Bill Text: CA SB799 | 2017-2018 | Regular Session | Enrolled


Bill Title: Nursing.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Enrolled) 2017-09-19 - Enrolled and presented to the Governor at 4 p.m. [SB799 Detail]

Download: California-2017-SB799-Enrolled.html

Enrolled  September 15, 2017
Passed  IN  Senate  September 13, 2017
Passed  IN  Assembly  September 07, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  August 24, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  July 03, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  May 26, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  May 01, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  April 20, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  April 17, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 799


Introduced by Senator Hill

February 17, 2017


An act to amend Sections 801, 2701, 2708, 2770.7, 2811.5, and 2814 of, to add Section 2761.5 to, and to repeal Section 2718 of, the Business and Professions Code, relating to healing arts.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 799, Hill. Nursing.
Existing law, the Nursing Practice Act, establishes the Board of Registered Nursing within the Department of Consumer Affairs and sets forth its powers and duties regarding the licensure and regulation of registered nurses. The act requires the board to appoint an executive officer to perform duties delegated by the board.
The act on January 1, 2018, repeals the provisions establishing the board and the executive officer position.
This bill would extend the repeal date of those provisions to January 1, 2022.
The act prescribes various fees to be paid by licensees and applicants for licensure, and requires these fees to be credited to the Board of Registered Nursing Fund, which is a continuously appropriated fund as it pertains to fees collected by the board.
This bill would delete the continuous appropriation, thereby subjecting all moneys in the fund to appropriation by the Legislature.
The act requires the board, by February 1, 2016, to contract with the California State Auditor’s Office to conduct a performance audit of the board’s enforcement program, as specified.
This bill would repeal the performance audit provisions.
The act authorizes the board to take disciplinary action against certified or licensed nurses or to deny an application for a certificate or license for various acts and offenses.
This bill would require the California Research Bureau to prepare and deliver a report to the Legislature by January 1, 2019, that evaluates to what extent employers voluntarily report disciplined nurses to the board and that offers options for consistent and reasonable reporting mechanisms.
The act provides for an intervention program to identify and rehabilitate registered nurses whose competency may be impaired due to abuse of alcohol and other drugs, or due to mental illness. The act authorizes a registered nurse under current investigation by the board to request entry into the intervention program by contacting the board. The act authorizes the board to close an investigation of a registered nurse who enters the program under specified circumstances and requires the board to reopen the investigation only if the registered nurse withdraws or is terminated from the program. Under the act, neither acceptance nor participation in the intervention program precludes the board from investigating or continuing to investigate, or taking disciplinary action or continuing to take disciplinary action against, any registered nurse for any unprofessional conduct committed before, during, or after participation in the intervention program.
This bill would delete those provisions providing for the suspension of a current investigation while a registered nurse is in the program and, instead, would authorize the board to investigate at its discretion complaints against registered nurses participating in the intervention program. The bill would prohibit disciplinary action with regard to acts committed before or during participation in the intervention program, unless the registered nurse withdraws or is terminated from the intervention program.
The act requires a person renewing his or her license to submit proof satisfactory to the board that, during the preceding 2-year period, he or she has been informed of the developments in the registered nurse field or in any special area of practice engaged in by the licensee, occurring since the last renewal thereof, either by pursuing a course or courses of continuing education in the registered nurse field or relevant to the practice of the licensee, and approved by the board, or by other means deemed equivalent by the board. The act requires the board to adopt regulations establishing standards for continuing education for licensees, as specified, including a requirement that the standards be established in a manner to ensure that a variety of alternative forms of continuing education are available to licensees.
This bill would require the board, by January 1, 2019, to deliver a report to the appropriate legislative policy committees detailing a comprehensive plan for approving and disapproving continuing education opportunities, and, by January 1, 2020, to report to the appropriate legislative committees on its progress implementing this plan. The bill would require that the alternative forms of continuing education available to licensees include online forms of continuing education.
Existing law requires insurers that provide liability insurance to certain licensees, including persons licensed by the board, to report to the licensing agency certain settlement or arbitration awards over $3,000.
This bill would increase the report threshold to $10,000 for a person licensed under the act. The bill would define “insurer” for those purposes.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 801 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

801.
 (a) Except as provided in Section 801.01 and subdivisions (b), (c), (d), and (e) of this section, every insurer providing professional liability insurance to a person who holds a license, certificate, or similar authority from or under any agency specified in subdivision (a) of Section 800 shall send a complete report to that agency as to any settlement or arbitration award over three thousand dollars ($3,000) of a claim or action for damages for death or personal injury caused by that person’s negligence, error, or omission in practice, or by his or her rendering of unauthorized professional services. The report shall be sent within 30 days after the written settlement agreement has been reduced to writing and signed by all parties thereto or within 30 days after service of the arbitration award on the parties.
(b) Every insurer providing professional liability insurance to a person licensed pursuant to Chapter 13 (commencing with Section 4980), Chapter 14 (commencing with Section 4990), or Chapter 16 (commencing with Section 4999.10) shall send a complete report to the Board of Behavioral Sciences as to any settlement or arbitration award over ten thousand dollars ($10,000) of a claim or action for damages for death or personal injury caused by that person’s negligence, error, or omission in practice, or by his or her rendering of unauthorized professional services. The report shall be sent within 30 days after the written settlement agreement has been reduced to writing and signed by all parties thereto or within 30 days after service of the arbitration award on the parties.
(c) Every insurer providing professional liability insurance to a dentist licensed pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 1600) shall send a complete report to the Dental Board of California as to any settlement or arbitration award over ten thousand dollars ($10,000) of a claim or action for damages for death or personal injury caused by that person’s negligence, error, or omission in practice, or rendering of unauthorized professional services. The report shall be sent within 30 days after the written settlement agreement has been reduced to writing and signed by all parties thereto or within 30 days after service of the arbitration award on the parties.
(d) Every insurer providing liability insurance to a veterinarian licensed pursuant to Chapter 11 (commencing with Section 4800) shall send a complete report to the Veterinary Medical Board of any settlement or arbitration award over ten thousand dollars ($10,000) of a claim or action for damages for death or injury caused by that person’s negligence, error, or omission in practice, or rendering of unauthorized professional service. The report shall be sent within 30 days after the written settlement agreement has been reduced to writing and signed by all parties thereto or within 30 days after service of the arbitration award on the parties.
(e) Every insurer providing professional liability insurance to a person licensed pursuant to Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 2700) shall send a complete report to the Board of Registered Nursing as to any settlement or arbitration award over ten thousand dollars ($10,000) of a claim or action for damages for death or personal injury caused by that person’s negligence, error, or omission in practice, or by his or her rendering of unauthorized professional services. The report shall be sent within 30 days after the written settlement agreement has been reduced to writing and signed by all parties thereto or within 30 days after service of the arbitration award on the parties.
(f) The insurer shall notify the claimant, or if the claimant is represented by counsel, the insurer shall notify the claimant’s attorney, that the report required by subdivision (a), (b), or (c) has been sent to the agency. If the attorney has not received this notice within 45 days after the settlement was reduced to writing and signed by all of the parties, the arbitration award was served on the parties, or the date of entry of the civil judgment, the attorney shall make the report to the agency.
(g) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no insurer shall enter into a settlement without the written consent of the insured, except that this prohibition shall not void any settlement entered into without that written consent. The requirement of written consent shall only be waived by both the insured and the insurer.
(h) For purposes of this section, “insurer” means the following:
(1) The insurer providing professional liability insurance to the licensee.
(2) The licensee, or his or her counsel, if the licensee does not possess professional liability insurance.
(3) A state or local governmental agency, including, but not limited to, a joint powers authority, that self-insures the licensee. As used in this paragraph, “state governmental agency” includes, but is not limited to, the University of California.

SEC. 2.

 Section 2701 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

2701.
 (a) There is in the Department of Consumer Affairs the Board of Registered Nursing consisting of nine members.
(b) For purposes of this chapter, “board,” or “the board,” refers to the Board of Registered Nursing. Any reference in state law to the Board of Nurse Examiners of the State of California or the California Board of Nursing Education and Nurse Registration shall be construed to refer to the Board of Registered Nursing.
(c) The board shall have all authority vested in the previous board under this chapter. The board may enforce all disciplinary actions undertaken by the previous board.
(d) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2022, and as of that date, is repealed, unless a later enacted statute that is enacted before January 1, 2022, deletes or extends that date. Notwithstanding any other law, the repeal of this section renders the board subject to review by the appropriate policy committees of the Legislature.

SEC. 3.

 Section 2708 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

2708.
 (a) The board shall appoint an executive officer who shall perform the duties delegated by the board and who shall be responsible to it for the accomplishment of those duties.
(b) The executive officer shall be a nurse currently licensed under this chapter and shall possess other qualifications as determined by the board.
(c) The executive officer shall not be a member of the board.
(d) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2022, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2022, deletes or extends that date.

SEC. 4.

 Section 2718 of the Business and Professions Code is repealed.

SEC. 5.

 Section 2761.5 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

2761.5.
 It is the intent of the Legislature to provide for a study of reporting mechanisms to the board so that it can identify methods of receiving timely information on nurses who may have violated this chapter. The California Research Bureau shall prepare and deliver a report to the Legislature by January 1, 2019, that evaluates to what extent employers voluntarily report disciplined nurses to the board and offers options for consistent and reasonable reporting mechanisms. The report shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(a) A review of existing mandatory reporting requirements that alert the board to nurses who may have violated this chapter.
(b) A review of existing laws permitting, prohibiting, encouraging, or discouraging voluntary reporting to the board.
(c) An analysis of the number of employer reports to the board, the number of those reports investigated by the board, and the final action taken by the board for each report.
(d) Employer reporting requirements of other boards within the department.
(e) Nursing reporting requirements of other states.

SEC. 6.

 Section 2770.7 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

2770.7.
 (a) The board shall establish criteria for the acceptance, denial, or termination of registered nurses in the intervention program. Only those registered nurses who have voluntarily requested to participate in the intervention program shall participate in the program.
(b) A registered nurse under current investigation by the board may request entry into the intervention program by contacting the board. Prior to authorizing a registered nurse to enter into the intervention program, the board may require the registered nurse under current investigation for any violations of this chapter or any other provision of this code to execute a statement of understanding that states that the registered nurse understands that his or her violations that would otherwise be the basis for discipline may still be investigated and may be the subject of disciplinary action in accordance with this section.
(c) (1) Neither acceptance nor participation in the intervention program shall preclude the board from investigating or continuing to investigate, or, except as provided in this subdivision, taking disciplinary action or continuing to take disciplinary action against, any registered nurse for any unprofessional conduct committed before, during, or after participation in the intervention program.
(2) The board may investigate at its discretion complaints against registered nurses participating in the intervention program.
(3) Disciplinary action with regard to acts committed before or during participation in the intervention program shall not take place unless the registered nurse withdraws or is terminated from the program.
(d) All registered nurses shall sign an agreement of understanding that the withdrawal or termination from the intervention program at a time when the program manager or intervention evaluation committee determines the licentiate presents a threat to the public’s health and safety shall result in the utilization by the board of intervention program treatment records in disciplinary or criminal proceedings.
(e) Any registered nurse terminated from the intervention program for failure to comply with program requirements is subject to disciplinary action by the board for acts committed before, during, and after participation in the intervention program. A registered nurse who has been under investigation by the board and has been terminated from the intervention program by an intervention evaluation committee shall be reported by the intervention evaluation committee to the board.

SEC. 7.

 Section 2811.5 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

2811.5.
 (a) Each person renewing his or her license under Section 2811 shall submit proof satisfactory to the board that, during the preceding two-year period, he or she has been informed of the developments in the registered nurse field or in any special area of practice engaged in by the licensee, occurring since the last renewal thereof, either by pursuing a course or courses of continuing education in the registered nurse field or relevant to the practice of the licensee, and approved by the board, or by other means deemed equivalent by the board.
(b) Notwithstanding Section 10231.5 of the Government Code, the board, in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code, shall do the following:
(1) By January 1, 2019, deliver a report to the appropriate legislative policy committees detailing a comprehensive plan for approving and disapproving continuing education opportunities.
(2) By January 1, 2020, report to the appropriate legislative committees on its progress implementing this plan.
(c) For purposes of this section, the board shall, by regulation, establish standards for continuing education. The standards shall be established in a manner to ensure that a variety of alternative forms of continuing education are available to licensees, including, but not limited to, online, academic studies, in-service education, institutes, seminars, lectures, conferences, workshops, extension studies, and home study programs. The standards shall take cognizance of specialized areas of practice, and content shall be relevant to the practice of nursing and shall be related to the scientific knowledge or technical skills required for the practice of nursing or be related to direct or indirect patient or client care. The continuing education standards established by the board shall not exceed 30 hours of direct participation in a course or courses approved by the board, or its equivalent in the units of measure adopted by the board.
(d) The board shall audit continuing education providers at least once every five years to ensure adherence to regulatory requirements, and shall withhold or rescind approval from any provider that is in violation of the regulatory requirements.
(e) The board shall encourage continuing education in spousal or partner abuse detection and treatment. In the event the board establishes a requirement for continuing education coursework in spousal or partner abuse detection or treatment, that requirement shall be met by each licensee within no more than four years from the date the requirement is imposed.
(f) In establishing standards for continuing education, the board shall consider including a course in the special care needs of individuals and their families, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(1) Pain and symptom management, including palliative care.
(2) The psychosocial dynamics of death.
(3) Dying and bereavement.
(4) Hospice care.
(g) This section shall not apply to licensees during the first two years immediately following their initial licensure in California or any other governmental jurisdiction.
(h) The board may, in accordance with the intent of this section, make exceptions from continuing education requirements for licensees residing in another state or country, or for reasons of health, military service, or other good cause.

SEC. 8.

 Section 2814 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

2814.
 All money in the Board of Registered Nursing Fund shall be available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to carry out this chapter and the promotion of nursing education in this state.