Bill Text

Bill Information

PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

AB-919 Alcoholism and drug abuse recovery and treatment programs.(2019-2020)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 07/08/2019 02:00 PM
AB919:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  July 08, 2019
Amended  IN  Senate  June 25, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 25, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 919


Introduced by Assembly Member Petrie-Norris
(Coauthors: Senators Bates and Stern)

February 20, 2019


An act to amend Sections 11831.6 and 11831.7 of, and to add Section 11831.65 to, the Health and Safety Code, relating to drug and alcohol programs.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 919, as amended, Petrie-Norris. Alcoholism and drug abuse recovery and treatment programs.
Existing law provides for the licensure and regulation of adult alcoholism or drug abuse recovery or treatment facilities by the State Department of Health Care Services and authorizes the department to enforce those provisions. Existing law prohibits specified persons, programs, or entities, such as an alcoholism or drug abuse treatment facility or a person employed by, or working for, an alcohol or other drug program, from giving or receiving anything of value for the referral of a person who is seeking alcoholism or drug abuse recovery and treatment services. Existing law authorizes the department to investigate allegations of violations of those provisions, and authorizes the department to assess various penalties upon a person, program, or entity that is found in violation of those provisions.
This bill would exempt specified actions, including, among other things, reduced copayments made to a hospital for outpatient services and remuneration to a patient that promotes access to care and poses a low risk of harm, from the prohibition on referrals. The bill would additionally prohibit the persons, programs, and entities described above from offering outpatients free or subsidized housing or transportation services. The bill would require laboratories or certified outpatient treatment programs that lease, manage, or own housing that is offered to patients individuals using the laboratory or outpatient treatment services to maintain separate housing contracts stating that payment for the housing is the patient’s responsibility and does not depend on insurance benefits. The bill would allow licensed inpatient facilities to require alcoholism or drug abuse recovery or treatment facilities to only offer discounted postdischarge housing and specified transportation services under certain conditions, including that the patient enters into a repayment plan for any subsidized rent. The bill would provide that violations of those provisions are punishable by the sanctions described above.
This bill would require the department to establish an enforcement program focused on the duties to enforce these provisions, and would require staff of the enforcement program to provide the department with analytical support, general oversight and monitoring, and legal guidance regarding those provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 11831.6 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

11831.6.
 (a) The following persons, programs, or entities shall not give or receive remuneration or anything of value for the referral of a person who is seeking residential or outpatient alcoholism or drug abuse recovery and or treatment services:
(1) An alcoholism or drug abuse recovery and or treatment facility licensed under this part.
(2) An owner, partner, officer, or director, or shareholder who holds an interest of at least 10 percent in an alcoholism or drug abuse recovery and or treatment facility licensed under this part.
(3) A person employed by, or working for, an alcoholism or drug abuse recovery and or treatment facility licensed under this part, including, but not limited to, registered and certified counselors and licensed professionals providing counseling services.
(4) An alcohol or other drug outpatient program certified by the department in accordance with the alcohol or other drug certification standards established pursuant to Section 11830.1.
(5) An owner, partner, officer, or director, or shareholder who holds an interest of at least 10 percent in an alcohol or other drug outpatient program certified by the department in accordance with the alcohol or other drug certification standards established pursuant to Section 11830.1.
(6) A person employed by, or working for, an alcohol or other drug outpatient program certified by the department in accordance with the alcohol or other drug certification standards established pursuant to Section 11830.1, including, but not limited to, registered and certified counselors and licensed professionals providing counseling services.
(b) Notwithstanding the rulemaking provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code), the department may, if it deems appropriate, implement, interpret, or make specific this section by means of provider bulletins, written guidelines, or similar instructions from the department, until regulations are adopted.

(c)This section does not prohibit any of the following:

(1)A reduced copayment made to a hospital for outpatient services.

(2)Remuneration to a patient that promotes access to care and poses a low risk of harm as long as the care is medically necessary, removes obstacles or provides tools and resources that will help a beneficiary access care and is not solely a reward for patient adherence, is not likely to interefere with, or skew, clinical decision-making, is unlikely to increase costs to health care programs or beneficiaries through overutilization or inappropriate utilization, and does not raise patient safety or quality of care concerns.

(3)Offers or services, excluding cash or cash equivalents including, but not limited to, checks or debit cards, for free or less than fair market value if there is a good faith determination of the individual’s financial need, if the items or services offered at reduced or not cost are not advertised, the offer is not tied to the provision of other items or services, and there is a reasonable connection between the services being offered and the medical needs of the individual.

SEC. 2.

 Section 11831.65 is added to the Health and Safety Code, immediately following Section 11831.6, to read:
11831.65.

(a)A person, program, or entity described in subdivision (a) of Section 11831.6 shall not offer either of the following:

(1)Free or subsidized housing for outpatients.

(2)Transportation services.

(b)

11831.65.
 (a) A laboratory or certified outpatient treatment program that leases, manages, or owns housing facilities units that are offered to patients individuals who concurrently utilize laboratory or outpatient services shall maintain separate contracts for the use of the housing facilities. the housing. The contract shall clearly state that payment for housing is the responsibility of the patient individual and does not depend on insurance benefits. The contract shall include a repayment plan for any subsidized rent, and the laboratory or certified outpatient treatment program shall make a good faith effort to collect the debt. The offer for housing shall not depend on the individual’s agreement to receive services from either the laboratory or the certified outpatient treatment program.

(c)Notwithstanding subdivision (a), a licensed inpatient facility may

(b) An alcoholism or drug abuse recovery or treatment facility licensed under this part shall only offer a patient an individual discounted housing following discharge from the facility if all of the following conditions are met:
(1) The alcoholism or drug abuse recovery or treatment facility and the patient individual enter into a written contract for housing that is separate from the contract for treatment. treatment, if the individual also pursues outpatient treatment.
(2) The contract described in paragraph (1) includes a repayment plan for any subsidized rent, and the alcoholism or drug abuse recovery or treatment facility makes a good faith effort to collect the debt.
(3) The offer for housing is not dependent upon the patient’s individual’s agreement to attend outpatient treatment at a program that is owned or operated by the alcoholism or drug abuse recovery or treatment facility.

(d)Notwithstanding subdivision (a), a licensed inpatient facility may

(c) An alcoholism or drug abuse recovery or treatment facility licensed under this part shall only offer transportation services to a patient an individual who is seeking recovery or treatment services if all of the following conditions are met:
(1) Any ground transportation provided to an individual who is seeking recovery or treatment services is for a distance of less than 125 miles.
(2) Any air transportation provided to an individual who is seeking recovery or treatment services includes a return ticket that may be used by the patient individual upon discharge.
(3) A return ticket not used by a patient an individual upon discharge is left open and made available to the patient individual upon request for a period of one year following the patient’s individual’s discharge.

(e)(1)

(d) This section does not prohibit a person, program, or entity from providing patients an individual educational or informational materials about community resources, including, but not limited to, housing assistance.

(2)This section does not prohibit a person, program, or entity from providing patients with financing to defer the expense of housing, transportation, or other patient financial responsibilities, if that financing is offered strictly based on financial need, not marketed or otherwise promoted to induce patients to choose a particular program, and made with a repayment plan and good faith effort to collect the debt.

SEC. 3.

 Section 11831.7 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

11831.7.
 (a) The department may investigate allegations of violations of Section 11831.6 or 11831.65. The department may, upon finding a violation of Section 11831.6 or 11831.65 or any regulation adopted pursuant to those sections, do any of the following:
(1) Assess a penalty upon an alcoholism or drug abuse recovery and or treatment facility licensed under this part.
(2) Suspend or revoke the license of an alcoholism or drug abuse recovery and or treatment facility licensed under Chapter 7.5 (commencing with Section 11834.01), or deny an application for licensure, extension of the licensing period, or modification to a license. Article 4 (commencing with Section 11834.35) of Chapter 7.5 shall apply to any action taken pursuant to this paragraph.
(3) Assess a penalty upon an alcohol or other drug outpatient program certified by the department in accordance with the alcohol or other drug certification standards established pursuant to Section 11830.1.
(4) Suspend or revoke the certification of an alcohol or other drug outpatient program certified by the department in accordance with the alcohol or other drug certification standards established pursuant to Section 11830.1.
(5) Suspend or revoke the registration or certification of a counselor for a violation of Section 11831.6 or 11831.65.
(b) The department may investigate allegations against a licensed professional providing counseling services at an alcoholism or drug abuse recovery and or treatment program licensed, certified, or funded under this part, and recommend disciplinary actions, including, but not limited to, termination of employment at a program and suspension and revocation of licensure by the respective licensing board.
(c) The department shall establish an enforcement program focused on the oversight duties of this section. Staff of the enforcement program shall have responsibilities including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(1) Provide the department with analytical support for the development and administration of the prohibition in Section 11831.6.
(2) Provide the department with general oversight and monitoring focused on investigations and enforcement of this section and Section 11831.6.
(3) Provide the department with legal guidance in the interpretation of this section and Section 11831.6.
(d) Notwithstanding the rulemaking provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code), the department may, if it deems appropriate, implement, interpret, or make specific this section by means of provider bulletins, written guidelines, or similar instructions from the department, until regulations are adopted.