Bill Text


PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

AB-562 Frontline COVID-19 Provider Mental Health Resiliency Act of 2021: health care providers: mental health services.(2021-2022)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 04/08/2021 09:00 PM
AB562:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 08, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 18, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 562


Introduced by Assembly Member Low
(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Flora)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Chen and Salas)

February 11, 2021


An act to add Chapter 1.7 (commencing with Section 950) to Division 2 of, and to repeal Section 953 of, the Business and Professions Code, and to amend Section 6276.30 of the Government Code, relating to mental health services. services, and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 562, as amended, Low. Mental health services for health care providers: Frontline COVID-19 Provider Mental Health Resiliency Act of 2021. 2021: health care providers: mental health services.
Existing law establishes the Department of Consumer Affairs under the direction of the Director of Consumer Affairs. Existing law establishes various boards within the department for the licensure and regulation of various health care providers, including physicians and surgeons and nurses. Existing law generally provides for mental health services, including the Bronzan-McCorquodale Act, which contains provisions governing the organization and financing of community mental health services for persons with mental disorders in every county through locally administered and locally controlled community mental health programs, and the Mental Health Services Act, an initiative statute enacted by the voters as Proposition 63 at the November 2, 2004, statewide general election that establishes the continuously appropriated Mental Health Services Fund to fund various county mental health programs.
This bill would require the director to establish a mental health resiliency program, as specified, to provide mental health services to licensed health care providers who provide or have provided consistent in-person healthcare services to COVID-19 patients. The bill would require the relevant healing arts boards to notify licensees and solicit applications for access to the mental health resiliency program immediately upon the availability of services. The bill would require an applicant to make an attestation that states, among other things, that the applicant is an eligible licensee, as defined. The bill would make an applicant who willfully makes a false statement in their attestation guilty of a misdemeanor. By creating a new crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would repeal these provisions on January 1, 2025.
The bill would require the department and relevant boards, no later than June 30, 2025, to report to the relevant policy committees of the Legislature prescribed information regarding the program.
The bill would exempt the records associated with the mental health resiliency program from disclosure pursuant to the California Public Records Act.
Existing constitutional provisions require that a statute that limits the right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest.
This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.
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.
This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.
Vote: MAJORITY2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Chapter 1.7 (commencing with Section 950) is added to Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code, to read:
CHAPTER  1.7. Frontline COVID-19 Provider Mental Health Resiliency Act of 2021

950.
 This chapter shall be known, and may be cited, as the Frontline COVID-19 Provider Mental Health Resiliency Act of 2021.

951.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares the following:
(1) Since the start of the pandemic, California’s frontline health care workers have been caring for COVID-19 patients through multiple surges, which included a record-shattering death toll in December 2020.
(2) Nurses, physicians and surgeons, and other frontline health care providers are suffering from burnout and have been experiencing, or are at high risk of, a variety of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicidal thoughts.
(3) As the result of prolonged stress and repeated trauma, frontline health care providers may continue to endure the negative effects of the pandemic long after it ends.
(4) To bolster the resiliency of the health care workforce through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, it is imperative that additional mental health services are made immediately available.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature that the Department of Consumer Affairs, through the relevant healing arts boards, immediately establish a mental health resiliency program for frontline health care providers who have provided direct and in-person care to COVID-19 patients during the pandemic.

952.
 For the purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply:
(a) “Board” means the following:
(1) The Board of Registered Nursing.
(2) The Medical Board of California.
(3) The Osteopathic Medical Board of California.
(4) The Physician Assistant Board.
(5) The Respiratory Care Board of California.

(a)

(b) “Eligible licensee” means a person licensed pursuant to this division who is or was also a frontline health care COVID-19 provider.

(b)

(c) “Frontline COVID-19 health care provider” means a person who provides or has provided consistent in-person health care services to patients with COVID-19.

(c)

(d) “Mental health services” means targeted in-person, online, and telehealth pyschological psychological distress and behavioral health service assessments and interventions (professional or self-administered) interventions, professional or self-administered, to support mental and behavioral health needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Interventions include counseling, wellness coaching, and any other mental health treatment to improve the psychological and behavioral health of the eligible licensee.

(d)

(e) “Vendor of mental health services” means a third-party vendor that provides mental health services, assessments, or interventions.

953.
 (a) (1) Within three months of the effective date of this section, the director shall, in consultation with the relevant healing arts boards, establish a mental health resiliency program to provide mental health services to frontline COVID-19 providers.
(2) The director shall contract with one or more vendors of mental health services for the duration of the program. The director may in addition contract or partner with vendors or agencies that offer services that are publicly available and free of charge.
(3) The director, or the director’s designee, shall supervise all vendors, shall monitor vendor utilization rates, and may terminate any contract. If the vendor’s contract is terminated, the director shall contract with a replacement vendor as soon as practicable.
(4) The contract shall specify that all personal or identifiable program participant data shall be kept confidential, and that the confidentiality obligations shall survive the termination of the contract.
(5) The development of the mental health resiliency program under this section shall be exempt from the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code).
(b) (1) The relevant healing arts boards shall notify licensees and solicit applications for access to the mental health resiliency program immediately upon the availability of any services contracted for.
(2) An applicant to the program shall make an attestation that states all of the following:
(A) The applicant is an eligible licensee, as defined under subdivision (a) of Section 952.
(B) The name, location, location and type of the facility or facilities the applicant worked as a frontline COVID-19 provider.
(C) The applicant’s assigned unit or units at the facility or facilities.
(3) An applicant shall be deemed an eligible licensee if the attestation is complete and any facility and unit listed would provide care to COVID-19 patients.
(4) An applicant who willfully makes a false statement in their attestation is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(5) The relevant healing arts boards shall grant all eligible licensees access to the program.

(6)Application to or participation in the mental health resiliency program shall not be used for purposes of disciplinary action and, except as specified under Section 954, shall be kept confidential.

(6) The relevant boards shall include in the application a voluntary survey of race or ethnicity and gender identity.
(c) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2025, and as of that date is repealed.

954.
 No later than June 30, 2025, the department and relevant healing arts boards shall report to the relevant policy committees of the Legislature the following information regarding the mental health resiliency program:
(a) A description of the contracted vendors, services provided, and contract dates.
(b) The depersonalized deidentified aggregate number of applicants and eligible licensees and a monthly breakdown.
(c) The deidentified and aggregate number of eligible licensees by location, race, ethnicity, and gender identity.

(c)Any available utilization

(d) Utilization rates from the vendors.

(d)

(e) The costs associated with the program.

955.
 (a) Except as specified under Section 954, records associated with the mental health resiliency program are exempt from disclosure pursuant to the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code).
(b) Application to or participation in the mental health resiliency program shall not be used for purposes of disciplinary action and, except as specified under Section 954, shall be kept confidential.

SEC. 2.

 Section 6276.30 of the Government Code is amended to read:

6276.30.
 Managed care health plans, confidentiality of proprietary information, Section 14091.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board, negotiations with entities contracting or seeking to contract with the board, subdivisions (v) and (y) of Section 6254.
Mandated blood testing and confidentiality to protect public health, prohibition against compelling identification of test subjects, Section 120975 of the Health and Safety Code.
Mandated blood testing and confidentiality to protect public health, unauthorized disclosures of identification of test subjects, Sections 1603.1, 1603.3, and 121022 of the Health and Safety Code.
Mandated blood testing and confidentiality to protect public health, disclosure to patient’s spouse, sexual partner, needle sharer, or county health officer, Section 121015 of the Health and Safety Code.
Manufactured home, mobilehome, floating home, confidentiality of home address of registered owner, Section 18081 of the Health and Safety Code.
Marital confidential communications, Sections 980, 981, 982, 983, 984, 985, 986, and 987 of the Evidence Code.
Market reports, confidential, subdivision (e) of Section 6254.
Marketing of commodities, confidentiality of financial information, Section 58781 of the Food and Agricultural Code.
Marketing orders, confidentiality of processors’ or distributors’ information, Section 59202 of the Food and Agricultural Code.
Marriage, confidential, certificate, Section 511 of the Family Code.
Medi-Cal Benefits Program, confidentiality of information, Section 14100.2 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
Medi-Cal Benefits Program, Request of Department for Records of Information, Section 14124.89 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
Medi-Cal Fraud Bureau, confidentiality of complaints, Section 12528.
Medi-Cal managed care program, exemption from disclosure for financial and utilization data submitted by Medi-Cal managed care health plans to establish rates, Section 14301.1 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
Medi-Cal program, exemption from disclosure for best price contracts between the State Department of Health Care Services and drug manufacturers, Section 14105.33 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
Medical information, disclosure by provider unless prohibited by patient in writing, Section 56.16 of the Civil Code.
Medical information, types of information not subject to patient prohibition of disclosure, Section 56.30 of the Civil Code.
Medical and other hospital committees and peer review bodies, confidentiality of records, Section 1157 of the Evidence Code.
Medical or dental licensee, action for revocation or suspension due to illness, report, confidentiality of, Section 828 of the Business and Professions Code.
Medical or dental licensee, disciplinary action, denial or termination of staff privileges, report, confidentiality of, Sections 805, 805.1, and 805.5 of the Business and Professions Code.
Meetings of state agencies, disclosure of agenda, Section 11125.1.
Mental health resiliency program, records, Section 955 of the Business and Professions Code.
Mentally abnormal sex offender committed to state hospital, confidentiality of records, Section 4135 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
Mentally disordered and developmentally disabled offenders, access to criminal histories of, Section 1620 of the Penal Code.
Mentally disordered persons, court-ordered evaluation, confidentiality of reports, Section 5202 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
Mentally disordered or mentally ill person, confidentiality of written consent to detainment, Section 5326.4 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
Mentally disordered or mentally ill person, voluntarily or involuntarily detained and receiving services, confidentiality of records and information, Sections 5328, 5328.15, 5328.2, 5328.4, 5328.8, and 5328.9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
Mentally disordered or mentally ill person, weapons restrictions, confidentiality of information about, Section 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
Milk marketing, confidentiality of records, Section 61443 of the Food and Agricultural Code.
Milk product certification, confidentiality of, Section 62121 of the Food and Agricultural Code.
Milk, market milk, confidential records and reports, Section 62243 of the Food and Agricultural Code.
Milk product registration, confidentiality of information, Section 38946 of the Food and Agricultural Code.
Milk equalization pool plan, confidentiality of producers’ voting, Section 62716 of the Food and Agricultural Code.
Mining report, confidentiality of report containing information relating to mineral production, reserves, or rate of depletion of mining operation, Section 2207 of the Public Resources Code.
Minor, criminal proceeding testimony closed to public, Section 859.1 of the Penal Code.
Minors, material depicting sexual conduct, records of suppliers to be kept and made available to law enforcement, Section 1309.5 of the Labor Code.
Misdemeanor and felony reports by police chiefs and sheriffs to Department of Justice, confidentiality of, Sections 11107 and 11107.5 of the Penal Code.
Monetary instrument transaction records, confidentiality of, Section 14167 of the Penal Code.
Missing persons’ information, disclosure of, Sections 14204 and 14205 of the Penal Code.
Morbidity and mortality studies, confidentiality of records, Section 100330 of the Health and Safety Code.
Motor vehicle accident reports, disclosure, Sections 16005, 20012, and 20014 of the Vehicle Code.
Motor vehicles, department of, public records, exceptions, Sections 1808 to 1808.7, inclusive, of the Vehicle Code.
Motor vehicle insurance fraud reporting, confidentiality of information acquired, Section 1874.3 of the Insurance Code.
Motor vehicle liability insurer, data reported to Department of Insurance, confidentiality of, Section 11628 of the Insurance Code.
Multijurisdictional drug law enforcement agency, closed sessions to discuss criminal investigation, Section 54957.8.

SEC. 3.

 The Legislature finds and declares that Section 1 of this act, which adds Section 955 to the Business and Professions Code, imposes a limitation on the public’s right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies within the meaning of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution. Pursuant to that constitutional provision, the Legislature makes the following findings to demonstrate the interest protected by this limitation and the need for protecting that interest:
In order to protect the privacy of frontline providers of health care services to COVID-19 patients, it is necessary to prevent disclosure of records associated with the mental health resiliency program.

SEC. 4.

 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.

SEC. 5.

 This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the California Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
In order to preserve the current and future health care workforce by ensuring that frontline health care providers have access to necessary services to address the ongoing stress and trauma of the COVID-19 pandemic as soon as possible, it is necessary that this act take effect immediately.