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CMA Sponsored Legislation AB 826 (Swanson/Williams/Perea): Healthy Families This CMA-sponsored bill was substantially amended in August at CMA’s request to include language to both (1) extend the Managed Care Organization (MCO) tax by one year, and to use the funding for the Healthy Families program, and (2) eliminate the transition of Healthy Families enrollees to Medi-Cal (done through the budget this year), thereby preserving the Healthy Families program. This bill is a critical part of CMA’s ongoing push to protect the successful Healthy Families program. Status: Failed pursuant to legislative deadline. AB 1742 (Pan): Assignment of Benefits This bill requires Knox-Keene regulated PPO products to authorize and permit assignment of an enrollee’s or subscriber’s right to reimbursement to the provider furnishing those services. This bill provides for the direct payment of individual insurance medical benefits by a health insurer to the person who provided the hospitalization or medical or surgical aid. It limits the amount of the reimbursement to the amount of the benefit covered by the policy. Status: Failed pursuant to legislative deadline. AB 1746 (Williams): Sale of Sports Drinks in Schools Current California law restricts the sale of soda and most other sweetened beverages on elementary, middle, and high school campuses. However, current law does allow the sale of one type of sugar-sweetened beverage – “sports drinks” – on middle and high school campuses. There is a common misconception that sports drinks are healthy. Yet many contain high fructose corn syrup and/or other calorie-laden sweeteners that have been linked to the rise in childhood obesity, the primary cause of type-2 diabetes. Sports drinks are designed to replace fluids after intense exercise and generally contain sodium and potassium to improve fluid absorption in the body; they are not designed to be an afternoon substitute for soda. A recent study indicated that eight of the top 10 beverages sold a la carte in California’s public high schools are sports drinks, clearly becoming the drink of choice for those students 12 | THE BULLETIN | NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2012

wanting a substitute for soda. To close the loophole in current law that allows high-sugar sports drinks on school campuses, AB 1746 would prohibit electrolyte replacement beverages (sports drinks) from being sold to middle or high school students during school hours. Status: Failed pursuant to legislative deadline. AB 1848 (Atkins): Medical Expert Witnesses The goals of this legislation are twofold. It would (1) Authorize the state to discipline or deny licensure to physicians who offer deceptive or fraudulent expert witness testimony related to the practice of medicine; and (2) Require out-of-state expert witnesses to apply and become registered by the Medical Board of California to testify as a medical expert witness in California. Registration would require the completion of a written application accompanied by a fee. In the event a registered out-of-state medical expert witness deceives or commits fraud as an expert witness, the medical board could revoke his/her registration to prevent the individual from re-offending in any other potential court cases. Status: Failed pursuant to legislative deadline. AB 2064 (V.M. Perez): Vaccine Reimbursement This bill requires a health care service plan or health insurer that provides coverage for childhood and adolescent immunization to reimburse a physician or physician group in an amount not less than the actual cost of acquiring the vaccine plus the cost of administering the vaccine. It prohibits the imposition of deductibles, coinsurance or other cost sharing mechanism for the administration of childhood or adolescent immunizations or related procedures. It also prohibits provider contracts from containing a dollar limit provision for the administration of childhood and adolescent immunizations or including the cost of those immunizations in a dollar limit provision. This bill applies the current prohibition of a physician or physician group from assuming financial risk for the acquisition costs or required immunizations to all contracts between plans and physicians and physician groups. Additionally, it prohibits a plan from requiring a physician or physician group to assume financial risk for immunizations, whether or not those immunizations

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