Governor Signs UNAC/UHCP Legislation

August 2013

On August 28, Governor Jerry Brown signed UNAC/UHCP-sponsored legislation, Assembly Bill 1215, which expands the definition of Laboratory Director for purposes of a clinical laboratory test or examination classified as waived to include a duly licensed Clinical Lab Scientist.

This new law will help address the gaps we will be facing with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which will extend health benefits to an estimated seven million uninsured Californians by 2018. The newly insured will increase the demand for care, including clinical laboratory testing. In addition, AB 1215 will give UNAC/UHCP members who are Clinical Lab Scientists the opportunity for future career advancement. This bill passed with zero opposition.

Earlier this year, UNAC/UHCP made a commitment to help shape the implementation of the ACA here in California, keeping in mind the diverse membership of our Union. AB 1215 is a component of our responsibility as Health Care Professionals to address the future health care needs of millions of Californians. No matter what your specific role is, we all have to work together in unity to care for a new wave of patients. That is why I instructed our Legislative Department to be aggressive in finding opportunities to advance UNAC/UHCP’s mission by improving patient safety, career advancement, and our health care system as a whole.

UNAC/UHCP is very proud of the work Eric Robles and his team have been doing in Sacramento this year for UNAC/UHCP. As we approach the end of this year’s legislative session, here are a few more bills we are still keeping a close eye on or actively supporting:

• SB 271: Extends California’s ADN Scholarship program
• SB 491: Expands the role of NPs consistent with best practices as identified by the Institute of Medicine.
• SB 493: Expands the scope of practice of pharmacists, establishes an Advance Practice Pharmacist (APP) recognition, and allows pharmacists recognized as APPs to perform specified activities.
• SB 718: Requires hospitals to adopt a workplace violence prevention plan.
• SB 746: Addresses transparency in premium rates by major health plans
• AB 729: Provides that a union agent, as defined, and a represented employee or represented former employee have a privilege to refuse to disclose any confidential communication between the employee or former employee and the union agent while the union agent is acting in his/her representative capacity.

For more information on these bills, please visit http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/ or email eric.robles@unacuhcp.org.