CHA News Article

CHA Produces ‘Toolkit’ in Support of AB 1300
CHA is bill co-sponsor

On any given day in California, more than 800 individuals with behavioral health conditions seek care in hospital emergency departments across California. According to published research, approximately 75 percent of these patients do not require the services of an acute care hospital. Rather, they most often need a timely psychiatric evaluation and access to an appropriate level of treatment in the local community. Unfortunately, outdated laws often prevent these patients from being referred quickly to community-based treatment settings. The result is delayed treatment for these patients and overcrowded hospital EDs.

To address these problems, CHA — along with the California Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians (California ACEP) and the California Psychiatric Association (CPA) — is co-sponsoring AB 1300 (Ridley-Thomas, D- Los Angeles). As part of the legislative effort, CHA has produced an AB 1300 legislative “toolkit” to help hospitals, doctors and other stakeholders advocate on behalf of the bill. The toolkit includes the bill language, model support letters, fact sheets and a news-style video that effectively communicates the need for the bill.

AB 1300 will streamline the treatment and referral process for patients with behavioral health needs, and will enable emergency physicians to assess and treat these patients in the same manner that they evaluate and treat all other patients who seek care in a hospital ED.

The bill is one of CHA’s top legislative priorities this year. After being passed by the Assembly in late January, it is now scheduled to be considered by the Senate Health Committee in early to mid-June.

Additionally, CHA, California ACEP and CPA have jointly launched an aggressive earned and social media campaign on behalf of AB 1300, including numerous op-eds in newspapers across the state, appearances on TV public affairs shows and an active Twitter campaign.