Legislature Churns Out Bills on Adverse Events, Other Health Care Issues
With the Aug. 31 deadline to pass bills out of the Legislature fast approaching, California lawmakers are scrambling to approve measures related to health care and other issues, the Los Angeles Times reports (McGreevy/McDonnell, Los Angeles Times, 8/26).
Summaries of some health-related bills making their way through the Legislature are provided below:
- AB 542, by Assembly member Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles), would require hospital officials to report adverse events and hospital-acquired infections to a governance body on an annual basis. The measure also would establish state rules on nonpayment for medical errors and hospital-acquired infections. The Legislature has passed the bill, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) has not indicated whether he will sign it (Vesely, Modern Healthcare, 8/25).
- SB 1166, by Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), would require entities that experience data breaches to disclose certain information about the breach and alert the state Attorney General if the breach affects more than 500 residents. Experts say the measure would bring California in line with the privacy and security protections included inÂ the 2009 federal economic stimulus package. The Legislature has approved the measure (Higgins, Dark Reading, 8/25).
- AB 2599, by Assembly members Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) and Isadore Hall (D-Compton), would guarantee that a new private not-for-profit hospital in the South Los Angeles area -- which would replace the former Martin Luther King, Jr.-Harbor Hospital -- would receive reimbursements for Medi-Cal inpatient services at 60% of cost. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program. Republicans objected to the measure, saying it would provide the new hospital with higher Medi-Cal payments than other institutions (McGreevy, "PolitiCal," Los Angeles Times, 8/25). The Senate has passed the bill,Â and itÂ now heads to the Assembly for final approval.
- AB 564, by Assembly member Anthony Portantino (D-La CaÃ±ada Flintridge), would bring state law in line with federal restrictions that limit the use of public funds for the compensation of executives at drug treatment centers. The Assembly has passed the measure (Los Angeles Times, 8/26).
- AB 2578, by Assembly member Dave Jones (D-Sacramento), would require health plans to obtain approval from state regulators before raising health insurance rates. The measure also would limit rate hikes to once annually. The Assembly has passed the bill, which is nowÂ before the Senate (Howard/York, Capitol Weekly, 8/26).