Peach Tree Health Meets with State Law Makers

Peach Tree Health joined a coalition of community health centers for a “Day at the Capitol.” Held on June 6, the event was sponsored by the California Primary Care Association (CPCA), the advocacy group that represents more than 1,000 health centers across California.

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CEO Greg Stone led the delegation from Peach Tree Health. They had face-to-face meetings with senators and assemblypersons from Sutter, Yuba, and Sacramento counties. Their job was to garner support from the lawmakers on a range of bills including:

SB 147 – FQHC Pilot Program for Alternative Payment Methodology
This bill authorizes the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to create a three-year a pilot project that replaces encounter-based reimbursement with a capitation. This will afford Peach Tree and other health centers the flexibiity to determine the best ways to deliver services, where to deliver them, and by whom. SB 147 is authored by Senator Ed Hernandez, OD (D-West Covina).

SB 610 – Timely Reimbursement for Health Centers
Rate setting and reimbursements to health centers from the State can take up to five years. This is unacceptable, especially given that the average health center in California operates on a 2% margin. SB 610 defines reasonable payment timelines for the DHCS to follow. The bill is authored by Senator Richard Pan, MD (D-West Covina).

AB 690 – Improving Access to Behavioral Health Services
This bill adds Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT) to the list of health care professionals whose services may be reimbursed by Medi-Cal at federally qualified health centers. This will allow Peach Tree to bring more providers on board thereby increasing access. This bill is authored by Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg).

AB 858 – Improving Access to Behavioral Health Services
This bill allows federally qualified health centers the option to provide patients with medical and mental health services on the same day and be reimbursed for each. Today, this type of same-day care goes uncompensated at Peach Tree. This bill is authored by Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg).

AB 1357 – Statewide Tax on Sugary Beverages
There is overwhelming evidence of the link between obesity, diabetes, and heart disease and the consumption of sweetened beverages. AB 1357 places a per-ounce fee on distributors of sweetened beverages. This will disincentivize the consumption of these beverages through higher pricing and provide significant resources to support school- and community-based programs that combat chronic disease. This bill is authored by Assemblyman Richard Boom (D-Santa Monica).