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Monday Rx: AB 890 and L.A. County Public Health Updates

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AB 890 Must Be Defeated

On Saturday, the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee voted on AB 890 (Assemblymember Jim Wood) - Nurse Practitioners Scope of Practice Expansion. In summary, the Act provides for the certification and regulation of nurse practitioners by the Board of Registered Nursing. Existing law authorizes the implementation of standardized procedures that authorize a nurse practitioner to perform certain acts that are in addition to other authorized practices, including certifying disability after performing a physical examination and collaboration with a physician and surgeon. A violation of the act is a misdemeanor.

This bill would establish the Nurse Practitioner Advisory Committee to advise and give recommendations to the board on matters relating to nurse practitioners. The bill would require the committee to provide recommendations or guidance to the board when the board is considering disciplinary action against a nurse practitioner. The bill would require the board, by regulation, to define minimum standards for a nurse practitioner to transition to practice independently. The bill would authorize a nurse practitioner who meets certain education, experience, and certification requirements to perform, in certain settings or organizations, specified functions without standardized procedures, including ordering, performing, and interpreting diagnostic procedures, certifying disability, and prescribing, administering, dispensing, and furnishing controlled substances. The bill, beginning January 1, 2023, would also authorize a nurse practitioner to perform those functions without standardized procedures outside of specified settings or organizations in accordance with specified conditions and requirements if the nurse practitioner holds an active certification issued by the board. The bill would require the board to issue that certification to a nurse practitioner who meets additional specified education and experience requirements.

The bill would also require the board to request the department’s Office of Professional Examination Services, or an equivalent organization, to perform an occupational analysis of nurse practitioners performing certain functions. The bill would require the occupational analysis to be completed by January 1, 2023. The bill would require the board to take specified measures to identify and assess competencies. The bill would require the board to identify and develop a supplemental examination for licensees if needed based on the assessment, as provided.

Existing law makes it unlawful for specified healing arts practitioners, including physicians and surgeons, psychologists, and acupuncturists, to refer a person for certain services, including laboratory, diagnostic nuclear medicine, and physical therapy, if the physician and surgeon or their immediate family has a financial interest with the person or in the entity that receives the referral. A violation of those provisions is a misdemeanor and subject to specified civil penalties and disciplinary action.

This bill would make those provisions applicable to a nurse practitioner practicing pursuant to the bill’s provisions.

Although, all legislators were targeted, heard directly from their local component medical societies and received an overwhelming number of calls as testimony at the actual hearing - the bill passed with Dr. Richard Pan being the only nay.

Now the bill gets referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee and can be heard as early as Monday, August 17. We are working closely with the California Medical Association and our government relations consultant Henry Rogers to set up virtual in-district meetings with the legislators who sit on the Appropriations committee.

L.A. County COVID-19 Surveillance Dashboard

As the pandemic rages on some sobering news: 19 deaths and nearly 1,920 cases in the past 24 hours. I want to thank those on the frontlines and Dr. Hector Flores for his leadership in securing COVID-19 testing for the Boyle Heights neighborhood.

View the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Interactive Dashboard 

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L.A. County Sees Signs of Stability in Key Indicators as COVID-19 Response Continues

As 19 new deaths and 1,920 new cases of COVID-19 are confirmed, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) is seeing signs of stability in key indicators, including daily hospitalizations and deaths.

There are 1,514 confirmed cases currently hospitalized and 31% of these people are confirmed cases in the ICU. Nearly a month ago the County was averaging about 2,040 daily hospitalizations. Towards the middle of July, this number was up to 2,200 daily hospitalizations. This is significant progress in the number of confirmed cases currently hospitalized daily.

To date, Public Health identified 210,424 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County, and a total of 4,996 deaths. Deaths in the county have declined, and today L.A. County represents less than half of all deaths in the State. For a long period, L.A. County accounted for slightly more than half the deaths statewide. Deaths remain stable at an average of 37 new deaths per day over the last two weeks.

Today’s numbers do not include backlog numbers; the State has indicated that the backlog of lab reports for L.A County from the State electronic laboratory system (ELR) should be sent shortly. Data sources that track other key indicators, including hospitalizations and deaths, were not affected by this reporting issue.

Testing results are available for more than 1,952,000 individuals with 10% of all people testing positive. The 7-day average positivity rate has remained mostly flat over the month of July, hovering just under 9%. There was a slight increase to 9.5% towards the end of July. However, the department is currently seeing a positivity rate of 7.3%. Please note, this rate may be adjusted depending on how the state reporting issues will affect this metric.


Click below to read the full L.A. County Public Health Press Release

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August 10, 2020 Morning Brew
Some Morning (now afternoon) brew!
Read the Full Article Here

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

Gustavo Friederichsen
Chief Executive Officer
Los Angeles County Medical Association
“If it matters to our LACMA members, it matters to me.”