Health and Human Services

Major health legislation enacted this year included SB 162 (Ortiz) enacting the California Public Health Act of 2006, establishing a new Department of Public Health, requiring the Governor to appoint a public health officer, and renaming the Department of Health Services as the Department of Health Care Services, and SB 1379 (Perata) establishing the California Environmental Containment Biomonitoring Program.

Other significant Senate health legislation enacted this session included SB 144 (Runner) repealing and reenacting the existing California Uniform Retail Food Facilities Law as the substantive changes by modeling California’s code after the federal model food code and bases the new code on the best available science; SB 156 (Soto) facilitating the development of appropriate curriculum and making terrorism preparedness training available to California fire services first responders as quickly as possible; SB 246 (Figueroa) requiring a hospital that collects or stores human milk collected from a mother exclusively for her own child to comply with specified standards until or unless the Department of Health Services approves alternative standards; SB 258 (Chesbro) authorizing the Department of Mental Health to include information on a grave marker for any person being memorialized at a state hospital or developmental center and who was buried by the state; SB 299 (Chesbro) allowing dentists who are licensed in other states to be licensed in California, without regard to clinical experience, provided that a dentist with less than five years clinical experience agrees to practice in a safety-net setting, or dental school, for at least two years; SB 437 (Escutia) establishing the Healthy Families Presumptive Eligibility Program for children who appear to meet the income requirements of Healthy Families and were receiving but are no longer eligible for Medi-Cal without a share of cost or are eligible for Medi-Cal with share of cost; SB 438 (Migden) authorizing oral and maxillofacial surgeons licensed by the dental board, who are not also licensed as physicians by the Medical Board of California, to perform elective facial cosmetic surgery, as specified; SB 458 (Speier) permitting county operated health systems (COHS) to offer coverage to public agencies, private businesses, and others in the COHS’ county of origin, another county, or both; SB 611 (Speier) requiring a meat or poultry supplier, distributor, broker or processor to immediately notify the Department of Health Services, as specified, when meat or poultry products they sell are subject to a Class I or Class II recall by the United State Department of Agriculture; SB 676 (Ashburn) permitting the Department of Mental Health Services to establish per diem or bundled reimbursement rates for pharmacies that provide home infusion supplies and services that are budget neutral; SB 678 (Ducheny) revising and recasting the portions of the Family, Probate, and Welfare and Institutions Codes that address Indian child custody proceedings by codifying into state law various provisions of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act, the Bureau of Indian Affairs Guidelines for State Courts, and state Rules of Court; SB 699 (Soto) requiring HIV cases to be reported to the local health officer by name rather than by code and requiring local health officers to report HIV cases by name to the Department of Health Services; SB 739 (Speier) requiring the Department of Health Services to appoint a healthcare associated infection (HAI) advisory committee by July 1, 2007, to make recommendations regarding reporting cases of HAI in hospitals; SB 912 (Ducheny) eliminating the existing five percent reduction in many Medi-Cal provider payments and making an appropriation from the General Fund and the Federal Trust Fund; SB 1233 (Perata) and AB 132 (Nunez) extending the authority of the Department of Health Services to provide up to May 16, 2006, drug benefits to beneficiaries dually eligible for Medi-Cal and Medicare who are unable to obtain drug benefits from their Medicare prescription drug plan; SB 1260 (Ortiz) deleting the sunset dates of certain provisions in existing law relating to the derivation or use of human embryonic stem cell research, and establishing guidelines relating to egg donation for stem cell research funded outside of Proposition 71; SB 1307 (Poochigian) conforming state law to the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act by allowing a physician to disclose medical information to a health care agent, as specified; SB 1376 (Chesbro) revising the funding distribution formula for the Community Services Block Grant fund, allowing an increase in the base funding; SB 1430 (Alquist) enacting the Local Pandemic and Emergency Health Preparedness Act of 2006; SB 1448 (Kuehl) establishing the Health Care Coverage Initiative; SB 1469 (Cedillo) requiring, beginning January 1, 2008, county juvenile detention facilities to notify county welfare departments about the release of a ward so that eligibility for Medi-Cal can be determined; SB 1500 (Speier) establishing the Methamphetamine Deterrence Program which requires the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs to develop and implement a statewide prevention campaign to deter the abuse of methamphetamine in California; SB 1528 (Bowen) providing that home infusion treatments with tocolytic agents for pregnant women are covered under the Medi-Cal program, subject to utilization controls and guidelines or protocols; SB 1541 (Ducheny) creating work experience pathway for licensure as a specialty registered dental assistant; SB 1555 (Speier) requiring the department of Health Services to expand prenatal screening, and increasing prenatal screening fees by $50, $10 of which goes to support pregnancy blood activities of the Birth Defects Monitoring Program and $40 of which expands prenatal screening; SB 1596 (Runner) establishing the Nurse-Family Partnership program to be administered by the Department of Health Services; SB 1638 (Figueroa) requiring the Medical Board of California to create and appoint a Midwifery Advisory Council; SB 1702 (Speier) extending the Guaranteed Issue Program which is a companion to the Major Risk Medical Insurance Program for four years; SB 1704 (Kuehl) requesting the University of California to establish the California Health Benefit Review Program to assess legislation proposing to mandate a benefit or service, as defined, and legislation proposing to repeal a mandated service or benefit; SB 1773 (Alarcon) authorizing counties to elect to levy an additional $2 for every $10 in base fines for purposes of supporting emergency medical services, and requiring the additional assessment to be deposited in local Maddy emergency medical services funds; SB 1838 (Perata) authorizing the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) to establish a training program for personnel who review hospital construction and design plans, exempting hospital and skilled nursing facility projects that cost less than $50,000 from the OSHPD plan review process, and requiring a presubmittal meeting with OSHPD plan review staff on hospital and skilled nursing facility projects costing over $20 million; and SB 1851 (Senate Health Committee) requiring a physician and surgeon, upon a diagnosis of breast cancer, to provide the summary of alternative efficacious methods of treatment for breast cancer, permitting the physician and surgeon to choose to provide the summary prior to performance of a screening or biopsy.

Major Assembly health legislation enacted included AB 576 (Wolk) allowing for interstate sharing of immigration registry data for families moving in and out of California; AB 631 (Leno) creating a licensing category for mobile narcotic treatment programs; AB 633 (Benoit) increasing the number, scope, and mode of notifications that child care facilities would be required to provide to parents after inspections, citations, and other communications from licensing personnel; AB 699 (Chan) requiring manufacturers and distributors of flu vaccine and nonprofit service plans that contract with a single medical group to report information about flu vaccine sold in California; AB 774 (Chan) requiring hospitals to develop and implement policies providing discounted payments or charity care for poor uninsured or underinsured individuals; AB 813 (Nunez) extending Medi-Cal emergency drug coverage, with specified limitations, for individuals dually eligible for Medicare and Medi-Cal until January 31, 2007; AB 874 (Wolk) enacting the Avian Wildlife Surveillance Act; AB 959 (Runner) expanding eligibility for supplemental Medi-Cal reimbursements to state veteran’s homes and to clinics owned or operated by the state, cities, counties, the University of California, and health care districts; AB 1144 (Harman) sunsetting state standards on playground safety by January 1, 2008; AB 1745 (Chan) requiring the Department of Health Services to develop, as a pilot project, a pediatric palliative care benefit covered under Medi-Cal; AB 1807 (Assembly Budget Committee) enacting the Health Budget Trailer Bill; AB 1808 (Assembly Budget Committee) enacting the Human Services Budget Trailer Bill; AB 1880 (Blakeslee) requiring the Department of Mental Health to adopt regulations prohibiting the use of tobacco products by patients in all state hospitals, as specified; AB 1920 (Chan) extending for a second year, the methodology for distributing stabilization funding to designated public hospitals as defined in the Medi-Cal Hospital/Uninsured Hospital Care Demonstration Project Act established by SB 1100 (Perata/Ducheny), Chapter 560, Statutes of 2005; AB 1948 (Montanez) requiring the Department of Health Services to conduct a feasibility study on the use of an electronic application to simultaneously apply for pre-enrollment and enrollment into the Medi-Cal or Healthy Families Program; AB 1953 (Chan) tightening standards that pipes and other plumbing parts must meet in order to be termed “lead free”; AB 2012 (Emmerson) requiring health plans and health insurers that currently must offer coverage of orthotic and prosthetic devices and services to offer that coverage with annual and lifetime benefit maximums and maximum out-of-pocket costs equal to those of other benefits; AB 2060 (De La Torre) establishing the Naturalization Services Program; AB 2067 (Oropeza) expanding the definition of “enclosed spaces” of employment where smoking is prohibited; AB 2196 (Spitzer) requiring child care facilities to give parents information regarding Internet-based state web sites with information about registered sex offenders; AB 2198 (Houston) revising and recasting existing law relating to the prescribing or administration of drugs for the treatment or management of pain; AB 2214 (Tran) establishing the Asian Traditional Food Act; AB 2251 (Evans) enacting the Online Privacy for Reproductive Health Services Providers, Employees, Volunteers and Patients Act; AB 2280 (Leno) expanding authorization for patient-delivered therapy currently allowed for the sex partners of persons diagnosed with chlamydia to also include partners of those diagnosed with gonorrhea; AB 2283 (Oropeza) seeking to determine the number of doctors with cultural and linguistic competency practicing in California; AB 2342 (Nakanishi) requiring the Medical Board of California in conjunction with the Health Professions Education Foundation, to study the issue of its providing medical malpractice insurance to physicians who provide voluntary, unpaid services; AB 2357 (Karnette) extending the sunset date of the Assisted Outpatient Treatment Demonstration Project Act of 2002 from January 1, 2008 to January 1, 2013; AB 2373 (Aghazarian) expanding the use of automated drug delivery systems in nursing facilities; AB 2384 (Leno) establishing a Healthy Food Purchase pilot program to increase the sale of fresh fruits and vegetables in low-income communities; AB 2466 (Daucher) excluding specified retirement and college savings accounts as countable resources for purposes of CalWORKS eligibility; AB 2560 (Ridley-Thomas) requiring the Department of Health Services, in conjunction with the Department of Education, to establish a Public School Health Center Support Program; AB 2583 (Nation) requiring the Board of Pharmacy to include, within an existing consumer notice, a statement that describes a patient’s right to timely access to prescribed drugs and devices, even if the pharmacist refuses to dispense based on ethical, moral, or religious grounds; AB 2609 (Evans) increasing the required training for staff at residential care facilities for the elderly who assist residents with self-administration of medication; AB 2631 (Laird) requiring the Department of Health Services and the Medi-Cal fiscal intermediary to adhere to specified time frames for establishing utilization policies and reimbursement coding for certain injectable drugs; AB 2651 (Jones) requiring every general acute care hospital that has not been approved by the California Children Services and with licensed perinatal services to administer a hearing screening test to every newborn; AB 2805 (Blakeslee) allowing an individual to create a legally valid electronic advanced health care directive; AB 2844 (Nation) establishing the California veterans Mental Health Services Act of 2006; AB 2861 (Ridley-Thomas) increasing the penalties for a person who fails to abate a lead hazard after receiving an order from an enforcement agency; AB 2870 (De La Torre) expanding existing provisions of law regarding medical testing of prisoners to include “other infections, contagious, or communicable disease”; AB 2877 (Frommer) requiring the Department of Health Services to establish a web site to facilitate purchasing prescription drugs at reduced prices; AB 2889 (Frommer) requiring health plans and health insurers providing coverage in the individual health insurance market to allow an enrollee to transfer to another individual health plan or policy of equal or lesser benefits, as determined by the plan or insurer, without undergoing medical underwriting; AB 2911 (Nunez) establishing the California Discount Prescription Drug Program; AB 2918 (Wolk) allowing Medi-Cal county organized health systems to provide health care services for non-Medi-Cal and non-Medicare individuals or groups; AB 2920 (Leno) requiring the Department of Aging to ensure equal access to programs and services funded through the Older Americans Act and that all programs administered by the department and the Area Agencies on Aging account for the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender elders; AB 2977 (Mullin) enacting the Swimming Pool and Spa Act of 2006; AB 2986 (Mullin) adding specified additional information to the requirements for a physician to prescribe a controlled substance, and requiring electronic monitoring of Schedule IV drugs; AB 2990 (Levine) requiring Multipurpose Senior Centers and Senior Centers to develop and maintain a written emergency operations plan; and AB 3013 (Koretz) amending the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act to better conform to confidentiality provisions of the health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Vetoed Senate health legislation of note included SB 187 (Soto) allowing the Department of Health Services to consider potential health effects in assessing economic feasibility for maximum containment levels; SB 212 (Lowenthal) modifying the state’s existing driver safety law relating to a physician’s duty to report any patient the physician has diagnosed as having a disorder characterized by lapses of consciousness that might result in traffic accidents; SB 840 (Kuehl) creating the California Health Insurance System, a single payer health care system; SB 849 (Escutia) requiring the Department of Health Services and the California Environmental Protection Agency to establish the Interagency Office of Environmental Health Tracking; SB 1204 (Perata) requiring each general acute care hospital to establish a health care worker back injury prevention plan; SB 1220 (Migden) creating an influenza vaccine purchasing and distribution program for smaller physician practices within the Department of Health Services; SB 1223 (Scott) requiring health care service plans and health insurers to offer or provide coverage for hearing aids to all enrollees and subscribers less than 18 years of age; SB 1288 (Cedillo) including, as covered services under Drug Medi-Cal residential drug and alcohol treatment services, and the services described in the Youth Treatment Guidelines, issued by the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, in an effort to work towards a continuum of care for youth; SB 1339 (Romero) requiring the Emergency Medical Services Authority to create a working group to design a study to assess the adequacy of the state’s emergency and trauma care system; SB 1356 (Lowenthal) requiring the Department of Mental Health to adopt and distribute a statewide strategic plan for suicide prevention; SB 1414 (Migden) enacting the California Fair Share Health Care Act; SB 1435 (Ortiz) requiring the Department of Social Services to conduct a pilot project to study the expansion of In-Home Supportive Services to consumers not currently financially eligible for these services; SB 1472 (Figueroa) creating California Dental Hygiene Bureau; SB 1616 (Kuehl) requiring the Division of Juvenile Justice of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, to work with the Social Security Administration and the Department of Health Services to ensure that disabled wards are enrolled in Medi-Cal and that their disability benefits are available to them when they are released from incarceration at a state institution; SB 1660 (Romero) establishing state participating in wages and benefits for In-Home Supportive Services at $12.10 per hour; SB 1822 (Bowen) requiring the Governor to appoint a task force to analyze the state’s current efforts to educate and recruit individuals to become organ, tissue, or bone marrow donors; and SB 1825 (Migden) counting participation in an educational program as a work activity in CalWORKS when the person has submitted a timely application to a qualifying educational program and is awaiting acceptance to that program.

Vetoed Assembly health and human services legislation of note included AB 264 (Chan) requiring health plans that cover outpatient prescription drugs to cover certain forms of outpatient pediatric asthma self-management training and education; AB 1062 (Saldana) expanding disclosures to, and rights of, subjects of biomonitoring experimentation; AB 1478 (Frommer) requiring the Department of Developmental Services to develop guidelines for the treatment of autism in California; AB 1601 (Laird) adding aunts and uncles to the set of persons who must undergo criminal record and child abuse central index clearances to be paid for caring for state-subsidized children; AB 1840 (J. Horton) requiring the Department of Health Services and the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board to annually collaborate in preparing a report that identifies all employers who have 25 or more employees enrolled in the Medi-Cal, Healthy Families and Access for Infants and Mothers programs; AB 1873 (Torrico) allowing the safe surrender of a baby up to 30 days old, rather than 72 hours, under the Safely Surrendered Baby Program; AB 1956 (S. Horton) enacting the Real-Time Disease Detection, Mapping, and Rapid Response Act; AB 2004 (Yee) requiring the Department of Health Services, in the case of a minor who has been incarcerated, to suspend the minor’s Medi-Cal benefits but not end the minor’s Medi-Cal eligibility; AB 2170 (Chan) requiring the Office of Patient Advocate within the Department of Managed Care to include information on the quality of care and access provided by Medicare drug plans and prescription drug plans under Medicare Part D; AB 2192 (Bass) allowing persons convicted of felony crimes involving the use or possession of drugs to qualify for CalWORKS under specified conditions; AB 2205 (Evans) requiring the Department of Social Services to establish categorical eligibility for food stamp benefits for Medi-Cal recipients who are eligible for services funded by the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant; AB 2308 (Plescia) requiring the Department of Health Services to convene a working group to develop licensure criteria to protect patients receiving care in ambulatory surgical centers; AB 2317 (Koretz) requiring the Department of Health Services to conduct the Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders Community Awareness Campaign; AB 2359 (Oropeza) requiring the Department of Heath Services to develop an ionizing radiation awareness section on its web site that includes a downloadable x-ray record card; AB 2360 (Lieu) restricting the sale, lease, and distribution of ultrasound diagnostic imaging machines to licensed medical providers; AB 2469 (Evans) allowing eligible counties to request advanced payments from the Sales Tax Growth Account to fund in-home supportive services program expansion; AB 2486 (Ridley-Thomas) allowing e-mail background checks of newly hired In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) employees and prohibited assessment of the costs of those checks to IHSS workers on consumers; AB 2556 (Jones) declaring a legislative goal of halving child poverty by January 1, 2016, and eliminating it by January 1, 2026; AB 2584 (De La Torre) requiring the Department of Health Services and local public health departments, when conducting emergency or disaster preparedness exercises relating to the outbreak of an infectious disease; AB 2742 (Nava) requiring family planning services provided under Medi-Cal to be identical to those required to the Family Planning, Access, Care, and Treatment Program; AB 2836 (Karnette) requiring residential care facilities for the elderly that house or care for four or more clients or residents, to have an approved operable automatic fire sprinkler system on and after January 1, 2014, if they are licensed as of January 1, 2010; AB 3014 (Koretz) defining “Asian massage”; and AB 3048 (Dymally) allowing In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) providers to be paid for providing assistance to IHSS consumers at medical appointments.

NOTE: Proposition 86 on the 2006 November General Election ballot imposes an additional $2.60 per pack excise tax on cigarettes to fund various health programs, children’s health coverage and tobacco-related programs and Proposition 85 prohibits abortion for unemancipated minors until 48 hours after a doctor notifies a minor’s parents/guardian, except in a medical emergency or with parental waiver. (Both placed on the ballot by initiative.)