Increasing Access to In-Home Asthma Services in California

California’s AB 391 would support Medicaid reimbursement for asthma education and home environmental trigger assessments provided by non-licensed professionals. The bill, which recently passed the Assembly Health Committee with a bipartisan 11-0 vote, now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

We know that prevention-oriented services reduce unnecessary emergency department visits and hospitalizations, yet aren’t systematically accessible, particularly for low-income patients. AB 391 will change that. Co-sponsored by RAMPCalifornia Pan Ethnic Health Network, and Children Now, the bill would provide the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) with the statutory authority to submit a State Plan Amendment to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services to adopt the Preventive Services Rule. The Rule allows Medicaid reimbursement for preventive services recommended by a licensed practitioner and provided by professionals who fall outside of a state’s licensing system.

AB 391 is authored by Assemblymember David Chiu from District 17 (the San Francisco area). Assemblymember Chiu has a history of productive work with DHCS. His track record also demonstrates an understanding of the connection between housing and health. For more information, please see this fact sheet and frequently asked questions.

This legislation would not only increase patient access to prevention-oriented services, but could also provide a sustainable source of financing for the asthma education and in-home visiting programs throughout California that provide these essential services.

Interested in supporting the bill? Please email RAMP’s Associate Director, Joel Ervice, at joel@rampasthma.org.

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