Sen. Dodd’s Hospital Emergency Response and In-Home Care Bills Approved
SACRAMENTO – A pair of bills advanced today from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, to improve Californians’ access to healthcare, both in emergency and home settings.
“Our top priority must be getting care to those who need it, whether they are in a hospital or their own bed,” said Sen. Dodd. “The pandemic, destructive wildfires and other natural disasters have underscored challenges to our medical institutions. At the same time, these crises have demonstrated the value of treating people in their homes. This legislation responds to both situations and helps improve quality of life for everyone.”
The first bill, Senate Bill 979, relaxes insurance restrictions for hospital patients seeking treatment outside of their network coverage areas, ensuring they get medical coverage wherever an emergency hits. It is sponsored by the California Hospital Association.
“COVID-19 has shown the necessity of having a health care system that responds to changing health care needs during a state of emergency,” said Kathryn Austin Scott, the association’s senior vice president, state relations and advocacy. “Without SB 979, there would be no guarantee that the state’s health care providers will have the flexibility to ensure their patients can receive critical care in future disasters.”
The second bill, SB 281, expands provisions of the California Community Transitions program, which has transitioned 4,300 people from institutional settings over the past 12 years for an average savings of $60,000 per person per year. Initially, Sen. Dodd wrote Senate Bill 214, which helped the program assist people during the pandemic. His follow-up legislation ensures California conforms with updates in federal law, expanding eligibility to even more people.
The bill is co-sponsored by Disability Rights California and East Bay Innovations.
“We believe this important measure will provide critical transitional services for high-needs individuals, providing a means to return to community living while providing cost savings for California -- especially in consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately impacted low-income individuals and families,” said Rebecca Gonzales, director of government relations and political affairs for the National Association of Social Workers.
Both bills were approved by the Assembly Health committee with overwhelming support.
Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Yolo, Sonoma, Contra Costa, and Sacramento counties. You can learn more about the district and Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.