Nursing & Healthcare News

Healthcare Legislation to Watch

Some current bills affecting nursing in California

Our Legislature is currently considering various bills that would affect nursing practice and healthcare in California. Here are a few you should know about.

A.B.32: Telehealth

Despite the recent prominence of telehealth, current federal and state law still limits Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement for telehealth services, and the temporary waivers enacted during the pandemic won’t last forever.

Introduced by Assemblymembers Cecelia Aguiar-Curry (D-4) and Robert Rivas (D-30), A.B.32 would revise state law to ensure that California’s Medicaid program, Medi-Cal, will continue to cover telehealth services outside of a declared state of emergency.

A.B.410: Nurse Licensure Compact

RN Career Events

A.B.410, introduced by Vince Fong (R-34), would add California to the more than 30 other states in the Nurse Licensure Compact, which allows RNs and LVNs with valid multistate licenses to practice in any compact state.

Proponents say joining the compact would make it easier for California nurses to work in other states and help hospitals respond more quickly to nursing shortages.

Opponents, including some nursing unions, argue that the compact costs local jobs and lowers the standards for nurse training and education to the level of the least-stringent compact state.

Another concern is discipline: While state licensing boards can restrict a nurse from practicing in their states, only the home state can take adverse action against a nurse’s multistate license.

Neither the ANA\C nor the California Nurses Association (CNA) have yet announced official positions on A.B.410, but the CNA previously opposed a similar bill, S.B.1053, which died in committee in 2020.

Nursing Education

A.B.858: Health Information Technology

If your hospital adopts healthcare AI or other algorithm-based systems, should you have the authority to override the system’s judgments if they aren’t in the patient’s best interests?

A.B.858, introduced by Reggie Jones-Sawyer, Sr. (D-59), would ensure clinicians’ right to do that, while also protecting them from employer retaliation. The bill also gives direct patient care providers a voice in health information technology decisions.

The ANA\C hasn’t announced a position on this bill, but the CNA, which sponsored A.B.858, argues that it’s a necessary measure to protect patient safety and address the racial bias in modern commercial algorithms.

A.B.858 passed the Assembly on a vote of 52–15 and is now being considered in the State Senate.

Find more information about these bills at www.leginfo.legislature.ca.gov.


In this Article: , ,

Latest Articles