Code Section Group

Health and Safety Code - HSC

DIVISION 2.5. EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES [1797 - 1799.207]

  ( Division 2.5 added by Stats. 1980, Ch. 1260. )

CHAPTER 3.75. Trauma Care Fund [1797.198 - 1797.199]
  ( Chapter 3.75 added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 171, Sec. 2.5. )

1797.198.
  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) Trauma care is an essential public service. It is as vital to the safety of the public as the services provided by law enforcement and fire departments. In communities with access to trauma centers, mortality and morbidity rates from traumatic injuries are significantly reduced. For the same reasons that each community in California needs timely access to the services of skilled police, paramedics, and fire personnel, each community needs access to the services provided by certified trauma centers.

(b) Trauma centers save lives by providing immediate coordination of highly specialized care for the most life-threatening injuries.

(c) Trauma centers save lives, and also save money, because access to trauma care can mean the difference between full recovery from a traumatic injury, and serious disability necessitating expensive long-term care.

(d) Trauma centers do their job most effectively as part of a system that includes a local plan with a means of immediately identifying trauma cases and transporting those patients to the nearest trauma center.

(e) It is essential for persons in need of trauma care to receive that care within the 60-minute period immediately following injury. It is during this period, referred to as the “golden hour,” when the potential for survival is greatest, and the need for treatment for shock or injury is most critical.

(f) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this act to promote access to trauma care by ensuring the availability of services through EMS agency-designated trauma centers.

(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 80, Sec. 1.1. Effective July 19, 2005.)

1797.199.
  

(a) There is hereby created in the State Treasury, the Trauma Care Fund, which, notwithstanding Section 13340 of the Government Code, is hereby continuously appropriated without regard to fiscal years to the authority for the purposes specified in subdivision (c).

(b) The fund shall contain any moneys deposited in the fund pursuant to appropriation by the Legislature or from any other source, as well as, notwithstanding Section 16305.7 of the Government Code, any interest and dividends earned on moneys in the fund.

(c) Moneys in the fund shall be expended by the authority to provide for allocations to local EMS agencies, for distribution to local EMS agency-designated trauma centers provided for by this chapter.

(d) Within 30 days of the effective date of the enactment of an appropriation for purposes of implementing this chapter, the authority shall request all local EMS agencies with an approved trauma plan, that includes at least one designated trauma center, to submit within 45 days of the request the total number of trauma patients and the number of trauma patients at each facility that were reported to the local trauma registry for the most recent fiscal year for which data are available, pursuant to Section 100257 of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations. However, the local EMS agency’s report shall not include any registry entry that is in reference to a patient who is discharged from the trauma center’s emergency department without being admitted to the hospital unless the nonadmission is due to the patient’s death or transfer to another facility. Any local EMS agency that fails to provide these data shall not receive funding pursuant to this section.

(e) Except as provided in subdivision (m), the authority shall distribute all funds to local EMS agencies with an approved trauma plan that includes at least one designated trauma center in the local EMS agency’s jurisdiction as of July 1 of the fiscal year in which funds are to be distributed.

(1) The amount provided to each local EMS agency shall be in the same proportion as the total number of trauma patients reported to the local trauma registry for each local EMS agency’s area of jurisdiction compared to the total number of all trauma patients statewide as reported under subdivision (d).

(2) The authority shall send a contract to each local EMS agency that is to receive funds within 30 days of receiving the required data and shall distribute the funds to a local EMS agency within 30 days of receiving a signed contract and invoice from the agency.

(f) Local EMS agencies that receive funding under this chapter shall distribute all those funds to eligible trauma centers, except that an agency may expend 1 percent for administration. It is the intent of the Legislature that the funds distributed to eligible trauma centers be spent on trauma services. The funds shall not be used to supplant existing funds designated for trauma services or for training ordinarily provided by the trauma hospital. The local EMS agency shall utilize a competitive grant-based system. All grant proposals shall demonstrate that funding is needed because the trauma center cares for a high percentage of uninsured patients. Local EMS agencies shall determine distribution of funds based on whether the grant proposal satisfies one or more of the following criteria:

(1) The preservation or restoration of specialty physician and surgeon oncall coverage that is demonstrated to be essential for trauma services within a specified hospital.

(2) The acquisition of equipment that is demonstrated to be essential for trauma services within a specified hospital.

(3) The creation of overflow or surge capacity to allow a trauma hospital to respond to mass casualties resulting from an act of terrorism or natural disaster.

(4) The coordination or payment of emergency, nonemergency, and critical care ambulance transportation that would allow for the time-urgent movement or transfer of critically injured patients to trauma centers outside of the originating region so that specialty services or a higher level of care may be provided as necessary without undue delay.

(g) A trauma center shall be eligible for funding under this section if it is designated as a trauma center by a local EMS agency pursuant to Section 1798.165 and complies with the requirements of this section. Both public and private hospitals designated as trauma centers shall be eligible for funding.

(h) A trauma center that receives funding under this section shall agree to remain a trauma center through June 30 of the fiscal year in which it receives funding. If the trauma center ceases functioning as a trauma center, it shall pay back to the local EMS agency a pro rata portion of the funding that has been received. If there are one or more trauma centers remaining in the local EMS agency’s service area, the local EMS agency shall distribute the funds among the other trauma centers. If there is no other trauma center within the local EMS agency’s service area, the local EMS agency shall return the moneys to the authority.

(i) In order to receive funds pursuant to this section, an eligible trauma center shall submit, pursuant to a contract between the trauma center and the local EMS agency, relevant and pertinent data requested by the local EMS agency. A trauma center shall demonstrate that it is appropriately submitting data to the local EMS agency’s trauma registry and a local EMS agency shall audit the data annually within two years of a distribution from the local EMS agency to a trauma center. Any trauma center receiving funding pursuant to this section shall report to the local EMS agency how the funds were used to support trauma services.

(j) It is the intent of the Legislature that all moneys appropriated to the fund be distributed to local EMS agencies during the same year the moneys are appropriated. To the extent that any moneys are not distributed by the authority during the fiscal year in which the moneys are appropriated, the moneys shall remain in the fund and be eligible for distribution pursuant to this section during subsequent fiscal years.

(k) By October 31, 2002, the authority shall develop criteria for the standardized reporting of trauma patients to local trauma registries. The authority shall seek input from local EMS agencies to develop the criteria. All local EMS agencies shall utilize the trauma patient criteria for reporting trauma patients to local trauma registries by July 1, 2003.

(l) By December 31 of the fiscal year following any fiscal year in which funds are distributed pursuant to this section, a local EMS agency that has received funds from the authority pursuant to this chapter shall provide a report to the authority that details the amount of funds distributed to each trauma center, the amount of any balance remaining, and the amount of any claims pending, if any, and describes how the respective centers used the funds to support trauma services. The report shall also describe the local EMS agency’s mechanism for distributing the funds to trauma centers, a description of their audit process and criteria, and a summary of the most recent audit results.

(m) The authority may retain from any appropriation to the fund an amount sufficient to implement this section, up to two hundred eighty thousand dollars ($280,000). This amount may be adjusted to reflect any increases provided for wages or operating expenses as part of the authority’s budget process.

(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 80, Sec. 1.2. Effective July 19, 2005.)

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