Bills of the 2015 Legislative Session
SB 346 (Wieckowski) Community Benefit at Private Non-Profit Hospitals. 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. Sets similar restrictions on the definition of “community benefit” programs. Improves 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.
SB 483 (Beall) General Acute Care Hospitals: Observation Services. This bill would limit the period of time a patient may be placed in observation to 24 hours, making it consistent with time limitations imposed on other outpatient settings. It would require hospitals to obtain approval from the state to provide care in “observation units” which would have to meet the same staffing standards, including licensed nurse-to-patient ratios, as emergency rooms. Additionally, it would require hospitals to provide notice to patients that observation services are “outpatient” services and third-party reimbursement may be impacted, and require hospitals to report observation services to the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.
Celebrate 15 Years of California's Nurse-to-Patient Ratios!
Nurses fought long and hard for nurse-to-patient ratios because nurses care for their patients. Listen as RNs who were directly involved in the struggle for ratios talk about the fight, and the excitement of winning one of the landmark patient gains in the country…and the ONLY patient ratios law in the United States.
Governor Gray Davis signed ratios into law in California in 1999. They were finally implemented in 2004 after a long fight to win safe staffing and quality patient care. Nurses even took on Gov. Schwarzenegger and won. Their story of persistence in the face of adversity is one of the great political tales of our time.
Find out more about CNA/NNOC/NNU's National Campaign for Safe RN-to-Patient Staffing Ratios.
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