SB168:       By Sen. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough), this bill prohibits health care service plans (HCSPs) from requiring physicians or physician groups to assume the financial risk for the acquisition costs of required childhood immunizations that are not part of their current risk-based contract with the HCSP.  As of January 1, 2001, HCSPs will be required to reimburse physicians for these costs at the lowest of the following: the actual acquisition cost, the average wholesale price, or lowest cost made available to the physician by the HCSP

SB 648:     By Ortiz, this bill includes chlamydia within the definition of venereal diseases.  It also allows physicians, nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, and physician assistants, who diagnose a sexually transmitted Chlamydia infection in an individual patient, to prescribe, dispense, furnish, or otherwise provide prescription antibiotic drugs to that patient's sexual partner(s) without examination of that patient's partner(s)  

SB 1746:   By Sen. Liz Figueroa (D-Fremont), this bill requires health care service plans to notify enrollees of the plan's termination of a contract with a primary care provider and specifies methods for delivering the notice. It also requires plans to instruct enrollees on how to select a new primary care provider.  In addition, it specifies exceptions for primary care provider approvals related to situations where a provider has been terminated from a plan's contract

SB 1801:   By Speier, this bill authorizes the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development to extend the January 1, 2008, deadline for compliance with the Hospital Seismic Safety Act, to January 1, 2013

SB 2006:   By Sen. Tim Leslie (R-Tahoe City), this bill authorizes any general acute care hospital building located in Seismic Zone three to request an exemption from the January 1, 2008 deadline for nonstructural retrofitting, if the building complies with the year 2002 nonstructural requirements.  This bill requires the hospital to submit a site-specific analysis to the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, which must be reviewed by the Department of Conservation, Division of Mines and Geology, before the exemption is approved

AB 2194:   By Gallegos, this bill requires the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development to grant program flexibility to any general acute care hospital seeking to relocate services on an interim basis to achieve building standards for interim sites. This bill also requires the Department of Health Services to establish the Alfred E. Alquist Hospital Facilities Seismic Safety Act Unit.  The bill appropriates $145,000 from the General Fund to establish the new unit

AB 2616:   By Assembly member Bob Margett (R-Arcadia), this bill prohibits disability insurers from requesting information that is not reasonably necessary to determine liability for payment of a claim and requires them to pay providers the cost for duplicating all information they request in connection with a contested claim.  This bill also extends by one year the sunset for the exemption from the requirements of the Senior Insurance Law for direct response disability insurance  

AB 2899:   By the Assembly Committee on Health, this bill authorizes the attending physician to authenticate the verbal orders for drugs for a patient of another physician.  It also makes technical, non-substantive changes to existing law related to Medi-Cal

SB 2046:   By Speier, this bill prohibits health care service contracts and disability insurance contracts from excluding coverage for an off-label use of a drug prescription for a chronic and seriously debilitating condition

AB1455:    By Scott,the bill directs DHS to “establish regulations on what constitutes timely payments by HMOs” to doctors and hospitals.  It also mandates that health plans pay providers on time, increasing from 10% to 15% the amount of interest HMOs will be charged for late payments.  It also prohibits HMOs from engaging in an unfair payment pattern in its reimbursement of claims.  This amends H&S 1367 by requiring after 1/1/02 health service plans annually submit grievances filed and resolutions to the state.  It also amends H&S 1371 to state that the HMO must pay to the provider the interest without the provider requesting the payment.  If the HMO does not do this an additional $10 payment to the provider will be paid. This obligation is not waived when plans require IPAs, medical groups or others to pay the claims.

SB1177:    By Perata gives the director of the Department of Managed Care the authority “to report and investigate incidents of unfair payment patterns”.  Those that continually make late payments would be subject to fines and probation.

AB2611:    By Gallegos started as a mandate and then after intense lobbying by the Union of Physician and Dentists was turned into a study of emergency room on-call physician coverage.  

AB 2018:   By Thomson, this bill lifts the cap on the number of triplicate prescriptions issued to a physician because "the cap is low" for doctors specializing in pain management or treatment of cancer patients.  The legislation also allows a physician "with a busy practice and/or illegible handwriting" to either type the triplicate prescription or have an employee type or write it, as long as the physician signs the prescription.  In addition, the bill permits a pharmacist to correct a prescription containing errors, if the pharmacist notifies the prescriber of the error, the prescriber approves any corrections and the prescriber faxes or mails a corrected prescription within seven days of the prescription being dispensed.  The bill became law without the governor's signature

SB 1875:   By Speier  requires hospitals and surgical clinics to develop a formal plan to eliminate or substantially reduce the number of medication related errors

SB 1903:   By Speier, this bill restricts the disclosure of medical information to corporations and their subsidiaries and affiliates, requires a valid authorization for release of such information and allows adult patients to insert written addendums into their medical records believed to be incorrect or incomplete

SB 2094:   By the Senate Insurance Committee, this bill makes technical and clarifying changes to managed care reform legislation enacted during 1999, clarifying the circumstances under which entities contracting with health plans may receive and disclose a patient's medical information.  The bill also corrects erroneous references to various code sections and removes unnecessary and improper words

DISCLAIMER: Although this article is updated periodically, it reflects the author's point of view at the time of publication. Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice. Readers should consult with their own legal counsel before acting on any of the information presented.