September 2020 Update

September Update – Highlights:

  • NEW – Webinar on public health – September 25: A new webinar series on the priorities of the California Future Health Workforce Commission is launching this fall! The first topic—on the next steps needed to bolster the public health workforce—could not be more timely as the state continues to fight COVID-19. See below for speakers and details. Register now!
  • NEW – Issue Brief – Private sector leaders share their top priorities: A new Commission issue brief was released this week highlighting priorities, challenges, and proposed actions for bolstering the health workforce, identified in interviews with leaders of ten California health systems and plans. 
  • Legislative, budget progress on health workforce: The Legislature sent several major health workforce bills to the Governor this week, including legislation that will expand the ability of nurse practitioners and peer specialists to provide the care Californians need. The state budget passed this summer also includes significant, ongoing investments in the health workforce.

NEW – Webinar on public health – September 25

California’s ability to address every community’s public health needs was hampered by workforce shortages and hiring challenges long before COVID-19—and the pandemic has clearly exposed the urgent need to act quickly to shore up this essential workforce.
Join us Friday, September 25 from 11am – 12:15pm for the first webinar in a series on priority health workforce issues highlighted by the Commission. (Register here!) Details on upcoming webinars will be provided in the weeks ahead.
The first webinar, Strategies for Bolstering a Robust, Equitable Public Health Workforce During COVID-19 & Beyondwill feature a discussion between public health officials and experts from across the state on the next steps needed to strengthen California’s public health system. Speakers include:
Facilitator/Opening Remarks:

  • Anthony (Tony) Iton, MD, JD, MPH, Senior Vice President, The California Endowment; Former Director, Alameda County Public Health Department


  • Manal J. Aboelata, MPH, Deputy Executive Director, Prevention Institute
  • Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, Health Officer, Los Angeles County
  • Rebecca Nanyonjo, DrPH, Director, Merced County Department of Public Health
  • Sandra Shewry, MPH, MSW, Acting Director, California Department of Public Health

NEW Issue brief – Private sector leaders share their top priorities

A new issue brief was released this week highlighting the health workforce priorities of leaders from ten California health systems and plans. Interviews were conducted early in 2020 to identify specific actions the private sector can take to advance the California Future Health Workforce Commission’s 2019 recommendations. After the onset of COVID-19, follow-up interviews were conducted this spring and summer to capture health leaders’ evolving priorities, sense of the challenges they face, and proposed actions for the public, private, and philanthropic sectors.

Leaders from the following health organizations shared their views: Adventist Health, Alameda Health System, Beacon Health Options, Blue Shield of California, Cedars-Sinai Health System, Cottage Health, Inland Empire Health Plan, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Hospitals, L.A. Care Health Plan, and Partnership HealthPlan of California.

Legislative, budget progress on health workforce

A significant number of health workforce bills have now moved to the Governor’s desk, after being approved by the Legislature before the end of the session this week.
The Legislature and Governor agreed to maintain many of last year’s health workforce investments in the 2020-21 state budget—supporting continued funding for the Song-Brown Healthcare Workforce Training Program and the Proposition 56 Physician Dentist Loan Repayment Program, among other Commission priorities. This funding could still be reduced, however, depending on the availability of federal resources during the COVID-19 emergency.  
Health workforce bills now on the Governor’s desk include:
Scope of practice

  • AB 890 (Wood): Authorizes a nurse practitioner (NP) to provide specified services without physician supervision if the NP meets additional education, examination, and training requirements.
  • SB 1237 (Dodd): Removes the requirement for a certified nurse midwife (CNM) to practice midwifery according to standardized procedures or protocols with a physician; revises the provisions defining the practice of midwifery; authorizes a CNM to attend cases out of a hospital setting; authorizes a CNM to furnish or order drugs or devices in accordance with standardized protocols with a physician.


  • AB 2164 (Rivas): Provides that a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) or Rural Health Center (RHC) “visit” includes an encounter between a FQHC or RHC patient and a health care provider using telehealth by synchronous real time or asynchronous store and forward. Becomes inoperative 180 days after state of emergency for COVID-120 has been terminated.
  • AB 2360 (Maienschein): Requires health plans and health insurers, by July 1, 2021, to provide access to a telehealth consultation program for children, pregnant individuals, and individuals up to one year postpartum. Requires health plans and insurers to communicate information relating to the telehealth program at least twice a year in writing and monitor data pertaining to the utilization of its telehealth consultation program to facilitate ongoing quality improvements. 

Workforce needs

  • AB 1544 (Gipson, Gloria): Permits local emergency medical services agencies (LEMSAs), with approval by the Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA), to develop programs to provide community paramedic (CP) or triage to alternate destination (TAD) services in one of the following specialties: 1) providing directly observed tuberculosis therapy; 2) providing case management services to frequent emergency medical services users; 3) providing hospice services to treat patients in their homes; and, 4) providing patients with transport to an alternate destination, which can either be an authorized mental health facility, or an authorized sobering center. Sunsets the provisions of this bill on January 1, 2024.
  • AB 2288 (Low): Authorizes the director of an approved nursing program, during a state of emergency, to make requests to the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) for the following: 1) use a clinical setting without meeting specified requirements; 2) use preceptorships without having to maintain specified written policies; 3) use clinical simulation up to 50% for medical-surgical and geriatric courses; 4) use clinical simulation up to 75% for psychiatric-mental health nursing, obstetrics, and pediatrics courses; and 5) waive concurrency of theory and clinical by one academic term.
  • SB 275 (Pan): Requires the Department of Public Health (CDPH) to establish a personal protective equipment (PPE) stockpile for health care workers and essential workers in the state and requires health care employers, as specified, to establish a PPE inventory that is sufficient for at least 45 days of surge consumption.
  • SB 803 (Beall): Requires the Department of Health Services to establish a Medi-Cal demonstration or pilot project for certifying peer support specialists; requires DHS to amend its Medicaid state plan and to seek any federal waivers or state plan amendments to implement the certification program; and permits DHCS to implement, interpret, and make specific the certification program through available means, as specified, until regulations are adopted.