An intense week at the NC General Assembly ended with the passage of the House budget. As we reported last week, the budget includes significant cuts in education and healthcare spending. Physician services to Medicaid patients have avoided cuts to date in lieu of significant savings to be achieved through the Community Care of NC program. The Senate will now work through their budget process, which is still undefined. Though the two chambers worked throughout the initial process together, it is likely that the Senate will make changes to the House proposed budget. Physician rates for Medicaid services are still high on the list of potential cuts. NCMS will continue to track this closely and inform you as soon as any changes are made public.
This week, the Joint New Licensing Committee was named and is expected to start meeting as early as next Wednesday. This committee has House and Senate members and traditionally is charged with reviewing potential new licensee bills before they are referred to the appropriate policy committees such as Healthcare. Here is a list of the committee members:
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE ON NEW LICENSING BOARDS
|Sen. Tommy Tucker (Chair) (R-Union)||Senate Appointment|
|Rep. Jeffrey L. Barnhart (R-Cabarrus)||House Appointment|
|Rep. Harold J. Brubaker (R-Randolph)||House Appointment|
|Rep. Sarah S. Stevens (R-Surry)||House Appointment|
|Rep. W. A. Wilkins (D-Person)||House Appointment|
|Sen. Robert C. Atwater (D-Chatham)||Senate Appointment|
|Sen. Andrew Coley Brock (R-Davie)||Senate Appointment|
|Sen. Wesley Alan Meredith (R-Cumberland)||Senate Appointment|
|Sen. Josh Stein (D-Wake)||Senate Appointment|
Bills that could be examined by this committee include the following.
- HB 522/SB 662 – Midwifery Licensure Act
- HB 847/SB 467 – Naturopathic Licensing Act
- HB 753 – Establish Radiologic Technicians Licensure
- SB 230 – Pedorthist Licensure
- HB 429 – Establish Music Therapy Practice Act
- HB 639 – Clinical Exercise Physiologist Licensure
NCMS has been given notice that the Naturopathic licensure bill could be heard this coming Wednesday. This is a bill that has been introduced for a number of sessions. NCMS continues to be willing to support this bill if it is amended to address the detailed concerns that have been provided to the Naturopaths over the past several years.
Other bills have not been calendared yet. Supporters of certified professional midwife licensure have been continually working the halls of the General Assembly. The NCMS opposes certified professional midwife licensure, in part because the State has already endorsed the licensure of Nurse Midwives that work under the supervision of a physician.
Healthcare-related legislation that was introduced or acted upon this week is listed below.
- HB 200 – Appropriations Act of 2011, Brubaker (R-Randolph)
- HB 423 – Enact First Evaluation Program, Hurley (R-Randolph)
- SB 607 – Conform Medical Record Laws, Stein (D-Wake)
- HB 792 – Gfeller-Waller Concussion Awareness Act, Folwell (D-Forsyth)
- HB 878 – Study Radiologist Assistant Licensure, Wainwright (D-Craven)
- HB 926 – State Health Plan/Patient-Centered Medical home Pilot Program, Murry (R-Wake)