BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     AB 389


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          Date of Hearing:  April 22, 2015


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS


                                 Jimmy Gomez, Chair


          AB  
          389 (Chau) - As Amended April 9, 2015


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          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  NoReimbursable:  No


          SUMMARY:


          This bill augments the information hospitals are required to  
          submit to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH)  
          annually regarding their language assistance policies; requires  
          hospitals to also submit policies to the Office of Statewide  
          Health Planning and Development (OSHPD); and requires hospitals,  







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          CDPH, and OSHPD to post the policies on their websites in  
          multiple languages. 


          FISCAL EFFECT:


          Minor and absorbable one-time costs to CDPH and OSHPD for  
          programming and policy development, as well as ongoing minor,  
          absorbable costs for updating and management.


          COMMENTS:


          1)Purpose. According to the author, California has been a leader  
            in ensuring that the state's healthcare infrastructure meets  
            the needs of limited-English-proficient patients.  However,  
            the author contends there is no central oversight of hospital  
            compliance with existing language assistance requirements.   
            The author believes this bill will provide greater oversight  
            and enable policymakers and consumers to access information  
            the law already guarantees. 


          2)Background. The CDPH Licensing and Certification Program  
            enforces hospital licensing requirements, which includes  
            verification of compliance with language assistance services  
            for patients with language or communication barriers. Current  
            law requires hospitals to submit to CDPH, on an annual basis,  
            a copy of their policy and procedures for providing language  
            assistance services to patients with language or communication  
            barriers. CDPH also maintains the Health Facilities Consumer  
            Information System website, which provides hospital facility  
            profiles and information regarding complaints, inspection  
            results, and adverse events, but the department does not post  
            language assistance policies online.  


            Separately, OSHPD collects and posts other hospital-specific  







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            data, including financial, pricing, discharge, and some  
            quality data.  OSHPD also collects and posts information  
            regarding hospitals'  community benefit plans and charity care  
            policies. 


          3)Staff Comments. The author may wish to clarify the necessity  
            of submitting policies to two separate state entities,  
            creating what appears to be a duplicative requirement. 


          Analysis Prepared by:Lisa Murawski / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081