Today's Law As Amended

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SB-1076 General acute care hospitals: observation services.(2015-2016)

As Amends the Law Today
As Amends the Law on Nov 22, 2016


 Section 1253.7 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

 (a) For purposes of this chapter, “observation services” means outpatient services provided by a general acute care hospital and that have been ordered by a provider, to those patients who have unstable or uncertain conditions potentially serious enough to warrant close observation, but not so serious as to warrant inpatient admission to the hospital. Observation services may include the use of a bed, monitoring by nursing and other staff, and any other services that are reasonable and necessary to safely evaluate a patient’s condition or determine the need for a possible inpatient admission to the hospital.
(b) When a patient in an inpatient unit of a hospital or in an observation unit, as defined in subdivision (c), is receiving observation services, or following a change in a patient’s status from inpatient to observation, the patient shall receive written notice, as soon as practicable, that he or she is on observation status. The notice shall state that while on observation status, the patient’s care is being provided on an outpatient basis, which may affect his or her health care coverage reimbursement.
(c) For purposes of this chapter, “observation unit” means an area in which observation services are provided in a setting outside of any inpatient unit and that is not part of an emergency department of a general acute care hospital. A hospital may establish one or more observation units that shall be marked with signage identifying the observation unit area as an outpatient area. The signage shall use the term “outpatient” in the title of the designated area to indicate clearly to all patients and family members that the observation services provided in the center are not inpatient services. Identifying an observation unit by a name or term other than that used in this subdivision does not exempt the general acute care hospital from compliance with the requirements of this section.
(d) Notwithstanding subdivisions (d) and (e) of Section 1275, an observation unit shall comply with the same licensed nurse-to-patient ratios as supplemental emergency services. This subdivision is not intended to alter or amend the effect of any regulation adopted pursuant to Section 1276.4 as of the effective date of the act that added this subdivision.

SEC. 2.

 Section 128765 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

 (a) The department office  shall maintain a file of all the reports filed under this chapter at its Sacramento office. Subject to any rules the department office  may prescribe, these reports shall be produced and made available for inspection upon the demand of any person, and shall also be posted on its internet website  Internet Web site,  with the exception of discharge and encounter data that shall be available for public inspection unless the department office  determines, pursuant to applicable law, that an individual patient’s rights of confidentiality would be violated.
(b) The reports published pursuant to Section 128745 shall include an executive summary, written in plain English to the maximum extent practicable, that shall include, but not be limited to, a discussion of findings, conclusions, and trends concerning the overall quality of medical outcomes, including a comparison to reports from prior years, for the procedure or condition studied by the report. The department office  shall disseminate the reports as widely as practical to interested parties, including, but not limited to, hospitals, providers, the media, purchasers of health care, consumer or patient advocacy groups, and individual consumers. The reports shall be posted on the department’s internet website. office’s Internet Web site. 
(c) Copies certified by the department office  as being true and correct copies of reports properly filed with the department office  pursuant to this chapter, together with summaries, compilations, or supplementary reports prepared by the department, office,  shall be introduced as evidence, where relevant, at any hearing, investigation, or other proceeding held, made, or taken by any state, county, or local governmental agency, board, or commission that participates as a purchaser of health facility services pursuant to the provisions of a publicly financed state or federal health care program. Each of these state, county, or local governmental agencies, boards, and commissions shall weigh and consider the reports made available to it pursuant to this subdivision in its formulation and implementation of policies, regulations, or procedures regarding reimbursement methods and rates in the administration of these publicly financed programs.
(d) The department office  shall compile and publish summaries of individual facility and aggregate data that do not contain patient-specific information for the purpose of public disclosure. Upon request, these shall include summaries of observation services data, in a format prescribed by the department. office.  The summaries shall be posted on the department’s internet website. The department office’s Internet Web site. The office  may initiate and conduct studies as it determines will advance the purposes of this chapter.
(e) In order to ensure that accurate and timely data are available to the public in useful formats, the department office  shall establish a public liaison function. The public liaison shall provide technical assistance to the general public on the uses and applications of individual and aggregate health facility data and shall provide the director with an annual report on changes that can be made to improve the public’s access to data.
SEC. 3.
 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.