BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                            2015 - 2016  Regular  Session

          AB 174 (Gray) - University of California: medical education.
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          |Version: June 1, 2015           |Policy Vote: ED. 7 - 0          |
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          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: No                     |
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          |Hearing Date: August 17, 2015   |Consultant: Jillian Kissee      |
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          This bill meets the criteria for referral to the Suspense File.

          Summary:  This bill makes an annual General Fund appropriation  
          of $1.255 million to the University of California (UC) to  
          support the expansion of UC Merced's San Joaquin Valley (SJV)  
          Program in Medical Education (PRIME).  This bill makes  
          legislative findings and declarations relative to health care  
          needs in the San Joaquin Valley.

           $1.255 million annually, beginning in 2016-17.  Additional  
            cost pressure of up to $600,000 to fund an additional 18  
            students under the program's existing funding structure.   
            (General Fund)
           Potentially significant cost pressure to expand PRIME programs  
            at other UC campuses.

          Background:  UC Programs in Medical Education (PRIME) is a medical  


          AB 174 (Gray)                                          Page 1 of  
          education program focused on meeting the needs of California's  
          underserved populations in both rural communities and urban  
          areas by combining specialized coursework, structured clinical  
          experiences, advanced independent study, and mentoring.  Each  
          new program has an area of focus that is selected based upon  
          faculty expertise, the populations served by each school and its  
          medical center, and other local considerations.  Each PRIME  
          program is designed to educate and train future physician  
          leaders, researchers, and advocates for the communities they  
          will serve.  For example, PRIME in San Joaquin Valley (SJV)  
          emphasizes improving the health of people in the Central Valley  
          region.  As of 2014-15, there are an estimated 333 medical  
          students in PRIME. 

          SJV PRIME was established in 2010 as a partnership between UC  
          Merced, UC Davis School of Medicine, and UCSF Fresno to train  
          medical students in the region.  The first class of students  
          entered the program in the fall of 2011.  There were 27 students  
          enrolled in the program for the 2014-15 school year.

          Proposed Law:  
            This bill appropriates $1.255 million from the General Fund to  
          the University of California (UC) annually, beginning with the  
          2016-17 fiscal year to support expansion of the San Joaquin  
          Valley PRIME program to admit up to 12 students per year and  
          operate the program with up to 48 student participants from  
          across the four-year curriculum annually.

          This bill provides Legislative findings and declarations that,  
          among other things, medical education and a possible future UC  
          Merced School of Medicine will further contribute to the  
          economic growth of the San Joaquin Valley and the state, and  
          will further support UC Merced's trajectory toward becoming a  
          top-tier university.  It also provides that UC Merced's SJV  
          PRIME is providing a key interim resource for training valley  
          health care providers.
          Related Legislation:  SB 131 (Cannella, 2015) and SB 841  
          (Canella, 2014) are substantially similar to this bill, but  
          instead appropriated $1.855 million to the UC from the General  
          Fund for the SJV PRIME program.  These bills were held in this  


          AB 174 (Gray)                                          Page 2 of  

          Comments:  This bill appropriates funding to support a total of  
          30 students in the San Joaquin Valley PRIME across the four  
          years based on the program's current cost structure.  To support  
          total enrollment above 30 students, an additional appropriation  
          will be needed or the program will have to absorb the costs of  
          increased enrollment.  This bill creates a cost pressure of up  
          to $600,000 to fund an additional 18 students, for total program  
          enrollment of 48 and costs of $1.855 million.  An additional  
          cost pressure could potentially arise to expand other PRIME  
          Staff notes that efforts have been made in recent budgets to  
          support the development of two UC medical schools.  The Budget  
          Act of 2015 includes provisional language requiring the UC to  
          continue planning for a school of medicine at the Merced campus,  
          and requires the UC to allocate up to $1 million from its budget  
          appropriation or other funds available to the university for  
          this purpose.  The Budget Act of 2013 included trailer bill  
          language requiring UC to allocate $15 million for planning and  
          startup costs associated with academic programs to be offered by  
          the School of Medicine at UC Riverside.

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