Assemblymember O’Donnell Introduces Hospital Closure Transparency Bill

Thursday, February 21, 2019

AB 1014 will provide communities earlier notice of hospital closure

(SACRAMENTO) – Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D – Long Beach) introduced Assembly Bill 1014 Thursday, which will require hospitals to provide a 180-day public notice before closing or eliminating services. Current law only requires a 30-day notice before closing a hospital and 90 days before eliminating emergency services.

“Hospital closures are devastating for communities. Just last year, Community Hospital of Long Beach closed its doors after abruptly diverting emergency room patients to other hospitals with little notice to residents. There was very little time to engage the hospital provider on an alternative to closure, and patients ultimately paid the price. There are now longer wait times for services, longer ambulance travel times, and overcrowding at other facilities,” said Assemblymember O’Donnell.

“Every single year nurses in California have been forced to watch their patients suffer when hospitals close or end essential services. These hospitals provide little or no notice to the communities who count on them,” said Zenei Cortez, Co-President of the California Nurses Association, the sponsor of the bill. “This bill will not solve our state’s health care crisis or force hospitals to stay open. But it will take the basic step of allowing neighbors, workers, and patients time to figure out what they will do in the next emergency, now that their local hospital is gone.”

Assemblymember O’Donnell also continues to work with the City of Long Beach and stakeholders to reopen Community Hospital of Long Beach. He plans to introduce legislation to extend the hospital’s seismic compliance deadline should the City finalize an agreement with a new provider.

AB 1014 is pending referral to its first policy committee.

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Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell represents the 70th Assembly District, which includes Long Beach, Signal Hill, San Pedro and Catalina Island.

CONTACT: Sophia Kwong Kim, (916) 319-2070