CSAC Bulletin Article

Health and Human Services 05/27/2011

Foster Youth

AB 212 (Beall) – Support
As Amended on March 29, 2011

AB 212, by Assembly Member Jim Beall, would implement technical provisions related to last year’s landmark foster care legislation, the California Fostering Connections to Success Act of 2010 (AB 12). 

AB 212 is the result of efforts by counties, co-sponsors, and Department of Social Services staff to “clean up” some provisions of AB 12. To that end, AB 212 mostly focuses on implementing KinGAP eligibility for young adults aged 18 to 21, and streamlining the assessment portion of the legal guardianship and adoptions process. 

The Assembly passed AB 212 as part of their unanimous consent calendar on May 26. It now goes to the Senate.

Medi-Cal

AB 396 (Mitchell) – Support
As Amended on May 12, 2011

AB 396, by Assembly Member Holly Mitchell, would provide the opportunity for counties to receive federal funding for the inpatient medical costs of juvenile detainees. 

Specifically, AB 396 would allow counties to draw down federal matching funds for the inpatient medical treatment provided to minors who are outside of a county detention facility for more than 24 hours. The bill specifies that participating minors must be eligible for Medi-Cal and detained in either a juvenile detention facility or probation camp. While the measure would require the Department of Health Care Services to develop a process to allow counties to collect federal reimbursement for outpatient medical care, the author points out that current law already authorizes DHCS to implement a similar reimbursement system for adult detainees. 

SB 695 would allow counties to use the local funds that we are already expending for juvenile medical care to pull down federal Medicaid matching funds for those youths who are Medi-Cal eligible. It is for these reasons that CSAC supports the bill. 

The Assembly passed AB 396 on May 26. It now goes to the Senate.

Public Health

SB 594 (Wolk) – Oppose Unless Amended
As Amended on May 25, 2011

SB 594, as amended by Senator Lois Wolk, would still limit a county’s flexibility to organize and deliver public health laboratory services. Senator Wolk has worked with counties to hear our concerns about this bill, but recent amendments fail to address all of the issues that we, other county affiliates, and counties have raised. 

Recent amendments taken in Senate Health Committee did remove certain provisions in the bill, but, unfortunately, the amendments also created a new set of concerns for counties. They include: 

  • The codification of more than 30-year-old regulations is inappropriate and overly restrictive. We strongly urge the Department of Public Health to review and update regulations pertaining to the operation of public health laboratories to reflect rapidly changing laboratory technology that provides opportunities to develop new, more cost effective, and highly reliable models for securing public health lab testing.
  • We object to the removal of language which would have prevented the Department from passing on the costs of creating and maintaining a new continuing education program for public health microbiologists to local health departments.

Finally, counties remain concerned about the provisions of the bill which restrict how counties organize public health departments by requiring that the public health laboratory director report to the local health officer.

Counties believe that in this economic climate, we must retain the flexibility to provide critical public services in the most cost-effective, appropriate and reasonable manner. It is for these reasons that CSAC opposes SB 594 unless it is amended. 

The Senate Appropriations Committee passed the bill on May 23, and it is now on the Senate Floor.

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County Of The Week:
Napa