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J uly 28, 2014

The Honorable Assemblymember Susan A. Bonilla

State Capitol, Room 4140
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Assemblymember Bonilla:

On behalf of La Clinica de La Raza, I am writing to express our opposition to AB 503. We have serious
concerns about the impact the bill will have on existing partnerships between hospitals and community
benefit organizations like ours. The practical result is that costs to the state will increase significantly as
will costs to hospitals, which will have to comply with conflicting federal and state reporting requirements.
As a result, community benefit programs throughout California will face cutbacks, impacting diverse and
vulnerable populations.

As you know, Californias community benefit law has been in place and working since 1994. Under
existing law, hospitals work collaboratively with communities and stakeholders to assess local health
needs and tailor program to address each communitys specific needs.

AB 503s provisions put California in direct conflict with federal guidelines of the Affordable Care Act
(ACA). Californias current law was the model for the ACAs community benefit and charity care
guidelines, with state and federal laws now in close alignment. AB 503 prescribes a new and different set
of reporting requirements. Hospitals may have to cut community benefit programs to adhere to the new
requirements. At a time when millions of Californians for the first time have health insurance, these
unnecessary legislative mandates could prevent them from getting the care they need. Low and no-cost
programs are threatened.

We believe the partnerships between hospitals and community benefit organizations like ours are critical
in addressing local health care needs. La Clnica de La Raza is a large community health center with
locations in Alameda, Contra Costa and Solano Counties. Over the years La Clnica has worked closely
with our local hospital partners Community Benefit departments to address health issues such as chronic
disease, oral health, specialty care and health insurance enrollment. We have partnered with Sutter
Health, Kaiser Permanente and J ohn Muir Health to connect low-income patients to primary care health
homes, coordinate the transition from inpatient to outpatient care, and help low-income patients navigate
the Emergency Room. These partners have also supported facility renovations and expansions of primary
care into new underserved communities. AB 503 does nothing to strengthen successful community
benefit partnerships like ours and could put the vulnerable populations we serve risk.

AB 503 resurrects proposals that were combined during the various versions of 2013s AB 975. AB 975
was given full and thoughtful consideration before failing with only 28 yes votes and 38 no votes in the
Assembly. J ust like AB 975, AB 503 is a proposed solution for which no problem exists.

We respectfully urge your opposition to AB 503 to preserve vitally-needed community benefit services
provided by local organizations in collaboration with local hospitals.


J ane Garcia
Chief Executive Officer