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San Francisco Marin Medical Society Blog

SFMMS Board Votes to Support 20 State Bills

On April 15th, the SFMMS Board of Directors acted on the analysis and recommendations of the SFMMS Advocacy & Policy Committee and voted to SUPPORT a slate of 20 state bills on a wide rage of topics important to the practice of medicine. The bills are listed here:

  • AB 815 (Wood) This CMA-sponsored bill requires the California Health and Human Services Agency to create and maintain a provider credentialing board to certify private and public entities for purposes of credentialing physicians and other health care providers in lieu of a health care service plan or health insurer’s credentialing process. A health care service plan or health insurer, or its delegated entity, would be required to accept a valid credential from a board-certified entity without imposing additional criteria requirements and to pay a fee to a board-certified entity based on the number of contracted providers credentialed through the board-certified entity.
  • AB 977 (Rodriguez) This CMA-sponsored bill increases penalties for violence against ED health care workers. 
  • SB 70 (Wiener) This bill ensures coverage for a prescription drug that is prescribed for off-label use.
  • SB 598 (Skinner) This CMA-sponsored bill requires health plans to create exemption programs that allow physicians practicing within the plan's criteria 90 percent of the time to receive a one-year exemption from the plan's prior authorization requirements. Additionally, the legislation will give a treating physician the right to have an appeal of a prior authorization denial conducted by a physician peer of the same or similar specialty. Delegated physician groups would be exempt from these requirements, meaning the legislation will only apply to health plans.
  • AB 1778 (Connolly) This bill puts in place a county ordinance that would prohibit individuals under 16 years old from riding an electric bicycle that can reach 20 miles per hour in Marin County. Additionally, the bill would require a person operating a class 2 electric bike to wear a helmet. Lastly, the county will be required to submit a report to the Legislature including information related to the number of violations, if arrests were made, etc. SFMMS has prioritized improving safety related to e-bikes in San Francisco and Marin.
  • AB 1975 (Bonta) This bill requires medically supportive food and nutrition intervention plans that are determined to be medically necessary by a provider to be a Medi-Cal covered benefit.
  • AB 2115 (Haney) This bill would authorize hospitals, ERs, and primary care clinics that do not provide methadone to dispense a 72-hour supply of methadone treatment to initiate patients on the medication and provide some linkage medication supply while they await intake at an Opioid Treatment Program for ongoing methadone treatment for opioid use disorder.
  • AB 2142 (Haney) This bill would establish a pilot program that allows for two prisons to expand mental health therapies to inmates the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has deemed "not eligible" to receive mental health services. The program would need to comply with all privacy laws and CDCR would be the holder of the inmate's records. 
  • AB 2164 (Berman) This CMA-sponsored bill will be amended to remove a question on the Medical Board of California Physician Questionnaire that asks physicians to report if they have ever received mental health services, which adds to the stigma against seeking mental health services.
  • AB 2303 (Carrillo, Juan) This bill requires the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to apply for a waiver from the federal government to increase Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC's) and Community Health Clinics (CHC's) prospective payment system rate before April 1, 2025. This bill is in response to the enactment of SB 525 (Durazo, 2023) which raised the minimum wage for health care workers in the state of California to $25 over a given time depending on the size of the practice or facility. 
  • AB 2442 (Zbur) This bill would expedite physician and other provider license applications if the provider is performing gender-affirming care and mental health services. This expedited licensure process mirrors existing accelerated processes for providers who intend to perform abortions. Improving access to gender-affirming care prioritizes health equity, an SFMMS priority.
  • AB 3073 (Haney) This bill would allow wastewater testing to pinpoint drug hotspots and identify new drugs in the population.
  • AB 3218 (Wood) This bill would require each manufacturer/importer of tobacco products to submit to the Attorney General a list of all brand styles of tobacco products that they manufacture or import for sale or distribution in or into California, and state that it lacks a characterizing flavor. The list would be called the "Unflavored Tobacco List," and the bill would prohibit a distributor from selling any tobacco product not listed on the Unflavored Tobacco List to any person. Antitobacco bills are a priority for SFMMS.
  • SB 959 (Menjivar) This bill would require the Health and Human Services Agency (HHS) to develop, maintain and regularly update a website for the public to access information and resources to support and care for the transgender, gender diverse, and intersex (TGI) community. The website would be required to provide information such as existing federal and state protections for health care providers against criminal or civil penalties, information on how to access health care plans, Medi-Cal managed care plans, and health insurer directories that identify in-network providers that offer gender-affirming services, support services to assist an individual in accessing transinclusive health care, how to file a complaint with the appropriate government agency following a violation of an individual’s rights. Improving access to gender-affirming care prioritizes health equity, an SFMMS priority.
  • SB 963 (Ashby) This CMA-sponsored bill would require all general acute care hospitals with an emergency department to make a self-identifying human trafficking system available to patients at the emergency department. The bill would require the system to meet certain minimum requirements, including, among others, providing patient confidentiality and facilitating immediate interviews with medical personnel.
  • SB 966 (Wiener) This bill creates a licensing and regulatory scheme for pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) under the Board of Pharmacy in the Department of Consumer Affairs. The bill would prohibit PBMs from: • Manipulatively steering patients to preferred or affiliated pharmacies. • Entering spread-pricing contracts (where the cost to the plan is more than what the PBM pays the pharmacy for the medications and keeps the difference). • Getting revenue from any other source except for management fees for plan formularies, including coupons.
  • SB 1120 (Becker) This CMA-sponsored bill would require a health care service plan or insurer to ensure that a licensed physician supervises the use of artificial intelligence decision-making tools when those tools are used to inform decisions to approve, modify, or deny requests by providers for authorization prior to, or concurrent with, the provision of health care services to enrollees or insureds.
  • SB 1132 (Durazo) This bill would empower county health officials to conduct public health inspections at private detention facilities, including those used to detain immigrants in California.
  • SB 1253 (Gonzalez) This bill requires an individual to have a valid, unexpired firearm safety certificate to purchase or possess a firearm. An individual must obtain a firearm safety certificate within 60 days of bringing a firearm to the state. Additionally, the bill would require the department to notify an individual their certificate is nearing expiration and needs renewal. Bills seeking to reduce gun violence are a priority for SFMMS.
  • SB 1395 (Becker) This bill builds on existing streamlining laws for homeless shelters by eliminating and extending sunset provisions, expanding CEQA exemptions, and specifying that interim housing and shelter are eligible projects under existing state homeless programs. Its goal is to give local governments additional powers to build interim housing units quickly and inexpensively. Improving access to shelter and housing for those experiencing homelessness is an SFMMS priority. The Bay Area Council has requested SFMMS’s support of this bill.

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