HOSPITAL FUNDING: Davis Signs Bill to Bail Out Rural Facilities
Gov. Gray Davis yesterday signed into law AB 761, which creates an additional funding source for the state's small and rural hospitals that are in danger of financial collapse. Authored by Assemblyman Mike Briggs (R-Fresno), the measure creates the Small and Rural Hospital Supplemental Payments (SRHSP) Fund that consists of public funds transferred by public agencies, private donated funds and funding appropriated by the Legislature that is matched with federal funds. Under this bill, the five disproportionate share hospitals eligible to received SRHSP funds are Sierra Kings District Hospital in Reedley, Kingsburg Medical Center in Kingsburg, Chowchilla Memorial District Hospital in Chowchilla, Dos Palos Memorial Hospital in Dos Palos and Avalon Memorial Hospital in Catalina Island. Determined by the California Medical Assistance Commission (CMAC), criteria for supplemental funding eligibility include providing Medi-Cal inpatient services, providing services for the disproportionate share of indigent, uninsured, Medi-Cal and Medicare patients; meeting the definition of a small and rural hospital; providing standby emergency services; and providing an important community service not otherwise available in the community (Davis release, 8/24).
Davis also signed AB 1161 by Assemblywoman Nell Soto (D-Ontario), which requires the Department of Health Services to revise a statement describing resource and income requirements for Medi-Cal eligibility, spousal impoverishment protections and rules governing transfer of interest in a home, to individuals applying for care in a nursing facility (Davis release, 8/24).