10 Approved Bills That Will Impact Behavioral Health in 2019

The 2017-18 Legislative Session produced a plethora of bills that addressed various issues related to behavioral health.  Several of these bills were approved by the Legislature, signed into law by the Governor, and became effective on January 1 of this year. 

Here are our top 10:

  • AB 2487 – Authorizes physicians and surgeons to complete a one-time continuing education course on opiate-dependent patient treatment and management as an alternative to the mandatory C.E. course on pain management and the treatment of terminally ill and dying patients.

  • AB 2760 – Requires a prescriber to offer a prescription for naloxone or another opioid antagonist for patients who are at risk for overdose, and to provide education on overdose prevention to patients receiving a prescription for naloxone.

  • AB 2861 – Requires DHCS to seek Medicaid reimbursement for substance use disorder individual counseling services provided via telehealth by LPHAs and Certified SUD Counselors.

  • AB 3067 – Bans the marketing of cannabis products or businesses to minors via the internet.

  • SB 192 – Establishes an MHSA Reversion Account for unspent funds, a prudent reserve calculation, and a timeline for counties to submit the unspent funds to the account.

  • SB 688 – Requires MHSA Annual Revenue and Expenditures Report to comply with generally-accepted accounting principles, and to be submitted electronically to DHCS.

  • SB 992 – Requires residential treatment programs to accept patients who take medications to manage addiction and prohibits them from preventing medication as a treatment option. Also requires residential programs to have a continuing care plan for patients who are discharged due to relapse while in treatment, including how these patients would be supervised while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

  • SB 1045 – Establishes a procedure, for the Counties of Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, for the appointment of conservators for persons who are incapable of caring for their own health and well-being due to a serious mental illness and substance use disorder, for the purpose of providing the least restrictive and most clinically appropriate alternative needed for the protection of these individuals.

  • SB 1228 – Prohibits licensed rehabs and addiction professionals from patient brokering or employing agencies to refer patients to a particular facility in exchange for some type of kickback.

  • SB 1287 – Conforms the state law definition in Medi-Cal of when a service is medically-necessary for individuals under 21 to the federal EPSDT standard requiring coverage of services and treatment to “correct or ameliorate defects and physical and mental illnesses and conditions.”

Another important bill is SB 1004 “Mental Health Services Act, prevention and early intervention” which will not take full effect till 2020. Stay tuned for a more detailed post on this bill in the future.

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Thomas Renfree

Interim Executive Director

Thomas RenfreeCBHDA