State Legislative Update
2018 End of Session State Legislative Update
After four terms and 16 years in the Governor’s office, a governorship that spanned over three decades (1975 to 2018) and considered nearly 20,000 bills, this September Governor Jerry Brown made his final mark on state legislation. As many reflect on the last year of his storied career, some felt he fell short on health care. This year, in particular, consumer advocates were disappointed to see a deferral of action on coverage expansion.While Advocates was disappointed too, there is a positive story to be told.As outlined below, a variety of health-related bills, including health center priority bills, were signed.Collectively, these bills do highlight a commitment to access and, in particular, preserving care in the face of federal threats.
2018 CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates Sponsored Legislation
Earlier this year, CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates successfully introduced three new bills. All three of these bills made it to the Governor’s desk, with two of the three bills being signed into law. Updates on these bills can be found here:
Additional Sponsored Legislation and Key Partner Legislation
In addition to our 2018 sponsored legislation, Advocates prioritized engagement on the following legislative efforts:
SB 456 by Senator Richard Pan: Coordinated Care
Status: DHCS COMMITMENT ACHIEVED
Sponsored by CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates in 2017, this two-year bill sought to improve the health of California’s most vulnerable people by allowing FQHCs to be directly reimbursed for services that promote continuity of care and wellness in ways not covered by PPS, including services associated with innovative projects like the Whole Person Care pilots. While we expect that this bill will reduce overall costs to the health care system through better care coordination, addressing social determinants of health, and incentivizing wellness services that keep patients healthy and out of the emergency room, DHCS had significant concerns with the bill. Staff worked with the author to request from DHCS, in writing, clarification regarding services that follow the patient. DHCS provided information that was sufficient to the author and, thus, the author and Advocates decided it was not necessary to move the bill further. We look forward to continuing to engage DHCS on this important matter in 2019.
While this session marks the end of an era, it sets up the next administration and legislature on a path to continue to defend California’s values, expand access and, hopefully, coverage.
Policy Priorities for 2019
In October 2018, the CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates board adopted Policy Priorities for 2019. The policy priorities, reflective of health center engagement led by the California Primary Care Association and Regional Associations of California, continue to highlight a commitment to:
(1) Coverage and Access for All;
(2) Delivery of Culturally Competent Whole Person Health Care, Preventive Care, and Support Services;
(3) Strong Workforce and Core Business Infrastructure; and
(4) Building Healthy Communities.
To review CaliforniaHealth+ Advocates policy priorities for 2019, please click here.
Looking forward, 2019 will mark a new era for legislative activity in Sacramento. With Governor Newsom committed to serving underserved communities – and stated goals of expanding access to care, improving behavioral health, and addressing children’s health disparities – health care interests will be front and center as the legislature convenes for the 2019-2020 session.
Through the 2019 Policy Prioritization process, six issues ranked as top priorities:
Licensing/OSHPD3 Building Standards
340B Drug Discount Program (340B)
Pay-for-Performance (P4P)/ Data with Medi-Cal Managed Care Plans
Health4All- coverage for all initiatives
State Plan Amendment issues related to PPS
With the 2019 Public Policy Platform as a framework, Advocates staff, along with input from consortia and health center leaders across the state, developed state legislative concepts that - as in past years - have commenced initial legislative research and conversations with state elected officials, as well as partner organizations. At the beginning of the new year, Advocates will have a legislative package to introduce to the Board of Director for approval.
For questions on policy prioritization and the legislative concepts for 2019, please contact Beth Malinowski at firstname.lastname@example.org.