Amended in Senate May 5, 2015

Amended in Senate April 23, 2015

Senate BillNo. 145


Introduced by Senator Pan

January 27, 2015


An act to add Section 1262.3 to the Health and Safety Code, relating to health facilities.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

SB 145, as amended, Pan. Health facilities: patient transporting.

Existing law provides for the licensure and regulation of health facilities by the State Department of Health Care Services. A violation of these provisions is a crime.

Existing law requires each hospital to have in effect a written discharge planning policy and process that requires appropriate arrangements for posthospital care and a process that requires that each patient be informed, orally or in writing, of the continuing care requirements following discharge from the hospital, as specified.

Existing law also prohibits a hospital from causing the transfer of homeless patients from one county to another county for the purpose of receiving supportive services from a social service agency, health care service provider, or nonprofit social service agency within the other county, without prior notice and authorization, as specified.

This bill would prohibit a general acute care hospital, acute psychiatric hospital, or special hospital from causing a patient who, in the judgment of the attending physician or other licensed health care professional, acting within the scope of his or her practice, is at risk of serious injury or death as a result of clinical alcohol intoxication, to be transported to another location except when the patient is either medically stabilized or appropriately transferred to another health facility pursuant to another provision of law.begin delete The bill would make the violation of that provision subject to civil penalties, as specified. The bill would require these civil penalties, upon appropriation, to be used exclusively for the provision of posthospital recuperative beds, transitional housing, and mental health counseling programs for the homeless.end deletebegin insert The bill would authorize the department, if it determines that a hospital has violated the requirements of the bill, to determine further that the violation is an immediate jeopardy violation pursuant to specified law and regulations, and to assess penalties accordingly.end insert

By expanding the scope of an existing crime, this bill would result in a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

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

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

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SECTION 1.  

Section 1262.3 is added to the Health and Safety
2Code
, to read:

3

1262.3.  

(a) A general acute care hospital, acute psychiatric
4hospital, or special hospital shall not cause a patient who, in the
5judgment of the attending physician or other licensed health care
6professional, acting within his or her scope of practice, is at risk
7of serious injury or death as a result of clinical alcohol intoxication,
8to be transported to another location, including, but not limited to,
9police custody, a correctional facility, or a county jail, except when
10the patient is medically stabilized, as defined in subdivision (j) of
11section 1317.1, or appropriately transferred to another licensed
12health facility pursuant to another law.

begin insert

13(b) If the department determines that a hospital has violated
14subdivision (a), the department may determine that the violation
15is an immediate jeopardy violation pursuant to Section 1280.3 and
16regulations promulgated thereunder, and may assess penalties
17accordingly.

end insert
begin delete

P3    1(b) If the department determines that a hospital has violated
2subdivision (a), it shall consider, at a minimum, all of the following
3actions:

4(1) Assessment of an administrative penalty pursuant to Section
51280.1 or 1280.3.

6(2) Referral to appropriate authorities for consideration of
7commencing an action for violation of Section 1290.

8(c) This section shall not apply to any of the following:

9(1) Patients in state hospitals operated and administered by the
10State Department of State Hospitals who are civilly or criminally
11committed and subject to transfer to the Department of Corrections
12and Rehabilitation, the Forensic Conditional Release Program, or
13to a court for further proceedings.

14(2) Patients who remain under the jurisdiction of the Department
15of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

16(3) Residents of state developmental centers operated and
17administered by the State Department of Developmental Services
18who are discharged to the community pursuant to the Lanterman
19Developmental Disabilities Services Act (Division 4.5
20(commencing with Section 4500) of the Welfare and Institutions
21Code), and in accordance with an individual program plan, as
22defined in Section 4646 of the Welfare and Institutions Code,
23developed specifically for the resident.

24(d) (1) Upon a second violation of subdivision (a), a general
25acute care hospital, acute psychiatric hospital, or special hospital,
26shall be subject to a civil penalty of one hundred fifty thousand
27dollars ($150,000). The Attorney General, a district attorney, a
28city attorney of a city having a population in excess of 750,000,
29or a city attorney of a city and county, may bring a civil action in
30the name of the people of the State of California seeking civil
31penalties, preventive relief, including an application for a
32permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order, or other
33order against the health facility.

34(2) Any general acute care hospital, acute psychiatric hospital,
35or special hospital criminally convicted of a violation of
36subdivision (a), that has been previously penalized for two separate
37violations of subdivision (a) may be subject to civil penalties of
38no less than three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000).

P4    1(3) In determining the civil penalty to be imposed pursuant to
2this subdivision, the court shall consider all relevant facts,
3including, but not limited to, all of the following:

4(A) Whether the violation exposed the patient to a risk of death
5or serious physical harm.

6(B) Whether the violation had a direct or immediate relationship
7to the health, safety, or security of the patient.

8(C) Evidence, if any, of willfulness.

9(D) The number of repeated violations.

10(E) The presence or absence of good faith efforts by the
11defendant to prevent the violation.

12(4) Any investigative costs incurred in the enforcement of this
13subdivision, including, but not limited to, expert’s and attorney’s
14fees incurred by the Attorney General, district attorney, or city
15attorney in carrying out this subdivision shall be recoverable from
16the liable general acute care hospital, acute psychiatric hospital,
17or special hospital.

18(5) If the action authorized by this subdivision is brought by the
19Attorney General, the civil penalty collected shall be paid to the
20General Fund. If the action is brought by a district attorney, the
21civil penalty collected shall be paid to the treasurer of the county
22in which the judgment was entered. If the action is brought by a
23city attorney, the civil penalty collected shall be paid to the
24treasurer of the city in which the judgment was entered. The funds
25described in this paragraph shall, upon appropriation, be used
26exclusively for the provision of posthospital recuperative beds,
27transitional housing, and mental health counseling programs for
28the homeless.

29(6) Nothing in this subdivision shall preclude criminal
30prosecution or civil action under any other law. Furthermore,
31nothing in this subdivision shall limit or abridge the authority of
32any city or county to adopt an ordinance authorizing investigations
33or inspections, or implementing and enforcing restrictions dealing
34with patient transportation.

35(e)

end delete

36begin insert(c)end insert Nothing in this section shall be construed to contradict any
37other law related to workplace violence prevention, including, but
38not limited to, workplace violence standards adopted by the
39Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board.

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SEC. 2.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
2Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
3the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
4district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
5infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
6for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
7the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
8the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
9Constitution.



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