Bill Introduction Deadline Passes, Legislature Gets to Work

Last Friday was the deadline for new legislative bills to be introduced for 2020. To date, the Legislature has introduced over 2,200 measures in both houses. CHEAC’s Legislative Committee also convened on February 21 to review the first batch of bills of interest to local health departments. The Committee will meet again on Friday, March 6, to review the final group of newly introduced legislation.

Please see our updated CHEAC Weekly Bill Chart for specific information on bills of interest to CHEAC.

Access to Health Services

AB 2007 (Salas) – SUPPORT

AB 2007 by Assembly Member Rudy Salas would specify that an FQHC/RHC “visit” includes an encounter between a provider or patient using telehealth in synchronous or asynchronous store-and-forward. The measure also specifies that an FQHC/RHC would not have to establish an individual as a patient via a face-to-face encounter prior to providing telehealth services, as currently required. AB 2007 also sets forth requirements for FQHCs/RHCs to bill for telehealth services, including that nonbillable clinical staff are present and that the patient is at an originating clinic site. The measure is sponsored by the Children’s Partnership, Children Now, California Health+ Advocates, and the California Dental Association. The measure will be heard in the Assembly Health Committee on March 31, 2020.

Communicable Disease Control

AB 2077 (Ting) – SUPPORT

AB 2077, sponsored by HOAC, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and the Drug Policy Alliance, would remove the sunset from an existing law that allows pharmacies to sell and adults to possess sterile syringes for personal use without a prescription. The bill has been referred to the Assembly Health Committee and will be heard on March 17, 2020.

SB 859 (Wiener) – SUPPORT

SB 859 by Senator Scott Wiener would require the California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS) Secretary, in coordination with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Office of AIDS Chief, to lead the development and implementation of the HIV, HCV, and STD Master Plan. A stakeholder advisory committee, including representation from local governments, providers, health plans, and community-based organizations, would also be required to be established. The CHHS Secretary and CDPH OA Chief would be required to collaborate with various state agencies and departments, including CDPH, DHCS, and CDSS, to set goals for ending the statewide epidemics. The measure is sponsored by the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, APLA Health, Essential Access Health, and Equality California.

SB 932 (Wiener) – SUPPORT  

Senator Scott Wiener’s SB 932 would authorize HIV counselors to conduct rapid sexually transmitted infection (STI) tests via skin puncture under specified circumstances. Currently, HIV counselors are authorized to conduct HIV/HCV skin puncture tests. SB 932 would also modify training requirements established by the CDPH Office of Aids to allow for training courses that have been approved by CDPH OA. The measure is sponsored by the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and APLA Health.

Maternal, Child & Adolescent Health Services

AB 2258 (Reyes) – SUPPORT

AB 2258 by Assembly Member Eloise Gómez Reyes would require the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to establish a full-spectrum doula care pilot program to operate for three years for all pregnant and postpartum Medi-Cal beneficiaries residing in 14 counties that experience the highest burden of birth disparities in California. The measure specifies eligibility for services which include at least four prenatal visits, continuous support during labor and delivery, and at least eight postpartum visits without prior authorization or cost-sharing. DHCS would be required to set reimbursement rates and provide timely reimbursement to doulas under specified conditions, establish a centralized registry listing of doulas available to take on new clients, and require Medi-Cal managed care plans to notify beneficiaries of doula services. DHCS would be required to convene a doula advisory board to determine core competencies of doulas related to emotional support, communication, breastfeeding and lactation, and other pregnant and postpartum topics. The measure is sponsored by a coalition of health equity and consumer-focused entities, including Black Women for Wellness, Birthing Project USA, National Health Law Program, and Western Center of Law and Poverty.