In Sacramento this week, the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee held a special hearing to address workers' compensation reforms enacted by Gov. Schwarzenegger in 2004. The effects of the legislation have been debated since it was enacted. Meanwhile, a bill by Assembly member Chuck DeVore (R-Irvine) that would expand the scope of required studies of workers' compensation laws stalled in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. DeVore's bill would allow DWC to adjust the medical fee schedule and pharmacy fee schedule if it is determined that workers' compensation claimants have inadequate access to medical care.
In other news, committees in the Assembly and Senate approved bills that seek to prevent hospitals from "dumping" homeless patients in areas where homeless services are concentrated. The bills are opposed by the California Hospital Association, which claims the practice is part of a larger problem -- accessibility of services for homeless people -- that should be address by the state and local governments.
CHA this week also voiced its support for legislation to delay the deadline for hospitals to comply with state seismic safety rules.
This week's Legislative Update also includes reports on:
- A bill that would authorize the Department of Health Services to set up a Medicare HMO wraparound pilot program in certain counties;
- Legislation that would require all health care service plans and health insurers in California to comply with rules for participating in a proposed essential health benefits program; and
- A bill that would establish a Health Care Infrastructure Authority to develop a plan for providing electronic health records for all state residents (StateNet, Subscription required).