Upcoming and Recent Legislative Changes

2020 LEGISLATIVE ADVISORY

The Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology & Hearing Aid Dispensers Board (Board) would like to notify you of upcoming legislative changes that may impact your practice and/or the profession. These changes are effective January 1, 2021.


AB 2113 (LOW) REFUGEES, ASYLEES, AND SPECIAL IMMIGRANT VISA HOLDERS: PROFESSIONAL LICENSING: INITIAL LICENSURE PROCESS.

Status: Chapter 186, Statutes of 2020

Bill Summary: This bill requires the Board to expedite, and authorizes the Board to assist, the initial licensure process for an applicant who supplies satisfactory evidence to the Board that they are a refugee, have been granted asylum, or have a special immigrant visa. The bill also authorizes the Board to adopt regulations necessary to administer these provisions.

Impact on Applicants: This bill will allow applicants who are a refugee that has been granted asylum or who are a special immigrant visa holder to self-identify on their application for licensure and receive expedited processing and assistance during the licensure process. Revised applications will be available on the Board's website after January 1, 2021.


AB 2520 (CHIU) ACCESS TO MEDICAL RECORDS

Status: Chapter 101, Statutes of 2020

Bill Summary: This bill requires Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists, among other health care providers, to provide a patient or the patient's representative with all or any part of the patient's medical records that the patient has a right to inspect, subject to the payment of clerical costs incurred in locating and making the records available, following a written request from the patient. This bill also requires Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists to provide one free copy of the relevant portion of the patient's record if the patient or patient's representative presents proof to the provider that the records are needed to support an appeal regarding eligibility for a public benefit program. This bill also requires Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists to provide an employee of a nonprofit legal services entity representing the patient a copy of the medical records at no charge under those same conditions.

Impact on Licensees: Board licensees must now provide the following free of charge:

  • One copy with all or any part of the patient's medical records that the patient has a right to inspect, subject to the payment of clerical costs incurred in locating and making the records available, following a written request from the patient.
  • One free copy of the relevant portion of the patient's record if the patient or patient's representative presents proof to the licensee that the records are needed to support an appeal regarding eligibility for a public benefit program.
  • One free copy of the patient's/client's medical record to an employee of a nonprofit legal services entity representing the patient if presented proof that the records are needed to support an appeal regarding eligibility for a public benefit program.

SB 878 (JONES) DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS: LICENSE: APPLICATION: PROCESSING TIMEFRAMES

Status: Chapter 131, Statutes of 2020

Bill Summary: This bill, beginning July 1, 2021, requires the Board to prominently display on its internet website, on at least a quarterly basis, either the current average timeframes for processing initial and renewal license applications or the combined current average timeframe for processing both initial and renewal license applications. The bill also requires the Board to prominently display on its internet website, on at least a quarterly basis, either the current average timeframes for processing each license type that the Board administers or the combined current average timeframe for processing all license types that the Board administers.

Impact on Applicants and Licensees: The Board's application processing timeframes will be more transparent and prominently displayed on the Board's website on a quarterly basis.


SB 1474 (SENATE B&P COMMITTEE) BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONS

Status: Chapter 312, Statutes of 2020

Bill Summary: This bill prohibits a contract for the provision of services by a Board licensee from including a provision limiting the consumer's ability to file a complaint with that board or to participate in the board's investigation into the licensee. This bill also extends the sunset date for various boards, including the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensers Board from January 1, 2022 until January 1, 2023.

Impact on Licensees: Board licensees must ensure that all contracts signed by their patients and/or clients DO NOT contain clauses prohibiting a consumer from filing a complaint with the Board or from participating in a Board investigation of a licensee or their employer.