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Karl Steinberg testifies
CCCC board member Dr. Karl Steinberg testifies in front of the Senate Health Committee in support of SB 1357 (Wolk), a bill that would create an electronic POLST registry in California.

The Coalition for Compassionate Care of California (CCCC) plays a unique and vital role in improving care for seriously-ill Californians. We understand that changing the model for end-of-life care involves not only families and healthcare providers, but also public policymakers.

To accomplish our mission—to promote high-quality, compassionate care for all seriously-ill Californians—CCCC engages in a variety of activities such as monitoring public policy and advocating for changes that increase access to palliative medicine and quality, compassionate care.

Activities include:

  • Serving as a resource for policymakers who want accurate, objective information about good end-of-life care, and
  • Providing our members with the latest information on state legislation and policies related to palliative medicine and end-of-life care.

Resources

Pending California Policy & Legislation (2014)
Legislation in California related to care for the seriously-ill has progressed and changed significantly throughout the years.

Below is relevant legislation pending in the state of California.

Active Legislation

AB 2034 (Gatto) – Family relations: family visitation and conservatorships
This bill would establish procedures by which a court may grant reasonable visitation rights to an adult child if a proposed visitee, as defined, expresses a desire for that visitation, unless the court determines that the visitation is not in the best interests of the proposed visitee.
SPONSOR: Author
STATUS: In Senate Appropriations.

AB 2139 (Eggman) – End-of-life care: patient notification
This bill would require the health care provider to notify the patient or, when applicable, the agent, when the health care provider makes a diagnosis that a patient has a terminal illness, of the patient’s right to comprehensive information and counseling regarding end-of-life care options. The bill would define the term “terminal illness” for these purposes.
SPONSOR: Author
STATUS: In Senate Judiciary.

SB 1004 (Hernandez) – Palliative and Hospice Care benefit under Medi-Cal
This bill would require the Medi-Cal program, which is administered by the State Department of Health Care Services, to develop, as a pilot project, a palliative care benefit for beneficiaries who are 21 years of age or older, and to evaluate whether, and to what extent, such a benefit should be offered under the Medi-Cal program. This pilot program is similar to existing pilots for qualified low-income persons, and pediatrics.
SPONSOR: Author
CO-AUTHOR: Senator Wolk
STATUS: Passed out of Senate Appropriations
SUPPORT: Letter of support signed by the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California

Dead Bills

AB 2452 (Pan) – Advance health care directive registry
This bill would require, commencing on January 1, 2016, the Secretary of State to establish and maintain access, as specified, to a secure portion of the Secretary of State’s Internet Web site that provides an electronic reproduction of an advance health care directive and other specified documents submitted to the registry system.
SPONSOR: Author
STATUS: Did not pass out of Senate Judiciary

SB 1357 (Wolk) – Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment form: state-wide registry
This bill would enact the California POLST Registry Act. The bill would require the State Department of Public Health to establish and operate a state wide registry system, to be known as the California POLST Registry, for the purpose of collecting POLST forms received from individuals electing to submit the forms and disseminating the information in the forms to authorized users, including health care providers.
SPONSOR: Author
STATUS: Did not pass out of Senate Appropriations

California Policy & Legislation (2000-2013)
Legislation in California related to care for the seriously-ill has progressed and changed significantly throughout the years. Below is a timeline of relevant California legislation from 2000 to present day.

2013 Legislation

AB 633 (Salas) – Emergency medical services: civil liability
This bill makes it so people who, in good faith and not for compensation, render emergency medical or nonmedical care or assistance at the scene of an emergency are not liable for civil damages resulting from any act or omission, except as specified.

2012 Legislation

SB 135 (Hernandez) – Hospice Facilities
This bill creates a specific licensing category for inpatient hospices, known as congregate living health facility-hospices.

2011 Legislation

AB 507 (Hayashi) – Pain Management
This bill removes legal barriers to pain management and practice in California.

SB 177 (Strickland) – Congregate Living Health Facilities
This bill creates a specific licensing category for inpatient hospices, known as congregate living health facility-hospices.

2008 Legislation

Governor Schwarzenegger signed four bills into law in 2008 that affect the end of life. The laws became effective January 1, 2009.

AB 3000 (Wolk) – Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST)
This bill provides consumers with a new mechanism – Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) – to ensure that their wishes are honored regarding medical treatment towards the end of life.

AB 2747 (Berg) – End-of-Life Care
When a health care provider makes a diagnosis of a terminal illness, the provider shall, upon the patient’s request, provide comprehensive information and counseling regarding legal end-of-life options.

AB 2565 (Eng) – Brain Death
Requires hospitals to adopt a policy for providing family or next of kin with a reasonable period of time in the event a patient is declared brain dead. During this period the hospital is required to continue cardiopulmonary support.

SB 1196 (Runner) – Coroner Inquiries
If a decedent was been attended to by a hospice nurse within 20 days prior to death, the coroner does not have to review the death.

2007

AB 1689 (Leiber) – Revised Uniform Anatomical Gifts Act

2006

AB 1363 (Jones) – Omnibus Conservatorship & Guardianship Reform Act of 2006
AB 1745 (Chan) – Pediatric Palliative Care Benefit

2005

AB 1676 (Richman) – Advance Directives and Terminal Illness Decisions

2004

AB 1299 (Daucher) – Hospice Licensure
AB 2352 (Jackson) – Residential care facilities for persons with chronic life-threatening illness
AB 2445 (Canciamilla) – Advance health care directives: registry

2003

AB 1166 (Berg) – Residential Care Facilities and Terminally-ill Residents

2002

AB 1946 (Corbett) – Written materials for patients
AB 1961 (Canciamilla) – Residential care facilities for the elderly; terminally ill persons

2001

AB 1278 (Wayne) – Health Care Decisions
SB 587 (Soto) – Critically or Terminally Ill Patients: Transfers
SB 751 (Speier) – Hospitals: Surrogate Decisionmakers

2000

AB 891 (Alquist) – Advance Directives
AB 892 (Alquist) – Hospice Services

National Healthcare Decisions Day
On April 16, join Americans across the country and talk to others about your future healthcare decisions – and complete your advance directive! Learn more at National Healthcare Decisions Day.What can you do in your community to promote National Healthcare Decisions Day?

  • Town Hall Meetings: Host a Town Hall meeting and invite residents, neighbors, family members and local elected officials to discuss advance care planning. Check out our Advance Care Planning resources that you can bring with you.
  • Health Fairs: Get your local hospitals, clinics, physicians, nurses, social workers, pharmacies and other suppliers together for a community health fair. Set up a table with community resources and advance directives to hand out.
  • Small Group Meetings: Host a “Talking It Over” discussion by a trained facilitator to help people talk with their loved ones about end-of-life wishes. Contact a coalition in your area to help facilitate a meeting and don’t forget to provide advance directives and other resources.
  • Press Conferences: Has your legislator sponsored a resolution for National Healthcare Decisions Day? Host a press conference where they can present the resolution. Or, invite this legislator to one of the events you are hosting listed above, and have them present the resolution there!