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AB-565 Public health workforce planning: loan forgiveness, loan repayment, and scholarship programs.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 06/10/2019 02:24 PM
AB565:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  June 10, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 28, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 565


Introduced by Assembly Member Maienschein
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Boerner Horvath, Cristina Garcia, and Lackey)
(Coauthors: Senators Caballero, Chang, and Wieckowski)

February 13, 2019


An act to amend Sections Section 128552 and 128575 of the Health and Safety Code, and to amend Section 5822 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to public health, and making an appropriation therefor.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 565, as amended, Maienschein. Public health workforce planning: loan forgiveness, loan repayment, and scholarship programs.
Existing law establishes the Steven M. Thompson Physician Corps Loan Repayment Program (program) in the California Physician Corps Program within the Health Professions Education Foundation, which provides financial incentives, including repayment of educational loans, to a physician and surgeon who practices in a medically underserved area, as defined. Existing law establishes the Medically Underserved Account for Physicians, a continuously appropriated account, within the Health Professions Education Fund, to primarily provide funding for the ongoing operations of the program.
Existing law defines “practice setting,” for these purposes, to include a community clinic, as defined, 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 to serve its indigent population, that is located in a medically underserved area and at least 50% of whose patients are from a medically underserved population. Existing law also defines “practice setting,” for these purposes, to include 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 that serves patients who earn less than 250% of the federal poverty level.
This bill also would define “practice setting” to include a program or facility operated by, or contracted to, a county mental health plan. By expanding the group of persons eligible for financial incentives payable from a continuously appropriated fund, this bill would make an appropriation.

Existing law establishes the Steven M. Thompson Medical School Scholarship Program within the Health Professions Education Foundation to promote the education of medical doctors and doctors of osteopathy who agree to serve in a medically underserved area. Existing law authorizes the selection committee, as defined, to award up to 20% of the available scholarships to program applicants who will practice specialties outside of a primary speciality.

This bill would instead require the selection committee to award 20% of the available scholarships to program applicants who will practice specialties outside of a primary speciality if there are enough qualified applicants to meet the 20% threshold.

Existing law, the Mental Health Services Act, an initiative measure enacted by the voters as Proposition 63 at the November 2, 2004, statewide general election, requires the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD), in coordination with the California Behavioral Health Planning Council, to identify the total statewide needs for each professional and other occupational category utilizing county needs assessment information and develop a 5-year education and training development plan. Existing law requires OSHPD to include specified components in the 5-year plan, including expansion plans for the forgiveness and scholarship programs offered in return for a commitment to employment in California’s public mental health system and making loan forgiveness programs available to current employees of the mental health system who want to obtain Associate of Arts, Bachelor of Arts, master’s degrees, or doctoral degrees.
This bill would clarify that OSHPD is required to include in the 5-year plan both expansion plans for loan forgiveness and scholarship programs offered in return for a commitment to employment in California’s public mental health system and expansion plans for making loan forgiveness programs available to current employees of the mental health system who want to obtain Associate of Arts, Bachelor of Arts, master’s degrees, or doctoral degrees.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: YES   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 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 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.

SEC. 2.Section 128575 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:
128575.

(a)The selection committee shall use guidelines developed by the office that meet all of the following criteria to select scholarship recipients:

(1)Provide priority consideration to applicants who are best suited to meet the cultural and linguistic needs and demands of patients from medically underserved populations and who meet one or more of the following criteria:

(A)Speak a Medi-Cal threshold language.

(B)Come from an economically disadvantaged background.

(C)Have experience working in medically underserved areas or with medically underserved populations.

(2)Give preference to applicants who have committed to practicing in a primary specialty.

(3)Give preference to applicants who will serve in a practice setting in a super-medically underserved area.

(4)Include a factor ensuring geographic distribution of placements.

(b)The selection committee shall award 20 percent of the available scholarships to program applicants who will practice specialties outside of a primary speciality if there are enough qualified applicants to meet the 20 percent threshold.

(c)The foundation, in consultation with the selection committee, shall develop a process for outreach to potentially eligible applicants.

(d)The office shall develop the guidelines described in subdivision (a) only upon receipt of donations sufficient to cover the costs of developing the guidelines.

SEC. 3.SEC. 2.

 Section 5822 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

5822.
 The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development shall include in the five-year plan:
(a) Expansion plans for the capacity of postsecondary education to meet the needs of identified mental health occupational shortages.
(b) Expansion plans for loan forgiveness and scholarship programs offered in return for a commitment to employment in California’s public mental health system.
(c) Expansion plans for making loan forgiveness programs available to current employees of the mental health system who want to obtain Associate of Arts, Bachelor of Arts, master’s degrees, or doctoral degrees.
(d) Creation of a stipend program modeled after the federal Title IV-E program for persons enrolled in academic institutions who want to be employed in the mental health system.
(e) Establishment of regional partnerships between the mental health system and the educational system to expand outreach to multicultural communities, increase the diversity of the mental health workforce, reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, and promote the use of internet web-based technologies and distance learning techniques.
(f) Strategies to recruit high school students for mental health occupations, increasing the prevalence of mental health occupations in high school career development programs such as health science academies, adult schools, and regional occupation centers and programs, and increasing the number of human service academies.
(g) Curriculum to train and retrain staff to provide services in accordance with the provisions and principles of Part 3 (commencing with Section 5800), Part 3.2 (commencing with Section 5830), Part 3.6 (commencing with Section 5840), and Part 4 (commencing with Section 5850).
(h) Promotion of the employment of mental health consumers and family members in the mental health system.
(i) Promotion of the meaningful inclusion of mental health consumers and family members and incorporating their viewpoint and experiences in the training and education programs in subdivisions (a) through (g).
(j) Promotion of meaningful inclusion of diverse, racial, and ethnic community members who are underrepresented in the mental health provider network.
(k) Promotion of the inclusion of cultural competency in the training and education programs in subdivisions (a) through (g).