Amended in Assembly March 30, 2016

Amended in Assembly March 28, 2016

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 2179

Introduced by Assembly Member Gipson

February 18, 2016

An act to add Section 122440 to the Health and Safety Code, relating to public health.


AB 2179, as amended, Gipson. Hepatitis C testing.

Existing law establishes the Office of AIDS in the State Department of Public Health and defines human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as the etiologic agent of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Existing law authorizes an HIV counselor who receives specified training and works in specified counseling and testing sites to perform HIV, hepatitis C virus (HCV), or combined HIV/HCV tests, including performing skin punctures for purposes of withdrawing blood for purposes of these tests, as specified.

This bill would authorize abegin delete hepatis C counselor, who meets specified requirements comparable to the requirements specified for an HIV counselor, to perform HCV tests in the manner described above with respect to HCV testing by an HIV counselor.end deletebegin insert hepatitis C counselor who receives specified training and works in described counseling and testing sites to perform HCV tests.end insert

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 122440 is added to the Health and Safety
, to read:



(a) A hepatitis C counselor who meets the
4requirements of subdivision (d) may do all of the following:

5(1) Perform any hepatitis C virus (HCV) test that is classified
6as waived under the federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act
7(CLIA) (42 U.S.C. Sec. 263a et seq.) if all of the following
8conditions exist:

9(A) The performance of the HCV test meets the requirements
10of CLIAbegin delete and, subject to subparagraph (B),end deletebegin insert andend insert Chapter 3
11(commencing with Section 1200) of Division 2 of the Business
12and Professions Code.

13(B) Notwithstanding Section 1246 of the Business and
14Professions Code, a hepatitis C counselor may perform skin
15punctures for the purpose of withdrawing blood for HCV testing,
16upon specific authorization from a licensed physician and surgeon,
17provided that the person meets both of the following requirements:

18(i) He or she works under the direction of a licensed physician
19and surgeon.

20(ii) He or she has been trained inbegin delete eitherend delete rapid test proficiency
21for skin puncture blood testsbegin delete or oral swab testsend delete and in universal
22infection control precautions, consistent with best infection control
23practices established by the Division of Occupational Safety and
24Health in the Department of Industrial Relations and the federal
25Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

26(C) The person performing the HCV test meets the requirements
27for the performance of waived laboratory testing pursuant to
28subdivision (a) of Section 1206.5 of the Business and Professions
29Code. For purposes of this subdivision and subdivision (a) of
30Section 1206.5 of the Business and Professions Code, a hepatitis
31C counselor who meets the requirements of subdivision (d) shall
32be “other health care personnel providing direct patient care” as
33referred to in paragraph (13) of subdivision (a) of Section 1206.5
34of the Business and Professions Code.

35(D) The patient is informed that the preliminary result of the
36test is indicative of the likelihood of HCV exposure and that the
37result must be confirmed by an additional more specific test, or,
38if approved by the federal Centers for Disease Control and
P3    1Prevention for that purpose, a second, different rapid HCV test.
2This subdivision does not allow a hepatitis C counselor to perform
3any HCV test that is not classified as waived under CLIA.

4(2) Notwithstanding Section 1246.5 of the Business and
5Professions Code, order and report HCV test results from tests
6performed pursuant to paragraph (1) to patients without
7authorization from a licensed health care practitioner or his or her
8authorized representative. A patient who has an indeterminate or
9positive test result from tests performed pursuant to paragraph (1)
10shall be referred to a licensed health care practitioner whose scope
11of practice includes the authority to refer a patient for laboratory
12testing for further evaluation.

13(b) A hepatitis C counselor who meets the requirements of this
14section with respect to performing any HCV test that is classified
15as waived under CLIA may not perform any other test unless that
16person meets the statutory and regulatory requirements for
17performing that other test.

18(c) begin deleteThis section does not certify a hepatitis C counselor as a
19phlebotomy technician or a limited phlebotomy technician. end delete

20Compliance with this section does not fulfill any requirements for
21certification as a phlebotomy technician or a limited phlebotomy
22technician, unless the hepatitis C counselor has otherwise satisfied
23the certification requirements imposed pursuant to Section 1246
24of the Business and Professions Code.

25(d) A hepatitis C counselor shall meet one of the following

27(1) Is trained by the Office of AIDS and working in an HIV
28counseling and testing site funded by the department through a
29local health jurisdiction, or its agents.

30(2) Is working in an HIV counseling and testing site that meets
31both of the following criteria:

32(A) Utilizes HIV counseling staff who are trained by the Office
33of AIDS or its agents to provide both HIV counseling and testing
34and hepatitis C counseling and testing.

35(B) Has a quality assurance plan approved by the local health
36department in the jurisdiction where the site is located and has
37HIV counseling and testing staff who comply with the quality
38assurance requirementsbegin delete specified in Section 1230 of Article 1 of
39Group 9 of Subchapter 1 of Chapter 2 of Division 1 of Title 17 of
P4    1the California Code of Regulations.end delete
begin insert as specified by the State
2Department of Public Health.end insert

3(3) Is working at a site approved by the local health department
4to provide hepatitis C rapid testing and counseling, and has been
5trained using a curriculum approved by the local health department
6or the State Department of Public Health, which, at a minimum,
7provides training in universal precautions, safe working conditions,
8proper running and reading of hepatitis C rapid test kit technology,
9and providing accurate information to clients including the
10importance of confirmatory tests, linkages to medical care, and
11the prevention of hepatitis C transmission.