Bill Text: CA AB2037 | 2019-2020 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Health facilities: notices.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 3-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2020-05-21 - Re-referred to Com. on APPR. [AB2037 Detail]

Download: California-2019-AB2037-Amended.html

Amended  IN  Assembly  May 20, 2020
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 11, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2037


Introduced by Assembly Member Wicks
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Bonta and O’Donnell)

February 03, 2020


An act to amend Sections 1255.1 and 1255.25 of, and to add Section 1255.4 to, of the Health and Safety Code, relating to health facilities.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2037, as amended, Wicks. Health facilities: obligations before changes in service. notices.
(1) Existing law requires the State Department of Public Health to license, regulate, and inspect health facilities, as specified. Existing law requires a hospital that provides emergency medical services to, as soon as possible, but not later than 90 days prior to a planned reduction or elimination of the level of emergency medical services, provide notice of the intended change to the department, other specified entities, and the public. Existing law also requires a health facility to provide public notice, as specified, not less than 30 days prior to closing the health facility, eliminating a supplemental service, as defined, or relocating the provision of supplemental services to a different campus.
This bill would require a hospital that provides emergency medical services to provide notice, as specified, at least 180 days before a planned reduction or elimination of the level of emergency medical services. The bill would require a health facility to provide at least 180 days’ notice, as specified, prior to closing the health facility and at least 90 days prior to eliminating or relocating a supplemental service, except as specified. The bill would require the mandatory public notice to include specific notifications, including, among others, a continuous notice posted in a conspicuous location within the internet website of a newspaper of general circulation serving the local geographical area in which the hospital or health facility is located.

This bill would prohibit a hospital, as defined, during any health-related state of emergency in California proclaimed by the President of the United States, health-related state of emergency proclaimed by the Governor, or health-related local emergency, as specified, from closing or otherwise ceasing operations or eliminating a level of emergency care or supplemental service, except as excused by the department. The bill would require the department to impose a penalty of $75,000, per day, for each day a hospital violates these prohibitions, and would further require the department to deposit the collected penalties into the Internal Departmental Quality Improvement Account. The penalties would be available subject to appropriation by the Legislature.

This bill would require a hospital during these specified emergencies and prior to an offer for sale on the open market, to first offer the state and the city and the county where the hospital is located, a reasonable opportunity to purchase the hospital at a fair market rate, as determined by the Attorney General. The bill would further require a hospital under these conditions to ensure that there are no lapses in operation of the hospital between a change in ownership.

(2) Under existing law, violation of the provisions relating to health facility licensure is a misdemeanor.
By expanding the scope of a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 1255.1 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

1255.1.
 (a) Any hospital that provides emergency medical services under Section 1255 shall, as soon as possible, but not later than 180 days prior to a planned reduction or elimination of the level of emergency medical services, provide notice of the intended change to the department, the local government entity in charge of the provision of health services, and all health care service plans or other entities under contract with the hospital to provide services to enrollees of the plan or other entity.
(b) In addition to the notice required by subdivision (a), the hospital shall provide, at the same time as the notice specified in subdivision (a), public notice of the intended change in a manner that is likely to reach a significant number of residents of the community serviced by that facility.
(c) A hospital shall not be subject to this section or Section 1255.2 if the department does either of the following:
(1) Determines that the use of resources to keep the emergency center open substantially threatens the stability of the hospital as a whole.
(2) Cites the emergency center for unsafe staffing practices.
(d) For purposes of this section, the public notice required in subdivision (b) shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
(1) Written notice to the city council of the city in which the hospital is located.
(2) A continuous notice posted in a conspicuous location on the home page of the hospital’s internet website.
(3) A notice published in a conspicuous location within a newspaper of general circulation serving the local geographical area in which the hospital is located. The notice shall continue for a minimum of 15 publication dates.
(4) A continuous notice posted in a conspicuous location within the internet website of a newspaper of general circulation serving the local geographical area in which the hospital is located.
(5) A notice posted at the entrance of every community clinic within the affected county in which the hospital is located that grants voluntary permission for posting.

SEC. 2.

 Section 1255.25 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

1255.25.
 (a) (1) Not less than 180 days prior to closing a health facility, as defined in subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 1250, or 90 days prior to eliminating a supplemental service, as defined in Section 70067 of Chapter 1 of Division 5 of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations, the facility shall provide public notice of the proposed closure or elimination of the supplemental service, including a notice posted at the entrance to all affected facilities and a notice to the department and the board of supervisors of the county in which the health facility is located.
(2) Not less than 90 days prior to relocating the provision of supplemental services to a different campus, a health facility, as defined in subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 1250, shall provide public notice of the proposed relocation of supplemental services, including a notice posted at the entrance to all affected facilities and notice to the department and the board of supervisors of the county in which the health facility is located.
(b) The public notice required by paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (a) shall include all of the following:
(1) A description of the proposed closure, elimination, or relocation. The description shall be limited to publicly available data, including the number of beds eliminated, if any, the probable decrease in the number of personnel, and a summary of any service that is being eliminated, if applicable.
(2) A description of the three nearest available comparable services in the community. If the health facility closing these services serves Medi-Cal or Medicare patients, this health facility shall specify if the providers of the nearest available comparable services serve these patients.
(3) A telephone number and address for each of the following, where interested parties may offer comments:
(A) The health facility.
(B) The parent entity, if any, or contracted company, if any, that acts as the corporate administrator of the health facility.
(C) The chief executive officer.
(c) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) and (b), this section shall not apply to county facilities subject to Section 1442.5.
(d) For purposes of this section, the public notice required in subdivision (a) shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
(1) Written notice to the city council of the city in which the health facility is located.
(2) A continuous notice posted in a conspicuous location on the homepage of the health facility’s internet website.
(3) A notice published in a conspicuous location within a newspaper of general circulation serving the local geographical area in which the health facility is located. The notice shall continue for a minimum of 15 publication dates.
(4) A continuous notice posted in a conspicuous location within the internet website of a newspaper of general circulation serving the local geographical area in which the health facility is located.
(5) A notice posted at the entrance of every community clinic within the affected county in which the health facility is located that grants voluntary permission for posting.
(e) This section shall not apply to a health facility that is forced to close or eliminate a service as a result of a natural disaster or state of emergency that prevents the health facility from being able to operate at its current level.

SEC. 3.Section 1255.4 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:
1255.4.

(a)Except as provided in subdivision (c), during any health-related state of emergency in California proclaimed by the President of the United States or health-related state of emergency proclaimed by the Governor, a hospital shall not do any of the following:

(1)Close or otherwise cease operations.

(2)Eliminate a level of emergency care.

(3)Eliminate a supplemental service.

(b)Except as provided in subdivision (c), during any health-related local emergency, a hospital located within the jurisdiction, or a hospital located within a 40-mile circumference outside the boundary of the jurisdiction, that proclaimed the local emergency shall not do any of the following:

(1)Close or otherwise cease operations.

(2)Eliminate a level of emergency care.

(3)Eliminate a supplemental service.

(c)(1)The department shall impose a penalty of seventy-five thousand dollars ($75,000), per day, for each day a hospital violates subdivision (a) or (b), or both. The department shall deposit all penalties collected pursuant to this section into the Internal Departmental Quality Improvement Account, established pursuant to Section 1280.15, and the penalties shall be subject to appropriation by the Legislature.

(2)The department may excuse a hospital from the prohibitions in subdivision (a), (b), or both, as necessary to redirect resources to address public need for health services during the proclaimed federal or state emergency or local emergency.

(d)(1)During any health-related state of emergency in California proclaimed by the President of the United States or health-related state of emergency proclaimed by the Governor and prior to an offer for sale on the open market, a hospital shall first offer the state and the city and the county where the hospital is located a reasonable opportunity to purchase the hospital at a fair market rate, as determined by the Attorney General.

(2)During any health-related local emergency and prior to an offer for sale on the open market, a hospital located within the jurisdiction, or a hospital located within a 40-mile circumference outside the boundary of the jurisdiction, that proclaimed the local emergency shall first offer the state and the city and the county where the hospital is located a reasonable opportunity to purchase the hospital at a fair market rate, as determined by the Attorney General.

(e)During any health-related state of emergency in California proclaimed by the President of the United States, health-related state of emergency proclaimed by the Governor, or health-related local emergency, a hospital shall ensure that there are no lapses in operation of the hospital between a change in ownership.

(f)This section shall not apply to a hospital that is forced to close, eliminate a level of emergency care, or eliminate a supplemental service as a result of the impacts of a natural disaster on the physical operations of the hospital.

(g)For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:

(1)“Department” means the State Department of Public Health.

(2)“Hospital” means a health facility, as defined in subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 1250, or a hospital that provides emergency medical services under Section 1255.

(3)“Local emergency” means a local emergency proclaimed pursuant to Article 14 (commencing with Section 8630) of Chapter 7 of Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

(4)“Supplemental service” means an organized inpatient or outpatient service which is not required to be provided by law or regulation.

SEC. 4.SEC. 3.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.
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