BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     SB 145  


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          Date of Hearing:  August 26, 2015


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS


                                 Jimmy Gomez, Chair


          SB 145  
          (Pan) - As Amended May 5, 2015


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          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  YesReimbursable:   
          No


          SUMMARY:


          This bill prohibits a hospital from transporting a patient who,  
          in the judgment of the attending physician or other licensed  
          health care professional, is at risk of serious injury or death  








                                                                     SB 145  


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          as a result of clinical alcohol intoxication to any other  
          location, including but not limited to police custody, a  
          correctional facility, or a county jail, unless the patient is  
          medically stable or appropriately transferred to another  
          licensed health facility.  


          It also allows the California Department of Public Health (CDPH)  
          to determine if a violation of this bill constitutes an  
          immediate jeopardy violation and if so, to assess penalties  
          accordingly.  


          FISCAL EFFECT:


          Minor and absorbable fiscal impact to CDPH, if any.  


          COMMENTS:


          1)Purpose. According to the author, certain hospitals are  
            transporting patients, who are admitted to their ER for acute  
            alcohol poisoning, to police departments and correctional  
            facilities by calling 911.  The author states this bill stops  
            a practice that poses a risk to patient safety and preserves  
            911 calls for true emergencies. This bill is co-sponsored by  
            Service Employees International Union - United Healthcare  
            Workers West (SEIU-UHW), and United Nurses Associations of  
            California/Union of Health Care Professionals (UNAC/UHCP).


          2)Background. Federal law, commonly known as EMTALA (Emergency  
            Medical Treatment & Labor Act), requires hospitals  
            participating in Medicare (nearly every hospital) to provide  
            stabilizing treatment for individuals with emergency medical  
            conditions regardless of an individual's ability to pay.   
            Under this law, hospitals are barred from patient transfer if  








                                                                     SB 145  


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            the person is medically unstable, unless the patient cannot be  
            stabilized or the patient requests a transfer. CDPH is  
            currently permitted to assess an administrative penalty  
            against hospitals for immediate jeopardy violations.   
            "Immediate jeopardy" is a situation in which the licensee's  
            noncompliance with one or more requirements of licensure has  
            caused, or is likely to cause, serious injury or death to the  
            patient.  This bill does not appear to expand existing  
            authority.





          3)Oppostion. The California Hospital Association opposes this  
            bill as unnecessary. The California Nurses Association also  
            opposes, contending the alleged problems it addresses are  
            unsubstantiated. 


          


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