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EDMUND G. BROWN JR.
Governor

State of California—Health and Human Services Agency
California Department of Public Health


AFL 23-02
January 18, 2023


TO:
General Acute Care Hospitals (GACH)

SUBJECT:
Assembly Bill (AB) 1394 – Suicide Screening Requirement


​All Facilities Letter (AFL) Summary

This AFL notifies all GACHs of the chaptering of AB 1394 (Chapter 101, Statutes of 2022), requiring the adoption of written policies and procedures (P&Ps) regarding routine suicide screening, and the subsequent implementation of those P&Ps. 

​AB 1394 requires GACHs to prepare and adopt written P&Ps establishing the screening of all patients 12 years of age and older to detect a risk for suicidal ideation and behavior by January 1, 2025.

The P&Ps must require:

  • Identification of a patient's risk for suicidal ideation and behavior as part of their medical screening.
  • Documentation of the patient's risk for suicidal ideation and behavior in their medical record.
  • Provision of a current referral list to an at-risk patient that includes both private and public community agencies providing, or arranging for, the evaluation, counseling, and care of persons at risk of suicidal ideation and behavior. The list must include, but not be limited to, hotlines and locally available mental health services.
  • Designation of licensed GACH staff to be responsible for the implementation of the suicide screening P&Ps.

After the adoption of the P&Ps, the GACH must routinely screen patients in compliance with those P&Ps.

AB 1394 states the intent of the Legislature is for guidelines adopted by GACHs to be similar to the validated or evidence-based screening tools and suicide risk assessment tools recommended by the Joint Commission and that, while guidelines evolve and change, the recommendations by the Joint Commission may serve, at this time, as a model to follow.

CDPH's failure to expressly notify facilities of statutory or regulatory requirements does not relieve facilities of their responsibility for following all laws and regulations. Facilities should refer to the full text of all applicable sections of the HSC and the California Code of Regulations to ensure compliance.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this AFL, please contact your district office.

 

Sincerely,

Original signed by Cassie Dunham

Cassie Dunham

Deputy Director


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