BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    AB 1149


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          Date of Hearing:  April 21, 2015


                            ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON HEALTH


                                  Rob Bonta, Chair


          AB 1149  
          (Wood) - As Introduced February 27, 2015


          SUBJECT:  Public health emergencies:  funding.


          SUMMARY:  Allows trade associations that represent specific  
          local health entities to receive federal funding allocated by  
          the Department of Public Health (DPH) for the prevention of, and  
          response to, public health emergencies.  Contains an urgency  
          clause to ensure that the provisions of this bill go into  
          immediate effect upon enactment. 


          EXISTING LAW:  





          1)Establishes procedures and requirements to govern the  
            allocation to, and expenditure by, local health jurisdictions,  
            hospitals, clinics, emergency medical systems, and poison  
            control centers, of federal funding received for the  
            prevention of, and response to, public health emergencies.



          2)Provides that the procedures in 1) above apply only when the  








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            specified entities are designated by a federal or state agency  
            to manage the funds for public health preparedness and  
            response to public health emergencies pursuant to a specified  
            federally-approved plan.



          3)Requires funds to be allocated to these entities through the  
            use of agreements that are exempt from provisions that  
            establish public contracting requirements.

          FISCAL EFFECT:  This bill has not been analyzed by a fiscal  
          committee.

          COMMENTS:  

          1)PURPOSE OF THIS BILL.  According to the author, due to a  
            recent change in DPH's interpretation of current law, trade  
            associations that represent specific health facilities are no  
            longer able to receive Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP)  
            grant funding administered by the Emergency Preparedness  
            Office at DPH.  This federally funded program is designated to  
            support programs that strengthen preparedness for public  
            health emergencies such as natural disasters, terror attacks,  
            and epidemic illnesses.  Since the program began in 1996,  
            trade associations have played a major role in the HPP and  
            have proven to be valuable assets.  The infrastructure and  
            communication channels within associations make them  
            particularly well suited to tackle the education and outreach  
            challenges inherent to the HPP.
            


            The author states that this bill will allow associations to  
            remain a valuable resource for the HPP.  The familiarity and  
            credibility trade associations bring to the table, when  
            dealing with their membership, creates a training and teaching  
            environment that is uniquely suited to deliver a high quality  
            program.  Finally, by allowing the trade associations to play  








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            their role, DPH would save valuable resources that otherwise  
            would be expended searching for other entities to execute the  
            program.



          2)BACKGROUND.  In 2003, the federal government established the  
            HPP.  Funding was designated to support programs that  
            strengthen public health emergency preparedness through  
            enhanced planning, increased integration or improved  
            infrastructure.  Due to the timing of allocation and  
            expenditure of federal funds, these funds are distributed  
            through a noncompetitive grant process administered by DPH.   
            Historically, trade associations have played a major role in  
            the HPP and have proven to be valuable assets in achieving the  
            goals of the HPP.  



            Recently, DPH has stated that current law does not explicitly  
            provide authorization for state associations that work with  
            specific health facilities to implement emergency preparedness  
            training and education in the state.  Under current law, the  
            specific health facilities are exempt from the public  
            contracting code for the purposes of HPP management.  Without  
            this exemption, the trade associations would have to  
            participate in the competitive bid process. 



          3)SUPPORT.  According to the California Association of Health  
            Facilities, sponsor of this bill, this bill will assure HPP  
            funding continues to be directed at the associations that are  
            suited to provide appropriate training and education to health  
            facilities in California. associations have channels and an  
            infrastructure that already exists which allows for  
            communication, outreach, and education to thousands of  
            healthcare providers.  Associations have the expertise, and  
            state and local authorities have called on us for years to  








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            assist them in identifying and addressing the issues in  
            disaster preparedness and response.  This has been a highly  
            effective arrangement to date, and the newly interpreted path  
            by DPH would hamper the process if this bill is not passed in  
            a timely manner.

          4)PREVIOUS LEGISLATION.  


          
             a)   AB 1793 (Yamada), Chapter 166, Statutes of 2012,  
               eliminates the September 1, 2012 sunset date on provisions  
               of law governing how federal funding for emergency  
               preparedness is allocated, and adds long-term health  
               facilities to the list of entities that can be designated  
               to receive federal funds for emergency preparedness.
                


             b)   SB 1103 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review), Chapter  
               228, Statutes of 2004, contains statutory changes that  
               enables DPH to allocate federal funds to local health  
               jurisdictions, clinics, hospitals, emergency medical  
               systems, and poison control centers in an expeditious  
               manner and exempts these expenditures from public contract  
               code requirements.

             c)   SB 406 (Ortiz), Chapter 393, Statutes of 2002,  
               establishes the procedures by which federal funding may be  
               allocated to, and expended by, local health jurisdictions  
               for the prevention of, and response to, bioterrorism  
               attacks and other public health emergencies, pursuant to  
               the federally approved collaborative state-local plan.



          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:










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          Support
          California Association of Health Facilities (sponsor)
          California Hospital Association
          California Primary Care Association


          Opposition


          None on file.

          Analysis Prepared by:Dharia McGrew / HEALTH / (916) 319-2097