Today's Law As Amended

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AB-451 Health care facilities: treatment of psychiatric emergency medical conditions.(2019-2020)

As Amends the Law Today


 Section 1317 of the Health and Safety Code, as amended by Section 1 of Chapter 831 of the Statutes of 2018, is amended to read:

 (a) Emergency services and care shall be provided to any person requesting the services or care, or for whom services or care is requested, for any condition in which the person is in danger of loss of life, or serious injury or illness, at any health facility licensed under this chapter that maintains and operates an emergency department to provide emergency services to the public when the health facility has appropriate facilities and qualified personnel available to provide the services or care.
(b) In no event shall the provision of emergency services and care be based upon, or affected by, the person’s ethnicity, citizenship, age, preexisting medical condition, insurance status, economic status, ability to pay for medical services, or any other characteristic listed or defined in subdivision (b) or (e) of Section 51 of the Civil Code, except to the extent that a circumstance such as age, sex, preexisting medical condition, or physical or mental disability is medically significant to the provision of appropriate medical care to the patient.
(c) Neither the health facility, its employees, nor any physician and surgeon, dentist, clinical psychologist, or podiatrist shall be liable in any action arising out of a refusal to render emergency services or care if the refusal is based on the determination, exercising reasonable care, that the person is not suffering from an emergency medical condition, or that the health facility does not have the appropriate facilities or qualified personnel available to render those services.
(d) Emergency services and care shall be rendered without first questioning the patient or any other person as to his or her  the patient’s  ability to pay therefor. However, the patient or his or her  the patient’s  legally responsible relative or guardian shall execute an agreement to pay therefor or otherwise supply insurance or credit information promptly after the services are rendered.
(e) If a health facility subject to this chapter does not maintain an emergency department, its employees shall nevertheless exercise reasonable care to determine whether an emergency exists and shall direct the persons seeking emergency care to a nearby facility that can render the needed services, and shall assist the persons seeking emergency care in obtaining the services, including transportation services, in every way reasonable under the circumstances.
(f) (1) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), a psychiatric unit within a general acute care hospital, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 1250, a psychiatric health facility, as defined in Section 1250.2, and an acute psychiatric hospital, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 1250, shall provide emergency services and care to treat a person with a psychiatric emergency medical condition, as defined in subdivision (k) of Section 1317.1, who has been accepted by the facility consistent with paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 1317.1, regardless of whether the facility operates an emergency department, provided that all of the following requirements are met:
(A) The treating physician at the sending facility has determined that the patient is medically stable and appropriate for treatment in a psychiatric setting and has included that determination in the patient’s medical record.
(B) The facility has an available bed.
(C) The facility has appropriate facilities and qualified personnel available to provide the services or care.
(2) This paragraph does not apply to a facility listed in Section 4100 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(f) (g)  A general acute care hospital or  hospital,  acute psychiatric hospital  hospital, or psychiatric health facility  shall not require a person who voluntarily seeks care to be in custody pursuant to Section 5150 of the Welfare and Institutions Code as a condition of accepting a transfer of that person after his or her  the person’s  written consent for treatment and transfer is documented or in the absence of evidence of probable cause for detention, as defined in Section 5150.05 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(g) (h)  An act or omission of a rescue team established by a health facility licensed under this chapter, or operated by the federal or state government, a county, or by the Regents of the University of California, done or omitted while attempting to resuscitate a person who is in immediate danger of loss of life shall not impose any liability upon the health facility, the officers, members of the staff, nurses, or employees of the health facility, including, but not limited to, the members of the rescue team, or upon the federal or state government or a county, if good faith is exercised.
(h) (i)  “Rescue team,” as used in this section, means a special group of physicians and surgeons, nurses, and employees of a health facility who have been trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and have been designated by the health facility to attempt, in cases of emergency, to resuscitate persons who are in immediate danger of loss of life.
(i) (j)  This section does not relieve a health facility of any duty otherwise imposed by law upon the health facility for the designation and training of members of a rescue team or for the provision or maintenance of equipment to be used by a rescue team.
SEC. 2.
 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.