CHEAC Legislative Committee Reviews Additional Bills, Takes Positions

The California Legislature continues to ramp up its hearing activities with a considerable amount of bills set for their first policy committee hearings over the coming weeks. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon announced the appointment of Assembly Member Eloise Gómez Reyes as acting chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on Health and Human Services in light of the leave of absence taken by Assembly Member Joaquin Arambula.

On Wednesday, the CHEAC Legislative Committee once again met in-person to review over 70 legislative bills impacting local health departments and public health. The Legislative Committee identified and took positions on a number of measures spanning CHEAC’s Legislative Platform areas including Health Coverage/Health Care Reform, Environmental Health, and Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health Services.

CHEAC’s Weekly Bill Chart is available here. Below, we highlight several new measures of interest to CHEAC Members that also appear on the bill chart.

Access to Health Services

AB 1494 (Aguiar-Curry) as introduced on February 22, 2019 – SUPPORT

Assembly Member Cecilia Aguiar-Curry’s AB 1494 would require Medi-Cal reimbursement for services provided by community clinics or FFS providers via telehealth, telephone, or off-site (such as a shelter or home) during and within 90 days after a state of emergency.

Drug & Alcohol Services

AB 1468 (McCarty) as introduced on February 22, 2019 – SUPPORT

AB 1468 by Assembly Member Kevin McCarty would require opioid manufacturers or wholesalers to submit a report to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) detailing opioid drug sales in the state and would require CDPH to calculate a stewardship fee to be paid by opioid manufacturers and wholesalers. Revenues generated from fees would then be distributed to counties on an annual basis for opioid prevention and rehabilitation programs.

Environmental Health

AB 1500 (Carrillo) as introduced on February 22, 2019 – SUPPORT

AB 1500 by Assembly Member Wendy Carrillo would strengthen local enforcement authority in instances of hazardous substance release. The bill would authorize the local health officer to issue orders against responsible parties to discontinue or suspend operations, conduct environmental testing, and provide assistance to exposed individuals. The measure would also authorize a unified program agency (UPA) to suspend, revoke, or withhold a facility permit under specified circumstances.

Health Coverage/Health Care Reform

AB 537 (Arambula) as introduced on February 13, 2019 – SUPPORT

AB 537 by Assembly Member Joaquin Arambula would require the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), in consultation with stakeholders, to establish a quality assessment and performance improvement program for all Medi-Cal managed care plans. The measure would also require all plans to meet minimum performance levels to improve quality of care and reduce health disparities.

AB 1004 (McCarty) as introduced on February 21, 2019 – SUPPORT

Assembly Member Kevin McCarty’s AB 1004 would require screening services under the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) Program to include developmental screening services for individuals zero to three years of age. The measure would also require Medi-Cal managed care plans to put in place mechanisms to ensure timely and consistent development screenings for children.

Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Services

SB 464 (Mitchell) as introduced on February 21, 2019 – SUPPORT

SB 464 by Senator Holly Mitchell would require specified health facilities providing perinatal care to implement an implicit bias program for all healthcare providers involved in perinatal care within those facilities. The measure would also require death certificates to indicate whether the decedent was pregnant within 42 days of death or within 43 to 365 days of death and would require CDPH to track and publish specified maternal morbidity and mortality data.

Tobacco Control

AB 1625 (R. Rivas) as introduced on February 22, 2019 – SUPPORT

AB 1625 by Assembly Member Robert Rivas would require the California Attorney General to establish and maintain an online list of tobacco products that lack a characterizing flavor. The bill would also authorize the Attorney General to require that all tobacco manufacturers submit a list of all brand styles of tobacco products for enforcement purposes.