California Legislature—2013–14 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 565


Introduced by Assembly Member Salas

February 20, 2013


An act to amend Section 128553 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to physicians and surgeons.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 565, as introduced, Salas. California Physician Corps Program.

Existing law establishes the Steven M. Thompson Physician Corps Loan Repayment Program in the California Physician Corps Program within the Health Professions Education Foundation, which provides financial incentives, as specified, to a physician and surgeon for practicing in a medically underserved community. Existing law authorizes the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development to adopt guidelines by regulation and requires the foundation to use guidelines for selection and placement of program applicants. These guidelines provide priority consideration to applicants who meet specified criteria, including that the applicant has 3 years of experience working in medically underserved areas or with medically underserved populations. The guidelines also must seek to place the most qualified applicants in the areas with the greatest need.

This bill would require the guidelines for the selection and placement of program applicants to include criteria that would give priority consideration to program applicants who have 3 years of experience providing health care services to medically underserved populations in a federally designated health professional shortage area or medically underserved area, and who agree to practice in those areas and serve a medically underserved population.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

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

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

Section 128553 of the Health and Safety Code
2 is amended to read:

3

128553.  

(a) Program applicants shall possess a current valid
4license to practice medicine in this state issued pursuant to Section
52050 of the Business and Professions Code or pursuant to the
6Osteopathic Act.

7(b) The foundation, in consultation with those identified in
8subdivision (b) of Section 123551, shall use guidelines developed
9by the Medical Board of California for selection and placement
10of applicants until the office adopts other guidelines by regulation.
11The foundation shall interpret the guidelines to apply to both
12osteopathic and allopathic physicians and surgeons.

13(c) The guidelines shall meet all of the following criteria:

14(1) Provide priority consideration to applicants that are best
15suited to meet the cultural and linguistic needs and demands of
16patients from medically underserved populations and who meet
17one or more of the following criteria:

18(A) Speak a Medi-Cal threshold language.

19(B) Come from an economically disadvantaged background.

20(C) Have received significant training in cultural and
21linguistically appropriate service delivery.

22(D) Have three years of experiencebegin delete working in medically
23underserved areas or with medically underserved populationsend delete

24begin insert providing health care services to medically underserved
25populations in a federally designated health professional shortage
26area or medically underserved areaend insert
.

27(E) Have recently obtained a license to practice medicine.

28(2) Include a process for determining the needs for physician
29services identified by the practice setting and for ensuring that the
30practice setting meets the definition specified in subdivision (h)
31of Section 128552.

32(3) Give preference to applicants who have completed a
33three-year residency in a primary specialty.

begin delete

34(4) Seek to place the most qualified applicants under this section
35in the areas with the greatest need.

end delete
begin insert

P3    1(4) Give preference to applicants who agree to practice in a
2federally designated health professional shortage area or medically
3underserved area, and who agree to serve a medically underserved
4population.

end insert

5(5) Include a factor ensuring geographic distribution of
6placements.

7(6) Provide priority consideration to applicants who agree to
8practice in a geriatric care setting and are trained in geriatrics, and
9who can meet the cultural and linguistic needs and demands of a
10diverse population of older Californians. On and after January 1,
112009, up to 15 percent of the funds collected pursuant to Section
122436.5 of the Business and Professions Code shall be dedicated
13to loan assistance for physicians and surgeons who agree to practice
14in geriatric care settings or settings that primarily serve adults over
15the age of 65 years or adults with disabilities.

16(d) (1) The foundation may appoint a selection committee that
17provides policy direction and guidance over the program and that
18complies with the requirements of subdivision (l) of Section
19128552.

20(2) The selection committee may fill up to 20 percent of the
21available positions with program applicants from specialties outside
22of the primary care specialties.

23(e) Program participants shall meet all of the following
24requirements:

25(1) Shall be working in or have a signed agreement with an
26eligible practice setting.

27(2) Shall have full-time status at the practice setting. Full-time
28status shall be defined by the board and the selection committee
29may establish exemptions from this requirement on a case-by-case
30basis.

31(3) Shall commit to a minimum of three years of service in a
32medically underserved area. Leaves of absence shall be permitted
33for serious illness, pregnancy, or other natural causes. The selection
34committee shall develop the process for determining the maximum
35permissible length of an absence and the process for reinstatement.
36Loan repayment shall be deferred until the physician is back to
37full-time status.

38(f) The office shall adopt a process that applies if a physician
39is unable to complete his or her three-year obligation.

P4    1(g) The foundation, in consultation with those identified in
2subdivision (b) of Section 128551, shall develop a process for
3outreach to potentially eligible applicants.

4(h) The foundation may recommend to the office any other
5standards of eligibility, placement, and termination appropriate to
6achieve the aim of providing competent health care services in
7approved practice settings.



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