CSAC Bulletin Article

Health and Human Services update 9/2/2014

Human Services

AB 2547 (Gaines) – Support
Chapter 272, Statutes of 2014

The Governor signed AB 2547, by Assembly Member Beth Gaines, into law on August 22, 2014. AB 2547 allows Placer County to continue to operate their successful integrated, coordinated, and seamless approach to health and human services delivery in the County. 
Sponsored by the Placer County Board of Supervisors, AB 2547 makes the County’s Integrated Health and Human Services Pilot Program permanent. Operated in conjunction with the State, Placer County’s Integrated Health and Human Services Pilot Program serves as a model of family centered and needs-based delivery of services to children and families by providing blended education, mental health, probation, and child welfare services in a seamless team approach. In making this program permanent, obsolete evaluation and reporting requirements used in the prior pilot were removed.

Medi-Cal 

SB 508 (Hernandez) – Support 
Enrolled on August 26, 2014

SB 508, by Senator Ed Hernandez, would make necessary changes to the statutory framework for California’s implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA). The measure is a follow-up to SBX1 1 (Hernandez and Steinberg, Chapter 4, Statutes of 2013) and ABX1 1 (Perez, Chapter 3, Statutes of 2013).
Specifically, SB 508 would codify the new federal income standards – utilizing modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) rules – established by the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) for determining Medi-Cal eligibility. SB 508 ensures California statutes accurately reflect how the Administration has defined the MAGI standards for purposes of eligibility of various groups.
Additionally, the measure would extend Medi-Cal benefits to independent foster care adolescents. SB 508 would ensure that foster youth who lose foster care eligibility due to having reached the maximum age for assistance would still be able to get Medicaid coverage up to age 26 or a higher age the state has elected under federal law. Recent state law changes allow youth to remain in care beyond age 18, up to age 21. As a result, youth are leaving care at various ages. SB 508 ensures that these youth are treated equally for purposes of ongoing eligibility for Medi-Cal benefits. SB 508 also streamlines eligibility by deleting the deprivation requirement for parent or caretaker relatives.
SB 508 is enrolled and awaits the Governor’s action.

SB 1341 (Mitchell) – Support 
Enrolled on August 20, 2014 

SB 1341, by Senator Holly Mitchell, would codify the existing agreement between the Administration, Covered California, and the counties regarding the respective roles of the State Automated Welfare System (SAWS) and the California Health Eligibility Enrollment and Retention System (CalHEERS). 
Specifically, SB 1341:

  • Specifies SAWS as the system of record for Medi-Cal and that SAWS shall contain all Medi-Cal eligibility rules and case management functionality. The bill permits the MAGI rules for Medi-Cal to continue to be housed in CalHEERS as they currently are; and,
  • Requires that Notices of Action (NOAs) for Medi-Cal be programmed into the Medi-Cal system of record: the SAWS systems.

SB 1341 is enrolled and awaits the Governor’s action.
SB 1089 (Mitchell) – Support 
Enrolled on August 14, 2014

SB 1089, as amended by Senator Holly Mitchell, is sponsored by Los Angeles County and intended as a technical clean-up measure for AB 396 (Chapter 394, Statutes of 2011). AB 396 created a voluntary program that allows counties to draw down federal matching funds for the medical treatment of minors who are held in a juvenile justice facility and require hospitalization. SB 1089 seeks to clarify the county’s share of the costs and encourage the development of a claiming process.
SB 1089 is enrolled and awaits the Governor’s action. 

Mental Health 

SB 1054 (Steinberg) – Support 
Enrolled on August 21, 2014

SB 1054, by Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg, as now drafted, would extend a working group deadline for improving the collection of juvenile justice data as well as make several adjustments to the structure the Mentally Ill Offender Crime Reduction Grants program – such as shortening the grant terms from four to three years — which was renewed in the 2014-15 budget.
SB 1054 is enrolled and awaits the Governor’s action.

Crisis Nurseries

AB 2228 (Cooley) – Support
Enrolled on August 26, 2014  

AB 2228, by Assembly Member Ken Cooley, would require crisis nurseries to be licensed by the State Department of Social Services to operate overnight programs and would authorize crisis nurseries to provide crisis day services. AB 2228 would also establish the maximum licensed capacity for a crisis residential overnight program at 14 children and establish that the maximum licensed capacity for crisis day services is based on 35 square feet of activity space per child. 
Crisis nurseries provide short-term care and supervision for children under six years of age who are voluntarily placed for temporary care by a parent or legal guardian due to a family crisis or stressful situation. This bill ensures the safety and well-being of these young children, who require proper supervision and adequate space in a high-quality supervised environment. 
CSAC supports AB 2228, which enrolled and awaits the Governor’s action.

Homeless Assistance

AB 1733 (Quirk-Silva, Maienschein, Atkins) – Support 
Enrolled on August 27, 2014

AB 1733, by Assembly Members Sharon Quirk-Silva, Brian Maienschein and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, allows a fee waiver for a homeless person to obtain a certified certificate of live birth from the county registrar or recorder or an identification card from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
CSAC supports AB 1733. As the service provider of last resort for indigent Californians, counties deal with the effects of homelessness across our systems, including health, human services and public safety. AB 1733 will facilitate access for homeless people to services that are critical to helping them move towards self-sufficiency. Government and non-governmental entities fund a variety of services that help ensure the health and safety of homeless and low-income people. However, eligibility must be established in order to access these services, which often requires proof of identity with a birth record or valid identification card. Providing these services to homeless persons reduce costs to government and society overall, but particularly counties.
AB 1733 is enrolled and awaits the Governor’s action.

Public Hospitals and Health Systems

AB 2546 (Salas) – Support
Enrolled on August 21, 2014

AB 2546, by Assembly Member Rudy Salas, authorizes and provides a statutory framework for Kern County to form the Kern County Hospital Authority. The Hospital Authority positions Kern to evolve with the changing health care landscape and innovate to better serve its low-income residents. CSAC supports AB 2546, which is enrolled and awaits the Governor’s action.
AB 39 (Skinner) – Concerns
As Amended on August 20, 2014
AB 39, by Assembly Member Skinner would require the Department of Health Care Services to seek federal approval to add Doctors Medical Center to the list of designated public hospitals. CSAC appreciates the important role and unique challenges associated with Doctors Medical Center, which is a district hospital in San Pablo in Contra Costa County. CSAC raised a number of concerns regarding the precedent of expanding the number of designated public hospitals. 
AB 39 was held in Senate Rules Committee. However, SB 883 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review) was amended on August 30 to provide financial support for Doctors Medical Center. SB 883 would appropriate $3 million from the Major Risk Medical Insurance Fund to the West Contra Costa Healthcare District for support of the Doctors Medical Center. The measure passed off the Assembly and Senate floor early Saturday morning and is headed to the Governor.

AB 2731 (Perea) – Support
As Amended on August 28, 2014

AB 2731, but Assembly Member Perea, would defer the Proposition 42 maintenance of effort (MOE) payment for the County of Fresno until June 30, 2020. AB 2731 makes the deferral of the MOE contingent upon Fresno County using $5.5 million of funds that would otherwise be used meet the MOE requirement, to provide specialty medical services to medically indigent adults in conjunction with Federally Qualified Health Centers. 
CSAC supports AB 2731 which was passed on the last night of session and now awaits the Governor’s action.

In-home Supportive Services

SB 878 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review) – No position
As Amended on August 27, 2014

SB 878 is a budget trailer bill that makes a number of changes to In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) provider enrollment and orientation. Specific provisions include:

  • Effective immediately, IHSS provider orientation must include additional content on minimum wage and overtime pay, including paid travel time and wait time.
  • Beginning no later than April 1, 2015, provider orientation must be “on-site” and attended in person by prospective IHSS providers. Providers may attend the orientation only after completing the application for the IHSS provider enrollment process. Additionally, any oral presentation and written materials must be translated into all IHSS threshold languages in the county.
  • Effective April 1, 2015, representatives of the recognized employee organization in the county are permitted to make a presentation of up to 30 minutes at the orientation. Prior to this requirement taking effect, recognized employee organizations shall have the ability to make presentations at provider orientations as allowed as of September 1, 2014.

SB 878 includes an urgency clause that would take effect immediately upon signature by the Governor. Please recall that county costs for IHSS are capped by the IHSS MOE; if SB 878 results in additional costs, the state will bear costs above the MOE. SB 878, which represents an agreement between the Administration, labor and the Legislature, was passed by the Assembly on the last night of session and now awaits the Governor’s signature.

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