Davis Signs Health-Related Bills
Gov. Gray Davis (D) over the past week signed the following health-related bills:
- Admission Fees: SB 1898, sponsored by Sen. Nell Soto (D-Pomona), prohibits residential care facilities from charging recipients of Social Security Income/State Supplementary Program benefits a fee for admission. Facilities must disclose all admission charges in a written statement to all other patients. The bill also mandates a 60-day written notice of any rate increase, except for increases due to higher level of care. In addition, the legislation requires any "unexpected or unavoidable cost" charged to the resident be amortized over one year (Office of the Governor release, 9/14).
- Helmet Requirement: SB 1924, sponsored by Sen. Jack O'Connell (D-San Luis Obispo), requires that children under age 18 wear a helmet while using inline or roller skates, a nonmotorized scooter or a skateboard, or while riding as a passenger on a nonmotorized scooter or skateboard (Office of the Governor release, 9/12).
- Information Access: AB 1989, sponsored by Assembly member Carol Liu (D-La Canada Flintridge), requires provision of "better information" to family members regarding the health of residents of long-term or residential care facilities.
- Information Readability: AB 1946, sponsored by Assembly member Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro), mandates that printed information provided to patients or residents of hospitals be clear and legible and in no less than 12-point type (Office of the Governor release, 9/14)
- Informed Consent: AB 2328, sponsored by Assembly member Howard Wayne (D-San Diego), permits informed consent in medical experiments by "specified surrogate decision-makers" for people unable to grant such consent. The bill is limited to experiments related to cognitive impairment, lack of capacity or serious life-threatening diseases or conditions affecting the test subjects (Office of the Governor release, 9/13).
- Long-Term Care: SB 339, sponsored by Sen. Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento), increases the number of days from 30 to 60 in which residents of long-term care facilities are allowed to find another long-term care provider. The bill also requires the Department of Health Services to prevent transfers when relocation services were not provided (Hayasaki, Los Angeles Times, 9/15).
- Medi-Cal: AB 2364, sponsored by Assembly member Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Chino), orders the Legislature to commission a study of Medi-Cal using private funds. The study would also examine ways to improve efficiency and reduce costs to the program, health care plans and providers (Office of the Governor release, 9/10).
- Medicare Access: SB 1531, sponsored by Sen. Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo), guarantees access to Medicare supplemental policies, which include prescription drug coverage, and makes it easier to leave Medicare HMOs (Office of the Governor release, 9/14).
- Mental Health: SB 1448, sponsored by Sen. Wes Chesbro (D-Arcata), requires the Department of Mental Health, along with other departments and a pending task force, to track patients who have died at state hospitals and developmental centers. The bill also requires DMH and its partners to identify gravesites and patients whose remains were donated for research and to develop a plan to restore gravesites and cemeteries at state hospitals and developmental centers (Office of the Governor release, 9/10).
- Rural Health: AB 1282, sponsored by Assembly member Dennis Cardoza (D-Merced), allows people previously denied health plan coverage becase they lived 15 miles outside designated coverage areas to enroll in health plans (Los Angeles Times, 9/15).