September 15, 2002 Legislation

New California Laws

HMO Fines



New California Laws

The California Legislature and Governor Davis have passed and/or signed the following legislation affecting medical care in the state.  The state is bankrupt and very few bills passed that will require state funding.

AB 2064 allow counselors to be trained       for HIV testing but the non-profits must pay.

AB 2551 requires HMO mental health professionals that leave a HMO to enter into contracts with the HMO to continue their member's care. 

AB 1989 requires any LTC to make a serious attempt within 24 hours to notify the person responsible for the patient if their is any significant change in the mental or physical change in the patient. 

SB 406 establishes a process to get federal funds for bioterrorism threats. 

SB 1785 requires pharmacies to stock and sell to any adult person up to 30 hypodermic needles.  The pharmacy would also have to have on-site needle disposal and information on drug treatment and prevention.

AB 2328 allows a prioritized list of people who can consent for an incapacitated person to enroll in research for Alzheimer's and other mental illnesses. Currently, only court appointed conservators may do this.

SB 1950 requires the Medical Board to disclose information on physicians who have a significant amount of malpractice settlements over $30,000.  The new law would also require a physician to respond to a Board inquiry within 10 days.

AB 1421 allows relatives and friends or a mentally ill person to petition the court to order outpatient treatment.

SB 1661 mandates paid family leave for up to six weeks to care for newborns or relatives.  The payment will fall on the employees via an increase in payments to the state disability fund.  The employee could also take an additional six weeks of unpaid leave for this care. A physician would need to verify the serious nature of any disease.  The employee would also need to take any unused vacation prior to the paid leave.  The cap on the money paid to the employee is $490 per week and u to 55% of earnings over the period of leave.

AB 1026 prohibits dentists from advertising that they specialize in any area not recognized by the ADA.

AB 2423 allows the testing of blood or tissue obtained prior to the release from an institution for communicable disease with informed consent.

SB 1907 conforms state law to federal law regarding physician referral.  It allows licensees and their relatives to provide services to entities referred to.

AB 1860 requires all hospitals, even Catholic ones, to offer emergency contraception to rape victims.

SB 1301 states that if Roe v Wade is ever overturned there will still be a woman's right to choose in California.  It does restrict some of these rights if the fetus is capable of life outside of the womb.

AB 2194 requires all accredited medical schools in the state to teach abortion procedures to the OB/GYN residents.  Individual residents may opt out for moral or religious reasons.  If the medical school decides not to teach abortion procedures it must ensure the teaching in another institution.

AB 797 gives confidentiality of addresses of abortion providers and those seeking abortions.  

HMO Fines

Kaiser has been fined $100,000 by the California Managed Care Department for failing to abide by a panel and provide home health to one of its members.  Kaiser did not contest the fine and stated it would work to correct the problem.  I hope the hearing aid is covered.        Top


The Joint has issued another sentinel alert.  This one is on deaths with people in bed with side rails.  The total number of people reported on is seven.  The Joint made five recommendations that the hospitals must now consider as part of their inspection.  The report can be found on the web site,        Top


The Service has now allowed employers to fund defined contribution health plans with money that is not taxable and the money may be carried over just like the original MSAs.  This may not lower the cost of health care but it will allow the employee to be in charge of the money and the costs they wish to pay.        Top


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.