators recover some costs, where appropriate, associated with managing the estates and probate process for decedents. CSAC supported SB 928.
SB 1054 (Ochoa Bogh) – Public social services: records: confidentiality: multidisciplinary personnel teams.
This measure allows county multidisciplinary teams from Adult Protective Services and Child Welfare services to share relevant information across programs during investigations. In some situations, households have been identified by both programs and this sharing of information would allow for better protection of those at risk of abuse and neglect. CSAC supported SB 1054.
SB 1090 (Hurtado) – Family Urgent Response System.
This measure clarifies the populations of youth that are eligible for the Family Urgent Response System (FURS), which was established in 2019 to provide de-escalation and behavioral support interventions for foster youth and their caregiver in times of need. SB 1090 clarifies that youth who are the subject of a petition, voluntary agreement, or who have been emancipated will also be eligible for FURS services. CSAC supported SB 1090.
SB 1338 (Umberg) – Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment (CARE) Act.
This measure enacts the Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment (CARE) Act, which authorizes specified adult persons to petition a civil court to create a voluntary CARE agreement or a court-ordered CARE plan and implement services, to be provided by county behavioral health agencies, to provide behavioral health care, including stabilization medication, housing, and other enumerated services to adults who are currently experiencing a severe mental illness and have a diagnosis identified in the disorder class schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, and who meet other specified criteria.
The measure requires the Counties of Glenn, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne and the City and County of San Francisco to implement the program commencing October 1, 2023, and the remaining counties to commence no later than December 1, 2024, subject to specified provisions for potential implementation delay. The bill also includes a statutory commitment that the CARE Act will become operative only upon Department of Health Care Services consultation with county stakeholders and the development of a CARE Act allocation to provide state financial assistance to counties to implement the CARE Act process.SB 1342 (Bates) – Aging multidisciplinary personnel teams.
Sponsored by Orange County, SB 1342 authorizes counties and area agencies on aging to create aging multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) to allow for information sharing among entities providing services to older adults. Modeled off of the homelessness MDTs authorized by 2017 legislation, these aging services MDTs will improve service delivery, increase coordination, and support integrated case management. CSAC supported SB 1342