September 9, 2021
Brandon Richards, Director of Communications
AB 1184, a Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California Sponsored Bill, Strengthens Patient Privacy Laws Regarding “Sensitive Services”
SACRAMENTO— Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC) released the following statement from President/CEO Jodi Hicks regarding the final passage of AB 1184 (Chiu), legislation that ensures patient information is kept confidential when an individual access “sensitive” health care services. Thanks to Assemblymember David Chiu, AB 1184 heads to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk for his signature.
“Protecting patients who access essential health care services, whether that be an abortion, gender affirming care, mental health, or other sensitive service, is crucial – particularly as we see real threats to accessing that care in other states and increased violence towards and incentives for ‘outing’ people who seek that care,” said Jodi Hicks, President/CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. “This crucial update now guarantees that patients, including survivors of intimate partner violence can safely access care without confusion or fear, and we look forward to Governor Gavin Newsom signing this into law in the near future.”
AB 1184 updates California’s existing patient privacy laws by: 1) ensuring that communications from the insurance company regarding sensitive services, as defined, are confidential and not sent to the primary policy holder; 2) expanding the existing definition of “sensitive services” to include gender affirming care and behavioral health care - extending automatic confidentiality for these services; 3) ensuring that all patients have a pathway to request confidential communications from their health plan; and 4) ensuring that patients are educated about their confidentiality rights by requiring plans to provide notice.
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC) is the state public policy office representing California’s seven separately incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates. Through advocacy and electoral action, PPAC promotes sound public policy in areas of sexual and reproductive health care and sex education.