SACRAMENTO–A bill by California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) to streamline the process for expanding licensed primary care clinics was approved on a unanimous vote by the Assembly Health Committee today.
Assembly Bill 2053 will help community health centers meet the growing demand for medical care by allowing them to add an additional facility that is maintained and operated by the same health center under its existing license, rather than go through a duplicative process to go through full licensing again from scratch.
“California has made tremendous strides to make health care more affordable for all, and now we have the responsibility to make sure it’s accessible to people in their communities,” Gonzalez said. “AB 2053 will speed up the expansion of health services in communities like many in my district that have been underserved for too long.”
Facilities operating within the same health center corporation – under a central Board of Directors, administrative leadership, and medical leadership – should have the option to be licensed as a single entity when it is appropriate to their system of care. AB 2053 creates that option and eases the current practice of licensing every facility independently, regardless of their proximity to one another or how they coordinate care.
The importance of this change was highlighted recently in San Diego’s Barrio Logan neighborhood, located in Gonzalez’s 80th Assembly District, during protracted efforts to expand a Family Health Center facility to provide improved mental health services for the community.
AB 2053 was approved by the committee on a 12-0 vote. The bill is joint authored by Assemblymember Adam Gray (D-Merced) and Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa) serves as a coauthor. AB 2053, which is sponsored by the California Primary Care Association, will next be considered by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.