Fall 2017 Newsletter - Advocacy Wins for AB 401 and 40

By Leslie Bruce, HIMSS Southern California Advocacy Committee

The 5,800 members of the HIMSS Northern and Southern California Chapters had cause for celebration when the Governor signed two bills important to the health of Californians recently, AB 401 and AB 40.


Signed on October 7, AB 401 enables registered pharmacy technicians in medically underserved areas to distribute drugs and devices under the supervision of a State Board of Pharmacy authorized pharmacist using a telepharmacy system. The 7.4 million Californians in medically underserved areas will benefit from increased access to their medication, enhanced medication adherence, and ultimately, improved health outcomes.

AB 40, signed on October 9, integrates the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) database with clinical health information technology systems. By enabling physicians to have access to this database along with the standard patient information they currently receive, i.e., add CURES information to their regular workflow, AB 40 allows physicians to have more complete information, thereby enabling them to treat patients more effectively and efficiently, potentially saving lives. This is particularly significant given the growing opioid abuse crisis.

“This was an exciting effort and we’re proud to have been a part of improving health outcomes through Health IT,” said John Conklin, Advocacy Chair for HIMSS Southern California.

Members of the California HIMSS advocacy teams crafted issue papers in support of the bills and presented them during visits to 20 legislators on Health IT Day at the Capitol. Legislators included Senators Hernandez, Patterson, Nielsen, Wiener, Nguyen, Newman, Hill, Atkins, and Glazer and Assembly members Grayson, Thurmond, Baker, Kiley, Nazarian, Bonta, Wood, Quirk-Silva, Waldron, Gallagher, and Cooley. HIMSS advocates tracked the legislation carefully, and when it passed the legislature, they sent letters of support to the Governor, urging his signature.

“We are continuing to strengthen our voice as an organization through chapter collaboration on efforts like these,” noted HIMSS Western Vice Chair, Advocacy, and HIMSS Northern California Advocacy Chair Shanti Wilson. “We plan to build on this success and together help legislators throughout California understand the power of Health IT to improve patient care.”

Interested in learning more about advocacy? Check out our NorCal and SoCal sites and join HIMSS if you’re not yet a member.

Northern California: http://norcal.himsschapter.org/advocacy-0
Southern California: http://socal.himsschapter.org/advocacy-1
HIMSS Membership: http://www.himss.org/membership/individual-options

Return to Fall 2017 Newsletter