Legislation


AB 935 – California

Status: In Process
Year Introduced: 2021
Link: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=202120220AB935

Telehealth: mental health.
Existing law, the Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act of 1975, provides for licensure and regulation of health care service plans by the Department of Managed Health Care and makes a willful violation of that act a crime. Existing law also provides for the regulation of health insurers by the Department of Insurance. Existing law requires health care service plan contracts and health insurance policies that provide hospital, medical, or surgical coverage to provide coverage for the diagnosis and medically necessary treatment of severe mental illnesses, as defined, of a person of any age. Existing law also requires health care service plans and health insurers, by July 1, 2019, to develop maternal mental health programs.
This bill would require health care service plans and health insurers, by July 1, 2022, to provide access to a telehealth consultation program that meets specified criteria and provides providers who treat children and pregnant and certain postpartum persons with access to a mental health consultation program, as specified. The bill would require the consultation by a mental health clinician with expertise appropriate for pregnant, postpartum, and pediatric patients to be conducted by telephone or telehealth video, and to include guidance on the range of evidence-based treatment options, screening tools, and referrals. The bill would require health care service plans and insurers to communicate information relating to the telehealth program at least twice a year in writing. The bill would require health care service plans and health insurers to monitor data pertaining to the utilization of the program to facilitate ongoing quality improvements, as necessary, and to provide a description of the program to the appropriate department. The bill would exempt certain specialized health care service plans and health insurers from these provisions. Because a willful violation of the bill’s requirement by a health care service plan would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.


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