March 22, 2013
Area(s) of Interest: Advocacy GME Funding Physician Workforce Professional Development & Education
The California Medical Association (CMA) has placed its legislative focus for 2013 on increasing the numbers of physicians in the state and fighting the proposed 10 percent Medi-cal provider rate reduction. These are the bills CMA will sponsor for 2013-14:
UC Riverside Medical School (SB 21 and AB 27) – These bills would provide $15 million a year in funding for the recently accredited University of California Riverside School of Medicine. According to a 2010 report by the California Health Care Foundation, the Inland Empire has the lowest ratio of primary care physicians and specialists of any region in the state, with barely half of the recommended number. The UC Riverside School of Medicine is the first UC medical school accredited since the 1960s.
GME Funding (SB 488) – This bill would augment the amount of graduate medical education (GME) funding that California receives in order to increase the number of resident physicians in California.
Medi-Cal Cuts (SB 640) – This bill is the vehicle for a proposed rollback of the 10 percent Medi-Cal provider rate reduction contained in the 2011-12 state budget. CMA is building a coalition of different providers who have been impacted by the cuts or who, like CMA, are still in court over their implementation. This bill would both eliminate the retroactive cuts, as well as stop them going forward, helping to provide needed stability to the Medi-Cal system as the state prepares for full federal health reform implementation in 2014.
Therapeutic Substance (AB 670) – This bill would close a loophole in the law that lets pharmacists receive financial incentives each time they recommend a therapeutic switch (a chemically different drug) from the drug prescribed by the physician.
Physician Workforce: Medically-Underserved Communities (AB 1288) – This bill will serve to create additional residency slots across California and develop a stronger pipeline for physicians to serve in California's medically-underserved communities.
Employment of Physical Therapists (AB 1003) – Since 1990, the Physical Therapy Board of California has explicitly allowed physical therapy services to be provided by medical corporations. In 2010, the board rescinded this policy, threatening to disrupt the lives of hundreds of physical therapists who work for medical corporations, hospitals, home health care services and nursing care facilities. This bill will clarify existing law to explicitly authorize medical corporations to hire persons licensed under the Business and Professions Code, the Chiropractic Act or the Osteopathic Act.
For more information on these and other bills of interest to physician,subscribe to CMA’s Legislative Hot List.