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Volume 2, Issue 40 - October 7, 2022

Final Final - 2021-22 Recap
Ok, Sacramento is finally done for the time being (Or are they? See below)! Governor Newsom completed his final actions on the 1,166 bills sent to him in 2022. He signed 997 bills and vetoed 169 bills, for a veto rate of 14.5%. The following bills were signed and released in the Governor's final batch of bills last Friday, September 30, after the last newsletter was sent.

AB 2098 (Low) Physicians and surgeons: unprofessional conduct
Designates the dissemination or promotion of misinformation or disinformation related to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, or “COVID-19,” by a physician or surgeon as unprofessional conduct, allowing the Medical Board to take action against such physician or surgeon.

AB 2275 (Wood) Mental health: involuntary commitment
Strengthens California’s efforts to support people with mental illness by increasing oversight and accountability of involuntary detentions while ensuring due process protections.

AB 2870 (Santiago) Firearms: gun violence restraining orders
Expands access to a Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) to an individual who has a child in common with the subject, an individual who has a dating relationship with the subject, or a roommate of the subject of the petition. The bill also expands the family members who can file a petition to include any person related by consanguinity or affinity within the 4th degree who has had substantial and regular interactions with the subject for at least one year.

SB 858 (Wiener) Health care service plans: discipline: civil penalties
Updates and increases the penalty amount for health plans that violate state law in denying or delaying timely access to care.

SB 1184 (Cortese) Confidentiality of Medical Information Act: school-linked services coordinators
Authorizes a provider of health care or a health care service plan to disclose medical information to a school-linked services coordinator and defines the term “school-linked services coordinator” as an individual located on a school campus or under contract by a county behavioral health provider agency for the treatment and health care operations and referrals of students and their families that holds any of certain credentials, including a services credential with a specialization in pupil personnel services.

You may view a full list of bills tracked by CSAP and enacted in 2022 here

When we say, "Or are they?" - here's why: the Governor has stated that in his quest to punish companies that produce oil in California that he may call a special session of the Legislature to consider an oil severance or "gross profits" tax. This would mainly affect Chevron but some other, smaller, oil producing companies too. If the Governor calls such a special session (only the Governor can do it, the Legislature cannot call itself back into session), we will devote space in a future newsletter to the rules that apply. For now, know this: a special session must be called for a unique purpose. In other words, you would not expect behavioral health related legislation to be introduced in a special session called to address the processes and profits of oil companies.


The California Department of Insurance will conduct a prenotice public discussion regarding contemplated revisions to California Code of Regulations, Title 10, Chapter 5, Subchapter 3, Article 15.2 (commencing with section 2562.1). The purpose of the contemplated revisions is to adopt regulations implementing Senate Bill 855 (Wiener, Stats. 2020, ch. 151), which repealed and replaced section 10144.5 and added section 10144.52 to the Insurance Code.

The anticipated benefits of the contemplated regulations include the following:
• Clarifying the scope of the statutory coverage mandate for mental health and substance use disorder (MHSUD) benefits, including basic health care services, intermediate services, behavioral health crisis services, and if covered, outpatient prescription drugs, to facilitate health insurer compliance
• Clarifying the current, generally acceptable standards of MHSUD care that are statutorily applicable to utilization management of MHSUD benefits, including “level of care” coverage determinations placing patients in the continuum of MHSUD care, to facilitate health insurer compliance
• Ensuring that the most recent, generally accepted standards of MHSUD care are used in utilization review of MHSUD benefits by minimizing lag time, variation, or insurer error in implementing and incorporating evidence-based nonprofit professional association clinical criteria in utilization review
• Clarifying the obligation of health insurers to arrange and pay for out-of-network MHSUD care when clinically appropriate care is unavailable from a network provider or facility within applicable geographic or timely access standards
• Clarifying requirements for insurer-sponsored formal education programs on utilization review criteria, as well as the provision of education program materials and utilization review criteria • Clarifying the treatment of urgent care, as well as content and language assistance requirements applicable to notices of adverse utilization review coverage determinations, under Insurance Code section 10123.135 and Senate Bill 855
• Ensuring that coverage for behavioral health crisis services pursuant to Assembly Bill 988 (Bauer-Kahan, Stats. 2022, ch. 747), including mobile crisis teams and crisis receiving and stabilization services, is integrated with coverage requirements under Senate Bill 855 • Clarifying how Insurance Code section 10144.4, through which the federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) is incorporated in the Insurance Code, regulates health insurer utilization review practices, and interacts with Senate Bill 855 and Insurance Code section 10144.51 on behavioral health treatment • Easing and enhancing consumer access to medically necessary and clinically appropriate MHSUD care by incentivizing health insurers to proactively comply with benefits coverage, provider and facility network, utilization review, transparency, and parity and nondiscrimination requirements.

This is all very hopeful, and the result of a strong coalition effort - of which CSAP has been an active participant - to influence the development of these regulations at not just the Department of Insurance but the Department of Managed Care as well.

You can participate in the scheduled prenotice public discussion. The purpose of this discussion is to provide interested and affected persons an opportunity to present statements or comments regarding the contemplated regulations. The prenotice public discussion will be held on November 8 at 10:00 a.m. The virtual workshop shall continue until all in attendance wishing to provide comments have commented, or 1:00 p.m., whichever is earlier. As always, don't worry if you can't make it - SYASL will be there for CSAP and you and will produce notes for the newsletter immediately following.

You may view more details and registration here. Additionally, you may view the text of the regulation here

SYASL - Another Lobbyist We're Proud Of!

SYASL has ten legislative advocates; three of them work on CSAP issues (the other seven can always be brought in to help when / if warranted!). What about the other seven - who are they, what kind of stuff are they up to?

SYASL wants to do a shout out to its advocate Silvia Shaw Solis. She is the one on this Zoom surrounded by former Olympians, Governor Newsom, Assemblyman Nazarian, and a couple of the folks planning the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. She's third row down, second from the left.

SYASL is working for the 2028 Summer Olympics Committee. This year, they sponsored AB 2747 (Nazarian), which will, until July 1, 2032, entitle a Team USA student athlete, who trains in the state in an elite-level program approved by the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, to resident classification for that same purpose. Congratulations Silvia! 

Unfortunately, SYASL has not (yet!) been retained to assist with the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris....

How Hospital Discharge Data Can Inform State Homelessness Policy 

Understanding the size and needs of the State’s homeless population is more important than ever. Discharge data from emergency departments frontline providers for homeless Californians can help. PPIC researcher Shannon McConville and UCSF professor Dr. Hemal Kanzaria outlined key findings from a new report and discussed the implications for policymakers. You may view the discussion and report here

CMA Update 

CMA publishes November 2022 physician voter guide

Mail-in-ballots for the November 8, 2022, California General Election will soon arrive in the mail. Please mail in your ballot or show up to the polls to help ensure the voices of physicians are heard loud and clear. Download the CMA November 2022 General Election Physician Voter Guide, which includes CMA’s positions on statewide ballot measures and endorsements for two CMA-supported physicians running for their first terms in office. For more, see here

Governor Newsom vetoes dangerous optometrist scope bill after hundreds of physicians speak up

Governor Newsom vetoed a dangerous bill (AB 2236) that would have allowed optometrists to perform eye surgeries that require use of a scalpel or an injection and "anterior segment lasers” if they met minimal specified education and training conditions that are far inferior to the requirements that ophthalmologists must meet. CMA's grassroots network of physicians had mobilized to make sure that Gov. Newsom understood this bill's potential consequences. For more information, see here

Governor Newsom signs important health care bills

As the 2021-22 legislative session came to a close, Governor Gavin Newsom took action on a number of important bills supported and sponsored by the CMA. For more information, see the articles listed below:

•    Governor signs CMA-sponsored bill giving physicians time to interpret test results for patients
•    CMA bill to provide more eRx flexibility for low volume prescribers signed into law
•    Governor signs bill to protect patients and the sanctity of the physician-patient relationship
•    Governor signs bill requiring coverage of COVID-19 therapeutics


Worth a Read

A Little More
CSAP is a cooperative effort between the Central California Psychiatric Society, the Northern California Psychiatric Society, the Orange County Psychiatric Society, the San Diego Psychiatric Society, and the Southern California Psychiatric Society.

Copyright © 2022 California State Association of Psychiatrists, All rights reserved.

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