Assemblymember Holly Mitchell's AB 667 Cuts Costs, Eases Medical Transfers for Children, Passes out of the Assembly Unanimously

May 19, 2011

Sacramento, CA - AB 667, which updates the medical criteria used in many situations to qualify a child for transfer from an acute inpatient setting to a subacute care facility, often at lower cost, passed the Assembly on May 11 without opposition.

Currently, children whose needs could be adequately provided for in a subacute facility are often not transferred from the hospital's intensive care unit because they do not meet the conditions specified in regulations.

Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell argued on the Assembly floor that this often doesn't benefit children under treatment yet creates a substantially higher cost to Medi-Cal. The care provided in an acute hospital or a state development center costs, on average, five times as much as the care provided in a pediatric subacute care facility.

I fight to protect the most vulnerable Californians from cuts in needed services, stated Assemblymember Mitchell, who chairs the Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services.  But I also look for ways to cut costs during this difficult budget season. AB 667 is a crucial measure that will save the state money.

Pediatric Subacute care is not only a more cost effective alternative to the acute inpatient setting, but is a more homelike environment for the children they serve.

The healing process is enhanced by the specialty care provided at the facilities.  Additionally, parents are provided with the training necessary to care for their child at home. Discharging the children to their homes is the ultimate goal of every facility.

I'm pleased that AB 667 has received unanimous, bipartisan support in the Assembly, said Mitchell.   Adjusting standards so that children who are sick can have greater access to comfortable and kid-friendly environments is essential to their health.

AB 667 will now move to the second house of the Legislature for consideration by the Senate.