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AB-2874 Health facilities: notice: Attorney General.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/19/2018 04:00 AM
AB2874:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 18, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 23, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 2874


Introduced by Assembly Member Thurmond

February 16, 2018


An act to amend Sections 1255.1, 1255.2, and 1255.25 of, and to add Section 1255.26 to, the Health and Safety Code, relating to health facilities.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2874, as amended, Thurmond. Health facilities: notice: Attorney General.
(1) Existing law requires the State Department of Public Health to inspect and license health facilities, as specified. Existing law requires a hospital that provides emergency medical services to, as soon as possible, but not later than 90 days prior to a planned reduction or elimination of the level of emergency medical services, provide notice of the intended change to the department, other specified entities, and the public. Existing law requires a health facility implementing a downgrade or change to make reasonable efforts to ensure that the community it serves is informed of the downgrade or closure. Existing law also requires a health facility to provide public notice, as specified, not less than 30 days prior to closing the facility, eliminating a supplemental service, as defined, or relocating the provision of supplemental services to a different campus.
This bill would require a hospital that provides emergency medical services or a health facility to provide notice, as specified, at least 180 days before making the changes described above. The bill would also require a hospital that provides emergency medical services to additionally provide notice to the Attorney General before a planned reduction or elimination of the level of emergency medical services.
(2) Existing law requires any nonprofit corporation, as defined, that operates or controls a health facility or operates or controls a facility that provides similar health care, to provide written notice to, and obtain the written consent of, the Attorney General prior to agreeing to sell or otherwise dispose of a material amount of its assets to another nonprofit corporation or entity. Existing law authorizes the Attorney General to consider, before consenting to an agreement to sell or dispose of assets to these corporations or entities, whether the terms and conditions of the agreement or transaction are fair and reasonable to the nonprofit corporation, and whether the agreement or transaction is at a fair market value, as specified. Existing law requires the Attorney General to conduct one or more public meetings to hear comments from interested parties, as specified, and to notify the nonprofit corporation in writing of the decision to consent to, give conditional consent to, or not consent to the agreement or transaction within 90 days of the receipt of the written notice, as specified.
This bill would require a health facility, as defined, to provide written notice to the Attorney General pursuant to the notice and consent requirements described above not less than 180 days prior to closing the facility or eliminating a supplemental service, as defined. The bill would prohibit a health facility from closing the facility or eliminating a supplemental service prior to obtaining the written consent of the Attorney General, as specified. General. The bill would require the Attorney General to conduct one or more public meetings to hear comments from interested parties, as specified, and to notify the facility in writing of the decision to consent to, give conditional consent to, or not consent to the closure or elimination of service within 90 days of the receipt of the written notice, as specified.
(3) Under existing law, violation of the provisions relating to health facility licensure is a misdemeanor.
By changing the definition of a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 1255.1 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

1255.1.
 (a)  Any hospital that provides emergency medical services under Section 1255 shall, as soon as possible, but not later than 180 days prior to a planned reduction or elimination of the level of emergency medical services, provide notice of the intended change to the state department, the Attorney General, the local government entity in charge of the provision of health services, and all health care service plans or other entities under contract with the hospital to provide services to enrollees of the plan or other entity.
(b)  In addition to the notice required by subdivision (a), the hospital shall provide, at the same time as the notice specified in subdivision (a), public notice of the intended change in a manner that is likely to reach a significant number of residents of the community serviced by that facility.
(c)  A hospital shall not be subject to this section or Section 1255.2 if the state department does either of the following:
(1)  Determines that the use of resources to keep the emergency center open substantially threatens the stability of the hospital as a whole.
(2)  Cites the emergency center for unsafe staffing practices.

SEC. 2.

 Section 1255.2 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

1255.2.
 A health facility implementing a downgrade or change downgrade, change, or closure shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the community served by its facility is informed of the downgrade or closure downgrade, change, or closure at least 180 days prior to the downgrade, change, or closure. Reasonable efforts may include, but not be limited to, advertising the change in terms likely to be understood by a layperson, soliciting media coverage regarding the change, informing patients of the facility of the impending change, and notifying contracting health care service plans as required in Section 1255.1.

SEC. 3.

 Section 1255.25 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

1255.25.
 (a) (1) Not less than 180 days prior to closing a health facility, as defined in subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 1250, or eliminating a supplemental service, as defined in Section 70067 of Chapter 1 of Division 5 of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations, the facility shall provide public notice of the proposed closure or elimination of the supplemental service, including a notice posted at the entrance to all affected facilities and a notice to the department and the board of supervisors of the county in which the health facility is located.
(2) Not less than 180 days prior to relocating the provision of supplemental services to a different campus, a health facility, as defined in subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 1250, shall provide public notice of the proposed relocation of supplemental services, including a notice posted at the entrance to all affected facilities and notice to the department and the board of supervisors of the county in which the health facility is located.
(b) The notice required by paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (a) shall include all of the following:
(1) A description of the proposed closure, elimination, or relocation. The description shall be limited to publicly available data, including the number of beds eliminated, if any, the probable decrease in the number of personnel, and a summary of any service that is being eliminated, if applicable.
(2) A description of the three nearest available comparable services in the community. If the health facility closing these services serves Medi-Cal or Medicare patients, this health facility shall specify if the providers of the nearest available comparable services serve these patients.
(3) A telephone number and address for each of the following, where interested parties may offer comments:
(A) The health facility.
(B) The parent entity, if any, or contracted company, if any, that acts as the corporate administrator of the health facility.
(C) The chief executive officer.
(c) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) and (b), this section shall not apply to county facilities subject to Section 1442.5.

SEC. 4.

 Section 1255.26 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

1255.26.
 (a) (1) Not less than 180 days prior to closing a health facility, as defined in subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 1250, or eliminating a supplemental service, as defined in Section 70067 of Article 1 of Chapter 1 of Division 5 of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations, the facility shall provide written notice to the Attorney General pursuant to Sections 5920 to 5924, inclusive, of the Corporations Code. General.
(2) The notice to the Attorney General shall contain the information the Attorney General determines is required. The notice shall be made available by the Attorney General to the public in written form as soon as is practicable after it is received by the Attorney General. The notice to the Attorney General shall include a list of the primary languages spoken at the facility and the threshold languages for Medi-Cal beneficiaries as determined by the State Department of Health Care Services for the county in which the facility is located. The Attorney General may require the facility to provide certain components of the notice in any of those languages.
(b) (1) The facility shall not close a health facility, as defined in subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 1250, or eliminate a supplemental service, as defined in Section 70067 of Article 1 of Chapter 1 of Division 5 of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations, prior to obtaining the written consent of the Attorney General pursuant to Sections 5920 to 5924, inclusive, of the Corporations Code. General.
(2) Within 90 days of the receipt of the written notice required by subdivision (a), the Attorney General shall notify the facility in writing of the decision to consent to, give conditional consent to, or not consent to the facility closure or elimination of service. The Attorney General may extend this period for one additional 45-day period if any of the following conditions are satisfied:
(A) The extension is necessary to obtain relevant information from any state agency, experts, or consultants.
(B) The proposed closure or elimination of service is substantially modified after the first public meeting conducted by the Attorney General in accordance with subdivision (c).
(C) The proposed closure or elimination of service involves a multifacility health system serving multiple communities, rather than a single facility.
(c) Prior to issuing any written decision referred to in subdivision (b), the Attorney General shall conduct one or more public meetings, one of which shall be in the county in which the facility is located, to hear comments from interested parties. At least 14 days before conducting the public meeting, the Attorney General shall provide written notice of the time and place of the meeting through publication in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the affected community and to the board of supervisors of the county in which the facility is located. This notice shall be provided in English and in the primary languages spoken at the facility and the threshold languages for Medi-Cal beneficiaries as determined by the State Department of Health Care Services for the county in which the facility is located. If a substantive change in the proposed closure or elimination of service is submitted to the Attorney General after the initial public meeting, the Attorney General may conduct an additional public meeting to hear comments from interested parties with respect to that change.

SEC. 5.

 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.