Legislative Session Close to Wrapping Up

ACHD is working hard and gearing up for the last week of the 2013 legislative session, which officially ends on September 13, 2013.  Last Friday marked a significant deadline, “the last day for fiscal committees to meet and hear bills” in which many bills failed passage, or were significantly amended to continue moving through the legislative process.  Here are three bills ACHD supported that didn’t make it past last Friday’s deadline.

AB  678 (Gordon) would have required Districts that have sold or leased their assets to conduct a healthcare needs assessment, with public input, every 5 years.  ACHD supported this good governance bill to ensure that the Districts were meeting the needs of their communities.

AB 900 (Alejo) which would have blocked the implementation of reductions in the Medi-Cal reimbursement rates for Distinct Part-Skilled Nursing (DP-SNF) services required by AB 97 (2011).  ACHD supported this bill because the reimbursement cuts would have closed some rural District hospitals.  While AB 900 failed passage, the Department of Health Care Services exempted rural DP-SNFs from cuts in their implementation plan announced on August 14, 2013.

SB 491 (Hernandez) would have authorized a nurse practitioner to perform standardized procedures and certain additional acts without physician supervision, if the nurse practitioner meets specified experience and certification requirements, and practiced in a clinic, health facility, county medical facility, accountable care organization or group practice.  ACHD supported this measure allowing nurse practitioners to provide a wider range of preventative and acute health care services as a means to relieve the anticipated pressure placed on physicians to handle the influx of patients that will become eligible for care under the Affordable Care Act.

The end of session also brings many “gut and amend” bills that are typically bad news.  One such bill, SB 594 (Hill), which would have had significant negative impact on ACHD’s ability to take part in campaign activities, was substantially amended in Appropriations Committee and no longer impacts ACHD.  This is due in large part to the vast coalition built by the League of Cities and the California State Association of Counties.  ACHD thanks those Healthcare Districts that joined the grassroots effort by voicing their concerns for the bill.

You can keep up to date on all Legislation ACHD is tracking on our website here.  Also watch for future blog posts relating to the adjournment of session and legislative wrap up reports.  Please contact ACHD with any questions or comments.

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