CHA News Article

CHA Highlights Innovative Mobile Health Van Threatened by AB 503
Services for underserved at risk

CHA issued the attached press release today highlighting CareVan, a mobile health van that provides free health care services throughout San Joaquin County. The program — along with community benefit programs throughout the state — is threatened by AB 503 (Wieckowski, D-Fremont; Bonta, D-Alameda). The bill would impose costly and unrealistic mandates on nonprofit hospitals, reducing their ability to carry out effective programs like the CareVan, which offers free screenings and treatments for a wide range of minor and chronic conditions, including rashes, fever, diabetes and high blood pressure. The focus is on serving the uninsured, and patients receive care regardless of their ability to pay.

“AB 503 would impose costly new restrictions on how community benefit programs are carried out, reducing the ability of the state’s nonprofit hospitals to meet their community’s needs,” said CHA President/CEO C. Duane Dauner. “The CareVan program is a service that is valuable and already working well in meeting the needs of San Joaquin County’s residents. Why would we want to jeopardize that?”

Earlier this week the California Department of Finance (DOF) issued its own warning, saying AB 503 is “unnecessary and will likely increase costs to the state.” According to the DOF’s Bill Analysis, the bill “would cost an estimated $1.7 million in 2015-16, rising to $1.8 million the following year. Additionally, the bill “misaligns state and federal law,” according to DOF officials.