September 15, Legislation




A proposed rule would protect against discrimination for the downtrodden women, transgender and disabled who receive healthcare from buying insurance under Obamacare and from providers that receive federal funding.  This does not include sexual orientation as a form of sexual discrimination but the bill  is not yet final.  It also doesn't address the issue of insurers making it difficult for HIV patients to get access to and afford needed meds.  Females can not be charged more for insurance just because they use more services for prenatal and pregnancy.  Therefore males and females will pay more equally to fund the program.  Health care providers will not be able to not take care of transgenders.  Bathrooms would need to accessible to whatever gender the person decides they are.  

The California legislature has passed a bill to allow patients the "Right to Try".  It is now up to the Gov to decide the bill's fate.  The law would allow patients with terminal illnesses to request drugs that have not yeat been approved by state of federal regulators.  The final decision would be up to the drug makers as to whether or not to provide the medication.  The bill would also protect the physicians from liability for this.

The California Assembly followed this with passage of a Physician Assisted Death bill which now goes to the state Senate.  The law would allow certain patients to end their lives with lethal doses of meds if the meds are self administered, the patient is mentally competent and two physicians confirm the prognosis has six months or less to live.  The Senate then passed the bill and it is with the Gov.

The California Legislature also passed unanimously a bill that would require pharmacies to label prescriptions standard and provide when asked translations in least five languages.  

The California legislature also passed a bill that would limit deductibles for family health plans. All family health plans would be required to include a per individual deductible and a per individual out of pocket limit.   

New York City has given up on a law that no one followed.  The law prohibited a mohel from sucking blood from an infant's penis as part of a ultra orthodox Jewish circumcision ritual.  The problem was herpes.  The new law would only ask hospitals to distribute a brochure to Orthodox families that warns of the risks.  they also are attempting to get a non binding agreement with Orthodox leaders that any infant found with herpes would lead to testing of the mohel.  There would not be mandated testing nor would there be any punishment if a mohel is found to have herpes.  This is a political capitulation by the mayor to his base voters.        Top


The California Dept. of Managed Health has fined five health plans in association with a 2012 Accountable Care IPA action in which they allowed non-physicians to do utilization reviews.  California law requires all prospective medical reviews be done by physicians.  Anthem Blue Cross was fined $40,000. Care 1st fined $20,000, Health Net fined $50,000, LA Care Health Plan fined $5000 and Molina Healthcare was fined $5000.  These had been ordered to stop using Accountable Health after the 2012 incident.        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.