Deep in the Pile of Health Bills To Be Signed

So quick, tell me what the Maddy Fund is, and why it needs a new law to fix it. Or what’s the big problem with the peer review system in California?

These questions and more will be answered this month by Governor Schwarzenegger, who has until Sept. 30 to sign or veto hundreds of bills passed by the Legislature, dozens of them health care-related.

The Maddy Fund is an emergency medical services fund set up by counties to reimburse physicians, hospitals, poison control centers and other emergency expenses.

The idea of AB 2248  by Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) is to solicit more financial information from counties, to help track where Maddy EMS money goes, and to make sure disbursements are fairly allocated. Since so many uninsured patients use emergency services, that becomes particularly important information for emergency departments and the physicians who treat those patients.

AB 1235  by Mary Hayashi (D-Castro Valley), which refines the current rules of the physician peer review system. It puts protections in place so that the system can’t be used to remove physicians for reasons other than quality of care. It would prohibit a demand to surrender staff privileges solely due to the termination of a contract between a provider and a health care facility.

Another in the pile of health-care bills is SB 289 by Denise Ducheny (D-San Diego) which creates an extension to the hospital seismic mandate for general acute care hospitals that have hit delays based on local planning issues.

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