March 04, 2014
Area(s) of Interest: Advocacy Licensing & Regulatory Issues
The California Medical Association (CMA) recently announced its sponsored bill package for 2014, which includes legislation that would increase access to care in California, restore the 10 percent Medi-Cal provider rate cut and strengthen physicians' rights when contracting with managed care plans. Below are summaries of CMA's eight sponsored bills:
All Products Clauses (AB 2400)
This bill would prohibit health service plans from executing agreements with physicians that contain provisions requiring them to participate in all networks or products that are currently offered or that may be offered by the health plan. The bill would allow physicians to opt-in in each network or product.
Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act (SB 1000)
This bill would prohibit the sale of most non-alcoholic beverages with added sugar and over 75 calories per 12 fluid ounces without the following warning label, “STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.”
Medi-Cal reimbursement (AB 1805)
This bill would restore the 10 percent cut to Medi-Cal provider reimbursement rates that was enacted as part of the 2011 State Budget Act. It seeks to bolster provider participation in the Medi-Cal program as the State implements the rollout of health care reform.
Funding for Primary Care Residency Programs (AB 2458)
This bill would appropriate funding to graduate medical education programs in primary care specialties (internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology and family medicine) to ensure an adequate and properly distributed supply of physicians, immediately and over the long term.
UC Merced (SB 841)
This bill would appropriate $2.8 million in an effort to recruit and retain physicians in the Central Valley. Specifically, SB 841 would appropriate $1.8 million for the University of California San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education (PRIME) beginning in fiscal year 2015-16, and would appropriate $1 million to begin the planning effort for the establishment of a medical school at UC Merced.
Allied Health Professional Supervision Numerical Limits (AB 2346)
This bill seeks to increase the capacity of California’s health care system to provide quality, physician-led access to care. It would change current law to allow a physician to supervise up to 6 (current limit is 4) physician assistants, nurse practitioners or certified nurse midwives at any moment in time.
Telehealth Reimbursement: Telephone and Electronic Patient Management Services (AB 1771)
This bill would require health insurance companies licensed in the State of California to pay physicians for telehealth services, including telephone or other electronic patient management.
Administrative Efficiency for Health Facilities (AB 1755)
The bill would adopt the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act as the standard for health care data breaches and move state law closer to federal law.
CMA will also take a position on hundreds of additional bills over the course of the next few months. CMA's Council on Legislation (COL) will be meeting on March 20 in Sacramento to discuss the association’s legislative priorities for 2014. COL is composed of more than 60 physicians from around the state who are nominated by their delegation, county medical society or specialty society, and meet annually to discuss and recommend CMA's positions on numerous pieces of legislation pertaining to the house of medicine.
All of the recommended positions taken by COL will be presented to the CMA Board of Trustees for finalization at its April 15 meeting. These then become CMA’s official positions throughout the current legislative cycle.
Contact: Tony Campa, (916) 551-2062 or email@example.com.