Bills of the 2014 Legislative Session
PATIENT BILL OF RIGHTS:
AB 503, AB 2533, SB 1269 (CNA sponsored) along with SB 1182 and SB 1005
Urge CA legislators to support these important reforms for patient safety
- AB 503 (Wiekowski-Bonta) Charity Care. The bill would clearly define what constitutes charity care which must be direct provision of care to the uninsured or underinsured, not promotional activities, marketing, cost containment, or other activities more intended to generate profit. Set similar restrictions on the definition of “community benefit” programs. Improve reporting requirements for greater public transparency in how hospitals are meeting their charity care obligation, with financial penalties for hospitals that fail to meet reporting requirements. REPORT: California Non-Profit Hospitals Save Billions While Providing Little Charity Care
- AB 2533 (Ammiano) Patient Choice Bill. This billwould expand balance billing protections to patients receiving any type of service from an out-of-network provider when that out-of-network service is sought because of any of the following: the patient is unable to obtain the service in a timely manner from an in-network provider; the out-of-network service is medically necessary but not provided by an in-network provider; the service provided by the out-of-network provider is unavailable from in-network providers or is materially different and more clinically beneficial than the service the enrollee would receive in-network.
- SB 1269 (Beall) Observation and Outpatient Surgical Standards. The bill would improve safety standards for hospital outpatient surgery settings, and so-called “observation” units. Specifically, the bill would requiring observation services to be licensed by the Department of Public Health, limit a patient’s stay in observation to 24 hours, require patients to be notified that they are in observation (and not admitted as an inpatient), and require observation services to be staffed at the same nurse-to-patient ratio required in emergency rooms. Further, as more and more surgical procedures of higher complexity are performed on an outpatient basis, the bill would also require hospital outpatient surgical settings to be staffed at the same level of inpatient surgical settings.
- SB 1182 (Leno) Expanding Rate Review of Insurance Premium Increases to Large Groups. Rate Review for Large Groups Mandates that Large Group health insurance plans (self-insured or HMOs) file rate information with the Department of Insurance (self-insured plans), or the Department of Managed Health Care (HMOs) at least 60 days prior to implementing a rate increase that exceeds 5% of the prior year’s rate. Insurers must give Large Group purchasers their utilization data, if asked.
- SB 1005 (Lara) Expanding Medi-Cal to Income-Qualified Undocumented Immigrants. Expands Medi-Cal benefits to undocumented immigrants who would otherwise not qualify.
SB 1299 (CNA sponsored) and AB 2616
SB 1299 (Padilla) Workplace Violence. To address the growing problem of workplace violence in California hospitals, this bill would direct CalOSHA to develop a regulatory standard on workplace violence requiring hospitals establish workplace violence prevention plans that include strong provisions to protect health care workers and other facility personnel from aggressive and violent behavior, including interactive personnel education and training; systems to assess and improve factors that contribute to violence in the hospital, including sufficiency of security and staffing; provisions protecting an employee’s right to seek help from law enforcement; and, requirements for hospitals to document and report incidents of violence to Cal/OSHA. The bill would also require Cal/OSHA to post a report on its website containing information regarding violent incidents at hospitals and to make recommendations on how to prevent violent incidents at hospitals.
AB 2616 (Skinner) seeks to establish a rebuttal presumption for workers’ compensation when an acute care hospital employee who provides direct patient care contracts a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) skin infection and presumes these ailments were contracted through employment. AB 2616 seeks to cover MRSA skin infections and covers employees post-employment for 60 days. CNA feels strongly that registered nurses and healthcare workers must be protected after providing critical services to their communities. We believe this can best be accomplished by providing these workers with rebuttal presumption for workers’ compensation for healthcare workers who contract MRSA skin infections.
SB 189 (Monning) Wellness Program. This bill, would prohibit until 2020, a health care service plan or health insurer from offering a wellness program in connection with a group health care service plan contract or group health insurance policy, or offering an incentive or reward under a group health care service plan contract or group health insurance policy.
SB 455 (Hernandez) Patient Classification System (PCS). Most of our members work in hospitals that are subject the nurse-to-patient ratios established by AB 394 (Kuehl, Chapter 954, Statutes of 1999). AB 394 specifically references the PCS, which is an integral part of minimum safe staffing standards, and makes maintaining, reviewing and staffing according to the PCS a current requirement for general acute care hospitals (GACH). We are strongly concerned about the potential for SB 455 (sponsored by AFSCME), to weaken existing hospital regulations governing PCS hospital staffing tools by requiring CDPH to adopt and review PCS regulations that already exist. Proponents argue that the real crux of the bill is to ensure that union represented hospitals put union friendly nurses on PCS committees. The bill is unnecessary as union participation in PCS review committees can be achieved through collective bargaining. It’s an inappropriate use of statute to go through the legislature to achieve what should be done at the bargaining table.
SB 492 (Hernandez) Optometrists Spot Bill. This bill seeks to increase the scope of practice of Optometrists.
AB 291 (Nestande) Joint Sunset Review. This bill would abolish the Joint Sunset Review Process. This process is a legislative committee that looks waste, duplication and inefficiencies in California’s government agencies. This bill would instead turf that process to the Administration.
SB 554 (Anderson) Employment Overtime. Changes overtime compensation for employees of 24-hour nonmedical out-of-home licensed residential facilities.
SB 607 (Berryhill) Employment, working hours. This bill would permit an individual nonexempt employee to request an employee-selected flexible work schedule providing for workdays up to 10 hours per day within a 40-hour workweek, and would allow the employer to implement this schedule without the obligation to pay overtime compensation for those additional hours in a workday.
AB 1243 (Hueso) Independent Contractors. Changes the law to presume taxi cab drivers are independent contracts and ineligible to organize.
AB 864 (Skinner) Athletic Trainers. This bill would license athletic trainers.
AB 213 (Logue) Licensure and Certification for Military Personnel. Requires boards to accept education, training, and practical experience toward licensure qualification.
AB 390 (Logue) – Telemedicine. Spot bill likely on telehealth
AB 689 (Bonta) – Flu Vaccine. Requires hospitals to offer flu vaccine to all patients at discharge
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