February 24, 2012, was the last day to introduce legislation for this year’s session. While the California Medical Association (CMA) will take a position on hundreds of bills in the coming weeks and months, we there are also nine new sponsored bills that were subject to the February deadline, a few of which are listed below. A full summary of CMA-sponsored bills, including legislation on a physician health program in California, will be forthcoming.
SB 1318 (Wolk) Health facilities: influenza vaccinations – This bill would require all health care workers in health care facilities, including physicians, to either receive the influenza vaccination or wear a mask to help prevent the spread of influenza.
AB 1742 (Pan) Health care coverage: payment for benefits – Requires Knox-Keene regulated PPO products to authorize and permit assignment of an enrollee’s or subscriber’s right to reimbursement for covered services to the provider furnishing those services. The bill provides for the direct payment of individual insurance medical benefits by a health insurer to the person who provided the hospitalization or medical or surgical aid, and limits the amount of the reimbursement to the amount of the benefit covered by the policy.
AB 1746 (Williams) Schools: nutrition: beverages – This bill would ban the sale of sugary sports drinks during school hours at middle and high school campuses throughout California.
AB 2109 (Pan) Communicable disease: immunization exemption – This bill would require a parent or guardian seeking a personal belief exemption for their child to obtain a document signed by themselves and a licensed health care practitioner saying they have been informed of the risks and benefits of the immunizations, as well as the public health risks of the specified communicable diseases. This bill preserves a parent’s option to exempt their child from immunizations, but also ensures that such a decision is an informed one.
AB 2063 (V. Manuel Perez) Immunizations for children: reimbursement of physicians – Requires a health care service plan or health insurer that provides coverage for childhood and adolescent immunization to reimburse a physician or physician group in an amount not less than the actual cost of acquiring the vaccine plus the cost of administration of the vaccine. The bill would prohibit the imposition of deductibles, coinsurance or other cost-sharing mechanism for the administration of childhood or adolescent immunizations or for related procedures. The bill also prohibits the plan from requiring a physician or physician group to assume financial risk for immunizations, whether or not those immunizations are part of the current contract.