CHA News Article

Governor’s Final Actions Yield Important Legislative Success for Hospitals
Includes shorter CDPH application processing, veto of alternate destination restrictions and nurse staffing ratio penalties

In a victory for California hospitals and patients, yesterday Gov. Brown signed CHA-sponsored AB 2798 (Maienschein, R-San Diego), which requires the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to process all hospital applications — including performing any necessary on-site survey — within 100 days. In addition, if an application relates to expanding a service the hospital currently provides and is currently approved, CDPH must approve the expansion within 30 business days and issue an updated license, unless the hospital is out of compliance with existing laws governing that service. An expanded service approved in accordance with this legal deadline remains licensed for not more than 18 months, until CDPH approves the license for a longer period.

AB 2798 also requires CDPH to fully automate the application process and develop an assistance unit to help hospitals navigate the application process. CHA sponsored this bill in response to myriad complaints by hospital members that CDPH processing delays were impeding access to care for patients.

The Governor also vetoed SB 1288 (Leyva, D-Chino), which would have required CDPH to issue a financial penalty for every violation of California’s nurse-to-patient ratio regulation. The fine would have been $15,000 for the first violation and $30,000 for each subsequent violation. CHA vigorously opposed the bill and formally requested the Governor’s veto.

CHA is also pleased to report that Gov. Brown vetoed AB 3115 (Gipson, D-Carson), governing community paramedicine and alternate destination programs. The bill would have established significant barriers to expanding these proven programs throughout California. Currently, community paramedicine and alternate destination programs are allowed only under a pilot project, which is set to expire next month. In his veto message, Gov. Brown directed his administrative agencies to extend the pilot projects and urged stakeholders to work together to achieve a permanent solution without the unnecessary restrictions contained in AB 3115.

CHA advocated tirelessly — and very successfully — for member hospitals during 2018 and has compiled an end-of-session wrap-up showing the final outcome of key bills affecting health care policy.