- Created on Thursday, 19 June 2014 13:37
- Written by IVN
Sacramento, California - Majority Floor Leader V. Manuel Pérez reports that two of his bills made advances this week:
AB 2364 State Amphibian Declaration: AB 2364 passed the Senate on a Floor vote of 24-9 and now heads to the Governor. The bill designates the California red-legged frog as the state amphibian, adding it to the list of official state symbols such as the grizzly bear (state mammal), sequoia (state tree), and California golden poppy (state flower).
“AB 2364 spotlights a species important to California history and ecology by making it a state symbol,” said Pérez. “But it is also meaningful to me because it demonstrates learning in action. The students came up with this idea, did the research and got involved in the legislative process. I’ve really enjoyed the experience working with them, and I’m excited that this is the first of my bills this year to head to the Governor’s desk.”
Late last year, Pérez was contacted by Sea View Elementary students in Salton City, asking him to author a bill declaring the threatened California red-legged frog as the official state amphibian. Impressed by their work and enthusiasm, he introduced the measure in March.
AB 1771 Patient Telephone Consultations: This bill, which passed the Senate Health Committee on a vote of 7-1, ensures that patient telephone consultations with medical professionals are covered by health insurance. Currently, most health plans and health insurers do not cover such services, which include answering questions by phone, monitoring patients with chronic conditions, and calling a patient back to confirm or adjust treatment plans.
“When you can get a health-related question answered by phone, it reduces unneeded office visits, saves money, and improves the patient experience,” said Pérez. “In medically underserved areas like the Coachella and Imperial Valleys, AB 1771 will help increase access by improving the capacity of the medical system to meet the demand for care.”
According to the sponsor of the bill, the California Medical Association, AB 1771 is projected to achieve significant savings for both insurers and patients as utilization of telephone consultations increases. Total savings in the first year are projected at $119 million, increasing to $156 million the second year, to $204 million in the third year, and $267 million in the fourth year of implementation. These figures are based on an analysis of AB 1771 prepared by the California Health Benefits Review Program.
AB 1771 now heads to the Senate Floor.