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AB-451 Health care facilities: treatment of psychiatric emergency medical conditions.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 07/02/2019 09:00 PM
AB451:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  July 02, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 451


Introduced by Assembly Members Arambula and Santiago

February 11, 2019


An act to amend Section 1317 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to health facilities.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 451, as amended, Arambula. Health care facilities: treatment of psychiatric emergency medical conditions.
Existing law provides for the licensure and regulation of general acute care hospitals and acute psychiatric hospitals by the State Department of Public Health. Existing law requires emergency services and care to be provided, as specified, at a licensed health facility that maintains and operates an emergency department to provide emergency services to the public when the health facility has appropriate facilities and qualified personnel available to provide the services or care. Existing law requires emergency services and care, including screening, examination, and evaluation to determine if a psychiatric emergency medical condition exists and the care and treatment necessary to relieve or eliminate the psychiatric emergency medical condition, to be provided to any person requesting the services or care. A knowing and intentional violation of these provisions is a crime.
This bill would require a psychiatric unit within a general acute care hospital, a psychiatric health facility, or an acute psychiatric hospital that has accepted a person for the purpose of determining the existence of a psychiatric medical emergency condition, to provide emergency services and care to treat that person, regardless of whether the facility operates an emergency department, if the facility has appropriate facilities and qualified personnel. provided that specified criteria are met. These requirements would not apply to a state psychiatric hospital. By creating a new 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 1317 of the Health and Safety Code, as amended by Section 1 of Chapter 831 of the Statutes of 2018, is amended to read:

1317.
 (a) Emergency services and care shall be provided to any person requesting the services or care, or for whom services or care is requested, for any condition in which the person is in danger of loss of life, or serious injury or illness, at any health facility licensed under this chapter that maintains and operates an emergency department to provide emergency services to the public when the health facility has appropriate facilities and qualified personnel available to provide the services or care.
(b) In no event shall the provision of emergency services and care be based upon, or affected by, the person’s ethnicity, citizenship, age, preexisting medical condition, insurance status, economic status, ability to pay for medical services, or any other characteristic listed or defined in subdivision (b) or (e) of Section 51 of the Civil Code, except to the extent that a circumstance such as age, sex, preexisting medical condition, or physical or mental disability is medically significant to the provision of appropriate medical care to the patient.
(c) Neither the health facility, its employees, nor any physician and surgeon, dentist, clinical psychologist, or podiatrist shall be liable in any action arising out of a refusal to render emergency services or care if the refusal is based on the determination, exercising reasonable care, that the person is not suffering from an emergency medical condition, or that the health facility does not have the appropriate facilities or qualified personnel available to render those services.
(d) Emergency services and care shall be rendered without first questioning the patient or any other person as to his or her the patient’s ability to pay therefor. However, the patient or his or her the patient’s legally responsible relative or guardian shall execute an agreement to pay therefor or otherwise supply insurance or credit information promptly after the services are rendered.
(e) If a health facility subject to this chapter does not maintain an emergency department, its employees shall nevertheless exercise reasonable care to determine whether an emergency exists and shall direct the persons seeking emergency care to a nearby facility that can render the needed services, and shall assist the persons seeking emergency care in obtaining the services, including transportation services, in every way reasonable under the circumstances.
(f) (1) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), a psychiatric unit within a general acute care hospital, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 1250, a psychiatric health facility, as defined in Section 1250.2, and an acute psychiatric hospital, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 1250, shall provide emergency services and care to treat a person with a psychiatric emergency medical condition, as defined in subdivision (k) of Section 1317.1, who has been accepted by the facility consistent with paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 1317.1, regardless of whether the facility operates an emergency department, if the facility has appropriate facilities and qualified personnel available to provide the services or care. provided that all of the following requirements are met:
(A) The treating physician at the sending facility has determined that the patient is medically stable and appropriate for treatment in a psychiatric setting and has included that determination in the patient’s medical record.
(B) The facility has an available bed.
(C) The facility has appropriate facilities and qualified personnel available to provide the services or care.
(2) This paragraph does not apply to a facility listed in Section 4100 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(g) A general acute care hospital or hospital, acute psychiatric hospital hospital, or psychiatric health facility shall not require a person who voluntarily seeks care to be in custody pursuant to Section 5150 of the Welfare and Institutions Code as a condition of accepting a transfer of that person after his or her the person’s written consent for treatment and transfer is documented or in the absence of evidence of probable cause for detention, as defined in Section 5150.05 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(h) An act or omission of a rescue team established by a health facility licensed under this chapter, or operated by the federal or state government, a county, or by the Regents of the University of California, done or omitted while attempting to resuscitate a person who is in immediate danger of loss of life shall not impose any liability upon the health facility, the officers, members of the staff, nurses, or employees of the health facility, including, but not limited to, the members of the rescue team, or upon the federal or state government or a county, if good faith is exercised.
(i) “Rescue team,” as used in this section, means a special group of physicians and surgeons, nurses, and employees of a health facility who have been trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and have been designated by the health facility to attempt, in cases of emergency, to resuscitate persons who are in immediate danger of loss of life.
(j) This section does not relieve a health facility of any duty otherwise imposed by law upon the health facility for the designation and training of members of a rescue team or for the provision or maintenance of equipment to be used by a rescue team.

SEC. 2.

 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.