February 16, 2018 Edition

Legislature Reaches Bill Introduction Deadline, Introduces Nearly 1000 Bills This Week

Today is the last day for the Legislature to introduce any new bills, resulting in nearly 1,000 bill proposals this week alone. The Senate and Assembly Desks are still open today and are expected to continue processing bill introductions into the weekend.

The CHEAC Legislative Committee will be considering all new public health-related measures that have been introduced this year during upcoming in-person meetings. As such, the CHEAC Weekly Bill Chart will begin to feature new bills impacting public health and local health departments. For now, this week’s bill chart is available here.

Hearing Focuses on Lead Poisoning Prevention among Medi-Cal Children

This week, the Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials held an oversight hearing on the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program and the status of testing low-Income children for lead exposure. The hearing featured California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director Karen Smith to provide an overview of the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (CLPPP) and public health activities related to case management and referrals, lab testing and data management, and provider education.

Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) Director Jennifer Kent discussed the process of tracking Medi-Cal childhood blood lead test data and the Department’s working relationship with health plans to capture this data. Members of the committee were particularly interested in the low rates of reported blood lead screening and testing activities for children in Medi-Cal and predominantly focused their questions around DHCS policies for providers and data capabilities.

Kent committed to revisiting and revising policies and procedures with health plans, working with CDPH on enhancing data systems and sharing, and improving communication with providers and other stakeholder entities to improve blood lead level screening rates among California’s low-income children.

The hearing also featured perspectives from the American Academy of Pediatrics and local lead poisoning prevention groups. Lead poisoning prevention is likely to be an increasing area of interest for the Legislature this year as evidenced by this week’s hearing and various lead-related bills that have been introduced this year. Additional information and materials from the hearing are available here.

President Trump Releases FY 2019 Budget

This week, President Donald Trump released his proposed FY 2019 Federal Budget. The $4.4 trillion budget calls for increases in military and defense spending, limits to federal funds for infrastructure improvements, stronger border protections, and an infusion of funds to address the opioid crisis. While the budget proposal offers an insight into the Trump Administration’s priorities, it virtually has no chance of being enacted into law. Recall last week, Congress agreed to a two-year budget deal that increases military and domestic program spending by nearly $300 billion over the next two years.

Trump’s budget proposal includes a number of health- and public health-related provisions. These include:

  • Assumes the passage of the Graham-Cassidy Proposal to repeal-and-replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which would largely convert all ACA funds to state-based block grants and implement per-capita spending caps
  • Cuts $878 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discretionary budget; significant program cuts include Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (-$44m), Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (-$60m), Chronic Disease and Health Promotion (-$138m), Birth Defects and Disabilities (-$26m), Injury Prevention and Control (-$18m), Public Health Scientific Services (-$26m), and Environmental Health (-$21m)
  • Eliminates the Preventative Health and Human Services Block Grant (funded solely with Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF))
  • Transfers the Strategic National Stockpile from the CDC to the Health and Human Services (HHS) Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response; transfers the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) from CDC to the National Institutes for Health (NIH)
  • Modifies Medicare prescription drug benefits to lower drug costs to beneficiaries and creates an out-of-pocket maximum
  • Provides $10 billion in funds to address the ongoing opioid crisis through prevention and treatment services
  • Cuts $688 million from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA); eliminates the Screening and Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) program, cuts other related prevention programs, increases the Substance Abuse and Prevention Block Grant by $13 million
  • Eliminates the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) which is tasked with researching and improving the effectiveness of health services; eliminates various health care training and workforce programs
  • Reduces Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) vouchers and introduces “USDA food packages” that would include shelf-stable food products and canned goods
  • Eliminates the Community Services Block Grant which provides $700 million in grants for various state-based health care, food, and workforce programs

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) FY 2019 Budget Brief is available here, the HHS budget tables are available here, and the CDC’s budget detail document is available here. The full White House budget proposal is available here.

Despite President Trump releasing his budget proposal, these figures and actions are highly unlikely to be enacted. As Congress continues to finalize the details of its two-year budget deal that will need to be enacted by mid-March, specifics to the FY 2019 federal budget will begin to emerge.

CHEAC Invites Workshop Proposals and Sponsorships for 2018 Annual Meeting

The 2018 CHEAC Annual Meeting will be held on October 17 – October 19 in Sacramento and will provide local health department leadership and staff throughout the state with networking and learning opportunities. This year’s conference theme is “Celebrating 30 Years of Improving the Health of All Californians” and will include keynote sessions with guest speakers and additional workshop opportunities to stimulate best practice sharing and discussion around significant issues impacting public health.

We are pleased to announce two opportunities for members and staff and key organizations to partner with us to strengthen the 2018 CHEAC Annual Meeting. We encourage CHEAC Members to circulate these opportunities to their networks as you deem appropriate.

Workshop Proposals

This year’s conference will feature expanded workshops offered to attendees by collaborating with key partners to host innovating and exciting workshop sessions. Approximately 15 workshops will be hosted between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm on Wednesday, October 17 and Thursday, October 18.

Interested parties may submit a workshop abstract proposal to CHEAC by COB on Friday, March 9. Additional information on workshop opportunities is available here.

Sponsorship Opportunity

CHEAC Annual Meeting sponsors are recognized for their valuable contribution and are welcome to network with local health department leadership and staff. Additional information on sponsorships is available here.

Further information about this year’s CHEAC Annual Meeting, including speakers, workshop, and registration details, will be provided in the coming months. We encourage you to check out our 2018 CHEAC Annual Meeting webpage here.

CDPH Invites Nominations for Excellence in Public Health Award

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is soliciting nominations for the 2018 Beverlee A. Myers Award for Excellence in Public Health. This award recognizes the contribution of public health and health care services professionals in improving the status of all Californians and the millions who visit the state each year.

Nominations must be received by CDPH by Wednesday, March 7, 2018, at 5:00 pm. This year’s award recipient will be recognized at a special awards ceremony in Sacramento on Thursday, April 5, 2018, as part of National Public Health Week. Additional information is available here.

Abstracts Solicited for CDPH-EMSA Emergency Preparedness Workshop

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) are hosting an emergency preparedness training workshop on June 18 – June 20, 2018. The training workshop is designed for local Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP), Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP), and Pandemic Influenza (Pan Flu) grant funded programs to receive training, enhance preparedness knowledge, and gather best practice information.

The CDPH-EMSA Planning Committee invites workshop and poster abstract submissions. Abstracts are encouraged that capture this year’s workshop theme, demonstrate lessons learned from recent events, and facilitate group discussions. The deadline to submit a proposal is Friday, March 16, and more information is available here.

Air Resources Board to Hold Public Workshop on Cap-and-Trade Regulations

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) will hold a public workshop on Friday, March 2, 2018, to discuss the potential amendments to Cap-and-Trade Regulations. The workshop will provide attendees with an update on the status of such amendments, discussion around potential changes based on recent CARB resolutions, and Legislative action around the regulations.

All interested stakeholders are invited to attend the workshop in-person in Sacramento or via webcast. Additional information is available here.

CDC Announces Grant Opportunities Available to LHDs

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Office of State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Health (OSTLTS) recently announced two grant opportunities available to local health departments:

  • Technical Assistance for Response to Public Health or Healthcare Crises – Funding available to governmental health departments and other eligible organizations related to public health emergency response. Due Friday, March 16, 2018; more information available here.
  • Strengthening Public Health Systems and Services through National Partnerships to Improve and Protect the Nation’s Health – Funding available to improve public health infrastructure and delivery of essential services through capacity building assistance. Due March 29, 2018; more information available here.