Bill Tracker

May 7 was the deadline for bills to make it out of policy committee; legislative activity is now focused on the Appropriations committees and the floors. The last day to move bills out of Appropriations is May 21. As CHA continues to work on its legislative agenda, this page will be updated weekly with legislation of particular interest to hospitals.

Pending

Placed on Assembly Suspense file May 12

AB 4 (Arambula, D-Fresno)

Support

AB 4 would extend eligibility for full Medi-Cal benefits to anyone, regardless of age, who is otherwise eligible for those benefits but for their immigration status.

Two-year bill

AB 1400 (Kalra, D-San Jose)

Oppose

Also known as the California Guaranteed Health Care for All Act, or CalCare, AB 1400 would create a comprehensive universal single-payer health care coverage program in California. It would cover a wide range of medical benefits and services and require a governing board to seek all waivers necessary and allow existing federal health care payments to be paid to CalCare. Sponsored by the California Nurses Association. This bill is not scheduled to be heard before the deadline to pass its policy committee.

Placed on Assembly Suspense file April 28

AB 1130 (Wood, D-Santa Rosa)

Oppose Unless Amended

AB 1130 would establish, within the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD), an Office of Health Care Affordability. The office would analyze the health care market for cost trends and drivers, develop policies for lowering health care spending costs for consumers, set and enforce cost targets, and create a state strategy for controlling the cost of health care and ensuring affordability for consumers and purchasers. Also released by the administration on Feb. 18 was budget trailer bill language, similar to AB 1130, that would establish an Office of Health Care Affordability within OSHPD.

Pending

Placed on Assembly Suspense file April 28

AB 1331 (Irwin, D-Thousand Oaks)

Cosponsor

AB 1331 would establish, under the Department of Health Care Services, a full-time statewide director of crisis services. The director would be responsible for various tasks, including coordinating behavioral health programs and services statewide, to ensure continuity of services and access points and to enhance cross-agency information exchange and resource sharing. CHA is cosponsoring this bill with NAMI California.

Pending

Placed on Senate Suspense file May 10

SB 379 Wiener (D-San Francisco)

Oppose

SB 379 would prohibit the University of California (UC) from entering, amending, or renewing any contract with any health facility in which a UC health care practitioner or trainee providing care in the facility under that contract would be limited, due to policy-based restrictions on care, in their ability to provide patients with medical information or medical services.

Pending

Placed on Assembly Suspense file April 27

AB 1204 (Wicks, D-Oakland)

Oppose Unless Amended

AB 1204 would add new categories to the definition of vulnerable communities for community benefits reporting purposes. It would require hospitals and provider groups to annually submit an equity report that includes analyses of health status and access to care disparities for patients on the basis of race, ethnicity, and payer, and of employment disparities for employees on the basis of race, ethnicity, and gender. It would also require plans for addressing those disparities. 

Placed on Assembly Suspense file May 5

AB 1020 (Friedman, D-Glendale)

Oppose Unless Amended

AB 1020, pertaining to charity care, would require that uninsured patients or patients with high medical costs who are at or below 400% of the federal poverty level (FPL) be eligible for charity care or discount payments from a hospital. Current law requires charity care or discounted care to be provided at 350% FPL. In addition, the bill would authorize a hospital to grant eligibility for charity care or discount payments to patients with incomes over 400% of the FPL. The bill would also require the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development to impose an administrative penalty against a hospital that improperly bills a patient. CHA is working with the author’s office and the sponsors on amendments to the bill.

Pending

Placed on Assembly Suspense file May 12

AB 1105 (Rodriguez, D-Pomona)

Oppose

AB 1105 would require general acute care hospitals to provide personal protective equipment to direct patient care employees and employees who directly support patient care, regardless of their vaccination status. It would also require general acute care hospitals to develop and implement a program to offer weekly COVID-19 screening, testing, and notification. In addition, it would require hospitals to test all patients for COVID-19 prior to admission to the hospital.

Placed on Assembly Suspense file May 12

AB 650 (Muratsuchi, D-Torrance)

Oppose

AB 650 would require hospitals — except state and county hospitals — and private health care employers with 100 or more employees to pay quarterly “hazard pay retention bonuses” of $2,500 for full-time employees, $1,500 for part-time employees, and $1,000 for other employees who provide direct patient care or services directly supporting patient care (including housekeeping staff, security guards, food services workers, laundry workers, nonmanagerial administrative staff, and physicians) if they are employees of a health care provider. These bonus payments would be required to be paid on the first day of January, April, July, and October in 2022.

Pending

To be heard in Senate Appropriations Committee May 17

SB 637 (Newman, D-Fullerton)

Oppose Unless Amended

SB 637 would require hospitals to report to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) on a weekly basis during any health-related state of emergency the number of suspected and confirmed COVID-19-positive staff and any COVID-19 staff deaths; whether the hospital is experiencing a nurse staffing shortage; and whether there have been any nurse layoffs, furloughs or repeated cancelled shifts. At other times, hospitals would be required to report that information to CDPH on a monthly basis. This information would be publicly posted by the department. Additionally, the bill would require hospitals to post program flex approvals next to the hospital license. This bill is sponsored by the California Nurses Association. 

Pending

Placed on Assembly Suspense file May 5

AB 1162 (Villapudua, D-Stockton)

Sponsor

AB 1162 would clarify that the Department of Managed Health Care can require health plans to take certain actions during disasters, such as extending deadlines to file claims or suspending limitations on prescription refills. The bill would also codify fair and reasonable payment practices (require health plans to pay claims as soon as possible, within a maximum of 20 calendar days, unless the claim is contested or denied) and eliminate some administrative burdens in how health plans process claims payments to hospitals.

Pending

To be heard in Assembly Appropriations Committee May 19

AB 1132 (Wood, D-Santa Rosa)

No Position

Under existing law, a demonstration project known as the Coordinated Care Initiative (CCI) enables beneficiaries who are dually eligible for Medi-Cal and Medicare to receive a continuum of services that maximizes access to, and coordination of, benefits between these programs. This bill would make certain portions of the CCI effective only through Dec. 31, 2022, and would repeal its provisions on Jan. 1, 2025.

Pending

Placed on Senate Suspense file April 20

SB 371 (Caballero, D-Salinas)

Support

SB 371, sponsored by the California Medical Association, was amended with the goal of creating a health information exchange (HIE) “network of networks” that aligns with federal guidelines and builds upon the existing HIE infrastructure. In addition, the bill would re-establish the deputy secretary of health information technology position and seeks to modernize California’s public health infrastructure. CHA moved to a support position and anticipates that this conversation will continue to evolve.

Placed on Assembly Suspense file April 28

AB 1131 (Wood, D-Santa Rosa)

Oppose Unless Amended

AB 1131 would establish a statewide health information exchange network governing board of five members to be appointed by the governor and Legislature. This board would convene a health technology advisory committee of 11-14 members, and would issue a request for proposal to select a company to operate the statewide health information network (HIN). The HIN would have the ability to aggregate data from multiple provider and payer sources; support the electronic exchange of health information among providers and payers; and analyze data and produce reports on health care costs, access, equity, and quality. Hospitals, skilled-nursing facilities, and physician practices with more than 10 physicians would be required to share information with the HIN if they use certified electronic health record technology. Labs and payers would also be required to share information with the HIN, regardless of the technology they use.

Pending

To be heard in Senate Appropriations Committee May 17

SB 642 (Kamlager, D-Los Angeles)

Oppose

SB 642 would prohibit health facilities from requiring a doctor to comply with policies or criteria, which are not explicitly ratified or promulgated by the medical staff, that directly or indirectly prohibit or restrict the doctor from providing a particular medical treatment or service that falls within the scope of the doctor’s privileges. For nonprofit transactions subject to Attorney General review, this bill would also add to the factors that may be considered by the Attorney General in determining whether to consent to the transaction and whether it would create a reduction or limitation in the availability of the full range of health care services, including reproductive and end-of-life care, to any group of individuals based on their membership in a protected class.

Pending

Placed on Assembly Suspense file May 5

AB 1422 (Gabriel, D-Woodland Hills)

Oppose Unless Amended

AB 1422 would authorize the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to grant a hospital’s program flexibility request relating to nurse-to-patient ratios, but only after CDPH completes a process that includes, among other things, a 40-day public comment period. Hospitals would be required to submit to CDPH, and make publicly available, supporting evidence that includes documentation establishing the need for program flexibility and that the proposed alternative will not compromise patient care.

Pending

Placed on Assembly Suspense file May 12

AB 32 (Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters)

Support

AB 32 would ensure that federally qualified health centers and rural health clinics are reimbursed for telehealth and telephonic care that is clinically appropriate and necessary. This measure will continue to drive health care innovation in California and help guarantee there is no gap in access to telephone visits between the termination of the public health emergency and the implementation of an alternative payment model in the coming years.

Pending

Placed on Senate Suspense file April 20

SB 213 (Cortese, D-Silicon Valley)

Oppose as Amended

SB 213 would define “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, respiratory diseases, and now COVID-19. The bill would also create rebuttable presumptions that these injuries that develop or manifest in hospital employees arose out of and in the course of employment and would extend the presumptions for specified time periods after the hospital employee’s termination of employment.