May 18, 2018 Edition

Fiscal Committees Face Deadline to Advance Bills Next Week

The Legislature maintained a busy hearing schedule this week, considering and taking action on a number of policy and budget items. Senate and Assembly Appropriations Committees will hold suspense file hearings next week in order to meet the May 25 deadline for fiscal committees to hear and report to the floor all fiscal bills introduced in their house of origin.

Below, we highlight an action taken on a bill of interest this week. For a full update, this week’s edition of the CHEAC Weekly Bill Chart is available here.

Drug & Alcohol Services

AB 2760 (Wood) as amended April 19, 2018 – Support

Assembly Member Jim Wood’s AB 2760 was heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee earlier this week. The measure would would require prescribers to educate their patients and the patients’ designee about naloxone hydrochloride or another opioid antagonist and would require a prescriber to offer a prescription for such a drug if a patient meets specified clinical or risk-based criteria. Despite opposition from provider groups, AB 2760 passed out of the committee on a unanimous vote and now moves on to the Assembly Floor.


Budget Subcommittees Hear May Revise Items and Close Out Issues

With last week’s release of the Governor’s May Revision, health and human services budget subcommittees worked hard to hear all May Revision items and closeout all issues previously heard but held open. The Senate concluded the work of the Subcommittee on Thursday, while the Assembly will convene a vote-only hearing on Thursday, May 24.

Upon the completion of the work of the subcommittees, each house will adopt their full budget and Conference Committee hearings will convene to reconcile issues where the Senate and Assembly Actions do not align.

Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 3 actions are noted below:

Proposition 56 – Local Tobacco Program and Oral Health Program Rollover. CHEAC has worked within a coalition of partners to advocate for the ability for local health departments to rollover unspent funding for both the Oral Health Program and Tobacco Program funding from Proposition 56 to subsequent years. The Administration’s May Revision proposed converting the accounts to continuous appropriations to do so. The subcommittee approved the transfer of the accounts related to oral health and local tobacco programs to continuous appropriations with the requirement to adopt placeholder language directing the California Department of Public Health to grant rollover for up to three years.

Elimination of 340B Drug Purchasing in Medi-Cal. The Administration’s May Revision maintained their proposal to eliminate 340B Drug Purchasing in Medi-Cal. The Administration estimated the savings to be merely $16.6 million in annual General Fund savings beginning in 2021.

The Subcommittee rejected the Administration’s proposal and instead encouraged the administration to collaborate with stakeholders to find a solution.

Additional items are highlighted in the table below:

SubjectItem Senate Sub. 3 Action
CalWORKs Home Visiting$158.5 million over three years to implement a home visiting program in CalWORKs. The Senate approved the placeholder trailer bill language and funding.Approved placeholder language and funding.
Fruits and Vegetables EBT PilotStakeholder request for $9 million one-time General Funds for the CalFresh Fruit and Vegetable EBT Pilot to increase consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables for low income residents in seven community-based pilots.Approved
Homeless Mentally Ill Outreach and TreatmentThe Governor’s May Revision proposed $50 million in one-time General Fund for the California Department of Public Health to provide counties with targeted funding for multi-disciplinary teams to support intensive outreach, treatment and related services for homeless individuals with mental illness.Approved with modification to allow cities with Whole Person Care Pilots to be eligible. Requires coordination with WPC administering agency.
Expanded Medi-Cal Eligibility for the Aged and Disabled$15 million General Fund in FY 2018-19 and $30 million annually to expand Medi-Cal eligibility to the aged and disabled, for incomes up to 138 percent of the poverty level beginning in January 2019.Approved
Medi-Cal Expansion for Adults over age 65 regardless of Immigration Status$75 million General Fund in FY 2018-19 and $150 ongoing to expand Medi-Cal to income-eligible adults over the age of 65 regardless of beginning in January 2019. Approved
Asthma Home Visiting$2 million ($1 m GF/$1m FF) to provide medically necessary asthma education and environmental trigger assessments for Medi-Cal beneficiaries with poorly controlled asthma. Approved
Restoration of Optional Benefits$16.6 million General Fund in FY 2018-19 and $41.4 million ongoing to restore key optional Medi-Cal benefits previously eliminated during the recession.Approved
BCCTP Treatment Limitations$8.4 million General Fund in 2018-19, $10.5 million in FY 2019-20, $8.5 million in FY 2020-21, $7.6 million in 2021-22 and $6.9 million ongoing to remove the limitations and expand coverage for the duration of the illness. Compliments SB 945 (Atkins) – CHEAC SupportedApproved
FQHC/RHC Same Day Visits$3 million General Fund in FY 2018-19 and $1.5 million ongoing to allow FQHCs and RHCs to be reimbursed separately for mental health services provided on the same day as a medical service. Approved
Mosquito SurveillanceProvide CDPH with $500,000 General Fund augmentation to fund the California Vector-borne Disease Surveillance System and grants for vector research. Approved
Valley FeverProvide CDPH with $2 million General Fund augmentation to fund research, awareness, education and patient care at the Valley Fever Institute at Kern Medical and $1 million General Fund augmentation for a Valley Fever Public awareness campaign. Approved

Sexually Transmitted Diseases Reach Record High in California

According to a report this week released by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), a record number of California residents were diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease (STD) in 2017. More than 300,000 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and early syphilis were reported last year, marking a 45 percent increase compared to rates five years ago and the highest number since at least 1990.

Of particular concern is the significant increase in stillbirths due to congenital syphilis. In 2017, there were 30 stillbirths, which is the highest number reported since 1995. California has the second highest rate of congenital syphilis in the U.S. behind Louisiana according to the most recent data available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The full CDPH report is available here.


CDPH Emergency Preparedness Office Seeks PHEP Award Nominations

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Emergency Preparedness Office (EPO) is seeking award nominations for local grant HPP, PHEP, and Pan Flu preparedness staff that have demonstrated commitment to, are an advocate for, or are a future leader in public health emergency management. Awardees will be announced during the CDPH annual Emergency Preparedness Training Workshop from June 18-20. Award categories include:

  • Rookie of the Year
  • Outstanding Leadership
  • Promising Practice
  • Innovative Solutions
  • Regional Collaboration

LHDs are encouraged to reflect on the outstanding efforts of preparedness staff and nominate deserving individuals by the end of the month. Additional information, including the nomination form, is available here.


CDPH Announces Two-Day Oral Health Summit in June

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Office of Oral Health will convene a two-day meeting from June 19-20 in Sacramento to launch the California Oral Health Plan 2018-2028 and bring together multiple sectors and disciplines to inspire continued collaboration and coordination for implementing the plan’s action steps.

Space is limited, and registration will be accepted until June 15 or until maximum capacity is met. Additional information and registration are available here.


Healthy People 2020 to Hold Oral Health Webinar Next Thursday

Healthy People 2020 will convene a webinar titled “Who’s Leading the Leading Health Indicators? Oral Health” on Thursday, May 24 from 9:00 am to 10:00 am. The webinar will feature progress made in Healthy People 2020 oral health indicators, as well as local examples from the Indian Health Service and two communities in Oklahoma. Additional information and registration is available here.