Bill to Reauthorize SB 231 (Ortiz, 2001), Moving Through California Legislature

Assembly Member Susan Bonilla (D–Concord) is sponsoring Assembly Bill No. 2608 (AB 2608), a bill that seeks to reauthorize the California statute first established under Senate Bill No. 231 (SB 231). On April 17, 2012, AB 2608 cleared the first hurdle on its way to approval when it was unanimously passed out of the state Assembly Committee on Health. The bill moves next to the Committee on Appropriations.

 

SB 231, codified in Section 14115.8 of the Welfare and Institutions Code (W&IC Sec. 14115.8), first legislated California’s commitment to improving and expanding the Local Educational Agency (LEA) Billing Option program in 2001. The statute lays out a plan for state-managed efforts to increase the federal reimbursements brought into the state for medical services administered to Medi-Cal–eligible students through schools’ participation in the LEA Billing Option program.

W&IC Sec. 14115.8 and the program-improvement measures it details are set to sunset in January of 2013. Assembly Member Bonilla’s bill, AB 2608, would reauthorize the statute to prevent its expiration, making a few notable changes to the existing language. These include

  • requiring that California’s Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) seek a State Plan Amendment (SPA) to permit expanded claiming for LEA transportation services, as allowed by federal billing standards
  • removing the legislative sunset date
  • codifying the fees paid by LEAs to support program improvement efforts outlined in the legislation and administrative costs associated with the Audits and Investigations (A&I) staff who review LEAs’ Cost and Reimbursement Comparison Schedule (CRCS) reports. The bill’s language also establishes a maximum amount on the percentage that can be charged to each LEA for the fees (to ensure that fees are evenly distributed across participating LEAs) and requires DHCS to present a detailed accounting of this process in its annual Report to Legislature.

AB 2608 is currently awaiting a hearing in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations and, if successful, will then be sent to the Senate Committee on Health and will be on its way to final approval.

More Information

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