CMA: Outlines HIV Testing and Reporting Goals
During its annual session earlier this month, the California Medical Association outlined measures it would support, such as replacing "informed consent" requirements for HIV testing with "simple consent." CMA also urged all county medical societies to encourage local boards of supervisors and health agencies to adopt official positions consistent with CMA policy concerning HIV reporting and partner notification. CMA also pressed counties to establish local reporting and partner notification if allowed by law. The association voted not to support any HIV reporting bill that would exclusively use a unique-identifier system or one that does not include confidential reporting. The association will sponsor and support legislation that would require HIV testing on cord blood from all newborns whose mothers have not been tested prenatally and the confidential reporting of all HIV-positive infants. CMA also expressed support for HIV testing of all pregnant women along with the women's right of informed refusal. The association vowed to work with the AMA to write to California's U.S. senators and representatives to urge support for federal legislation consistent with CMA's tenets on HIV reporting, partner notification and testing of pregnant women and newborns. Additionally, CMA voted to support prompt treatment of STD patients and their partners by physicians who diagnose STDs in accordance with state department of health regulations. The association indicated its support for AB 648, which would allow physicians and surgeons to provide adequate medical treatment and management for sexual partners of those with STDs.
CMA also addressed a host of other issues, including government- sponsored health programs and regulations. The association voted to encourage Healthy Families to adopt "actuarially sound reimbursement rates" and vowed only to support those future Healthy Families expansions that contain sound rates. CMA also voted to support possible mechanisms to improve Medi-Cal and Medicare reimbursement rates, and to collaborate with agencies to obtain and analyze actuarial data on the cost of providing medical care in each California county (CMA report, 3/27).