CSAC Bulletin Article

Health and Human Services update 5/9/2014


SB 1150 (Hueso and Correa) – Support
As Amended on March 26, 2014

SB 1150 by Senators Ben Hueso and Lou Correa are would allow federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and Rural Health Centers (RHCs) to be reimbursed by Medi-Cal for two visits by a patient with a single or different health care professional on the same day at a single location. 
Specifically, SB 1150 would allow for billing for two visits when a patient has a medical visit and an additional visit with a mental health practitioner or a dental professional. It is sponsored by Orange County. 
The Senate Appropriations Committee placed AB 1150 on their Suspense File on May 5. 

AB 1727 (Rodriguez) – Request for Comment
As Introduced on February 14, 2014

AB 1727, by Assembly Member Freddie Rodriguez, would prohibit local drug repository and distribution programs from accepting certain drugs that can only be dispensed to a patient who is registered with the drug’s manufacturer in accordance with certain federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements.
CSAC is requesting comment from counties on this issue, as we have initial concerns with the bill’s intent to limit the types of prescription drugs that can be donated to local repository programs. The Assembly Health Committee passed AB 1727 on May 7, and it now goes to the Assembly Floor. 

Human Services

SB 909 (Pavley) – Support
As Amended on April 10, 2014

SB 909, by Senator Fran Pavley, would permit a social worker to authorize an initial noninvasive medical, dental, and mental health screening for children in temporary custody after an initial examination without parental consent or a court order. 
SB 909 is sponsored by Los Angeles County and will assist all counties in expediting needed health care for the children in our custody. Further, this measure is not a mandate and may reduce county costs by allowing children to receive basic medical care before mounting a costly effort to gain parental or judicial consent. It was amended this week to clarify that the initial examination would not include any invasive medical procedures. 
CSAC strongly supports SB 909, which was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 6 and referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee. 

AB 2379 (Weber) – Support
As Amended on April 22, 2014

AB 2379, by Assembly Member Shirley Weber, would increase information sharing among county Child Welfare Services (CWS) and Adult Protective Services (APS) systems. 
AB 2379 is a simple, common-sense bill to increase communication among the CWS and APS systems that will help prevent abuse at any age. It is not a mandate and has no fiscal impacts other than to save the pain, suffering, and costs associated with ongoing dependent adult abuse. It is for these reasons CSAC supports AB 2379, which was passed by the Assembly Judiciary Committee on May 6 and now goes to the Assembly Floor. 

Emergency Medical Services

AB 1621 (Lowenthal) – Oppose
As Amended on April 21, 2014

AB 1621, by Assembly Member Bonnie Lowenthal, would create a State Emergency Medical Services Data and Information Systems (SEMSDIS), mandate the use of electronic patient care record systems, and require local EMS agencies to submit patient and system data to the EMS Authority.
CSAC and CHEAC are generally supportive of the concept of expanding the use of electronic emergency medical services data. However, this bill creates a costly regulatory mandate on counties and EMS providers. The cost of implementing an electronic patient care record system can be measured in the tens of thousands of dollars, and funds for this purpose are virtually nonexistent for most counties, most acutely in our rural counties.
For these reasons, CSAC has joined with CHEAC to oppose AB 1621. The Assembly Appropriations Committee placed AB 1621 on their Suspense File on May 7. 

AB 1975 (Hernández) – Oppose
As Amended on May 7, 2014

AB 1975, by Assembly Member Roger Hernández, was amended this week, but the changes have failed to allay county concerns about the bill. 
AB 1975 would originally have required Local Emergency Medical Services Agencies (LEMSAs) which are implementing a trauma care system to commission the American College of Surgeons (ACS) to conduct a comprehensive assessment periodically of equitability and access to its trauma system. 
After the amendments on May 7, this would require local EMS agencies (LEMSAs) to commission regional assessments by an independent entity of their trauma systems. This bill would also require LEMSAs to incorporate regional trauma coordinating committee (RTCC) recommendations into their local trauma care plans. 
Counties oppose AB 1975. Local EMS agencies, with the oversight of the EMS Authority and the Commission on EMS, currently perform objective and independent trauma planning and system evaluation. While there may be value on a case-by-case basis for a local EMS agency voluntarily choosing to contract with an independent entity, counties oppose the significant increase in authority and roles for RTCC’s in the development of local trauma care plans. 
CSAC, along with the Emergency Medical Administrators Association of California (EMSAAC) and the Emergency Medical Directors Association of California (EMDAC), are currently in talks with the Author’s office to address our ongoing concerns. CSAC continues to oppose the measure based on the May 7 amendments. The Assembly Health Committee passed the measure on May 7 on an 11 to 6 vote; it goes next to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. 

Mental Health 

SB 1161 (Beall) – Support
As Amended on April 29, 2014

SB 1161, by Senator Jim Beall, would require the Department of Health Care Services to expand substance use disorder (SUD) residential treatment capacity and medical detoxification services in California by pursuing a federal Medicaid waiver with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
SB 1161 seeks to ensure that residential care facilities for substance use disorder and medical detoxification services are available to Medi-Cal beneficiaries. Expansion of provider capacity is a critical component of ensuring that the Medi-Cal expansion meets the needs of those seeking substance use disorder treatment. As California looks to expand treatment capacity, it should partner with the federal government in seeking flexibility in the models for delivering care that will allow for the most cost effective expenditure of public funds. 
CSAC is also supportive of DHCS’s pursuit of a broad federal waiver to test a new model for better access and care coordination within the Drug Medi-Cal program and SUD services at the county level. The Senate Appropriations Committee will hear the bill on May 12. 

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