August 26, 2021
This morning, both the Assembly and Senate Appropriations Committees went through the bills placed on their “Suspense Files” to announce the outcomes. As a reminder the “Suspense File” is for bills that have a fiscal impact on the state of more than $50,000. The reason for placing bills on the suspense file is to allow the Chair to review all of these bills at one time to be able to understand the fiscal impact of them on the state. Each Legislator submits a letter to the Chair outlining and prioritizing the bills they have on the suspense file. The Chair, with the input of leadership, then determines which bills pass off the suspense file and which ones do not. Although the decisions are supposed to be made based on the fiscal impact, inevitably politics become a part of the decision.
The Senate Appropriations Committee was reviewing three bills CA-ACC has been actively lobbying and the results were great for the organization. The big one was the Committee held AB 1278 which is the bill that would have required physicians to disclose in writing to patients’ information on how they can access the Open Payments Database.
Below I mention the two other bills with the outcome from today. For AB 1278 and AB 1328, although they were both held in committee, since we are in the first year of a two-year session, they will be eligible for a vote next year.
- AB 1278 (Nazarian) – Oppose – Senate Appropriations – Held in Committee
This bill was introduced to require physicians to disclose any remuneration received from drug and device companies to patients both verbally and in writing. CSPS has been actively working on the bill which has been amended to require physicians to provide annually a written disclosure to patients about the Open Payments Database as well as updating signage in the front of the physician’s office on how to access the Open Payments Database. We are continuing to work on the bill to pursue further amendments.
- AB 1328 (Irwin) – Oppose – Senate Appropriations – Held in Committee
This bill would authorize a licensed pharmacist to perform all clinical laboratory tests are classified as waived under the federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) that can lawfully be used within the pharmacist’s practice. The bill would also allow a pharmacist to perform health screenings under policies, procedures, or protocols.
- AB 347 (Arambula) – Support – Senate Appropriations – Passed out of Committee
This bill would amend the step therapy and prior authorization processes including establishing standard exceptions for going through step therapy; require payers to provide an answer to prior authorization and step therapy requests within 72 hours or 24 hours in exigent situations; and require payers to have a physician in the same or similar specialty as the treating physician to review an appeal to a step therapy exception request denial.