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AB-2239 Health care: physician loan repayment.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 03/12/2020 09:00 PM
AB2239:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 12, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2239


Introduced by Assembly Members Maienschein and Chiu

February 13, 2020


An act to amend Section Sections 1341.45 and 128552 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to health care.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2239, as amended, Maienschein. Health care: physician loan repayment.
Existing law, the Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act of 1975, provides for the licensure and regulation of health care service plans by the Department of Managed Health Care. Existing law creates the Managed Care Administrative Fines and Penalties Fund, into which certain fines and penalties paid by health care service plans are deposited. Under existing law, $1,000,000 is annually transferred from the Managed Care Administrative Fines and Penalties Fund to the Medically Underserved Account for Physicians to be used, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to repay the loans of physicians in medically underserved areas through the Steven M. Thompson Physician Corps Loan Repayment Program.
Existing law requires participants in the Steven M. Thompson Physician Corps Loan Repayment Program to have full-time status in an eligible practice setting. Existing law defines “practice setting,” for purposes of the program, to include a community clinic, a clinic owned or operated by a public hospital and health system, or a clinic owned and operated by a hospital that is located in a medically underserved area and at least 50% of whose patients are from a medically underserved population, or a physician owned and operated medical practice setting that provides primary care located in a medically underserved area and has a minimum of 50% of patients who are uninsured, Medi-Cal beneficiaries, or beneficiaries of another publicly funded program.
This bill would instead require $2,000,000 to be annually transferred from the Managed Care Administrative Fines and Penalties Fund to the Medically Underserved Account for Physicians. The bill would define “practice setting” to additionally include a program or facility operated by, or contracted to, a county mental health plan.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 1341.45 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

1341.45.
 (a) There is hereby created in the State Treasury the Managed Care Administrative Fines and Penalties Fund.
(b) The fines and administrative penalties collected pursuant to this chapter shall be deposited into the Managed Care Administrative Fines and Penalties Fund.
(c) The fines and administrative penalties deposited into the Managed Care Administrative Fines and Penalties Fund shall be transferred by the department, beginning September 1, 2009, and annually thereafter, as follows:
(1) The first two million dollars ($2,000,000) shall be transferred to the Medically Underserved Account for Physicians within the Health Professions Education Fund and shall, upon appropriation by the Legislature, be used for the purposes of the Steven M. Thompson Physician Corps Loan Repayment Program, as specified in Article 5 (commencing with Section 128550) or Chapter 5 of Part 3 of Division 107 and, notwithstanding Section 128555, shall not be used to provide funding for the Physician Volunteer Program.
(2) Any amount over the first two million dollars ($2,000,000), including accrued interest, in the fund shall be transferred to the Health Care Services Plan Fines and Penalties Fund created pursuant to Section 15893 of the Welfare and Institutions Code and, notwithstanding Section 13340 of the Government Code, shall be continuously appropriated for the purposes specified in Section 15894 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(d) Notwithstanding subdivision (b) of Section 1356 and Section 1356.1, the fines and administrative penalties authorized pursuant to this chapter shall not be used to reduce the assessments imposed on health care service plans pursuant to Section 1356.

SEC. 2.

 Section 128552 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

128552.
 For purposes of this article, the following definitions shall apply:
(a) “Account” means the Medically Underserved Account for Physicians established within the Health Professions Education Fund pursuant to this article.
(b) “Foundation” means the Health Professions Education Foundation.
(c) “Fund” means the Health Professions Education Fund.
(d) “Medi-Cal threshold languages” means primary languages spoken by limited-English-proficient (LEP) population groups meeting a numeric threshold of 3,000, eligible LEP Medi-Cal beneficiaries residing in a county, 1,000 Medi-Cal eligible LEP beneficiaries residing in a single ZIP Code, or 1,500 LEP Medi-Cal beneficiaries residing in two contiguous ZIP Codes.
(e) “Medically underserved area” means an area defined as a health professional shortage area in Part 5 of Subchapter A of Chapter 1 of Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations or an area of the state where unmet priority needs for physicians exist as determined by the California Healthcare Workforce Policy Commission pursuant to Section 128225.
(f) “Medically underserved population” means the Medi-Cal program, Healthy Families Program, and uninsured populations.
(g) “Office” means the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD).
(h) “Physician Volunteer Program” means the Physician Volunteer Registry Program established by the Medical Board of California.
(i) “Practice setting,” for the purposes of this article only, means either any of the following:
(1) A community clinic as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 1204 and subdivision (c) of Section 1206, a clinic owned or operated by a public hospital and health system, or a clinic owned and operated by a hospital that maintains the primary contract with a county government to fulfill the county’s role pursuant to Section 17000 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, which is located in a medically underserved area and at least 50 percent of whose patients are from a medically underserved population.
(2) A physician owned and operated medical practice setting that provides primary care located in a medically underserved area and has a minimum of 50 percent of patients who are uninsured, Medi-Cal beneficiaries, or beneficiaries of another publicly funded program that serves patients who earn less than 250 percent of the federal poverty level.
(3) A program or facility operated by, or contracted to, a county mental health plan.
(j) “Primary specialty” means family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, or obstetrics/gynecology.
(k) “Program” means the Steven M. Thompson Physician Corps Loan Repayment Program.
(l) “Selection committee” means a minimum three-member committee of the board, that includes a member that was appointed by the Medical Board of California.