Recently Approved Bills Would Bring Changes to Calif. Hospital Industry
Prior to the end of California's legislative session on Tuesday,Â state lawmakers passed two bills that would affect the hospital industry by creating a framework for a hospital fee and establishing regulations on hospital operators and health care districts, Payers & Providers reports.
Both bills now go to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R).
Structure for Hospital Fee
On Monday, the Assembly unanimously passed AB 1653, by Assembly member Dave Jones (D-Sacramento). The Senate previously approved the measure.
The legislation would create a structure for a new fee on hospitals that would help draw down federal matching funds for Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program. CMS must provide final approval for the plan.
After drawing down the federal Medi-Cal funds, the state would allocate about $2.6 billion back to hospitals and $560 million to boost children's health care coverage.
Regulations on Hospital Operators, Districts
Lawmakers also gave final approval to SB 1240, byÂ Sen. Ellen CorbettÂ (D-San Leandro), which would:
- Require annual audits of all leases between private hospital operators and hospital districts;
- Limit how district assets could be spent; and
- Prohibit the use of operating losses as credits when a district hospital is being purchased (Payers & Providers, 9/2).
Lawmakers developed SB 1240 after complaints arose about how not-for-profit organization Sutter Health managed hospitals in Greenbrae's Marin Healthcare District and Castro Valley's Eden Township Healthcare District (California Healthline, 8/12). The California Nurses Association sponsored the bill.
Outlook for Legislation
Although a spokesperson for Schwarzenegger did not respond to questions about the governor's position on the two bills, Schwarzenegger is expected to sign AB 1653 into law (Payers & Providers, 9/2).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.