NC General Assembly Expected to Study a Number of Issues in Interim

Every legislative session a number of bills, usually controversial in nature, are amended to become opportunities for legislative study rather than immediate changes to the law.  This year has been no different. Following this month’s crossover deadline, a number of legislative proposals, including several affecting medicine, were converted to study bills prior to receiving House or Senate approval.

These issues of greatest concern to the NCMS include:

HB 693/SB 675 – Eliminate Exceptions/Medical Treatment of Minors

This bill originally proposed to prohibit physicians from providing health care services for venereal disease, drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness or emotional disturbance or pregnancy to unemancipated minors without written parental consent. This bill failed to pass either chamber prior to the May 16th crossover deadline; however the changes proposed may be discussed in a larger study authorized by HB 711 regarding the role of parental rights in North Carolina.

HB 109 – Require Safety Helmets/18 and Under

This legislation originally proposed to allow anyone over the age of 18 to ride motorcycles on public roads and highways without a safety helmet.  The legislation was later replaced with language authorizing only a study of the issue by the Joint Legislative Transportation Oversight Committee.

HB 177 – Amend Certificate of Need (CON) Laws

Rather than making broad changes to the state’s current Certificate of Need law, this bill now authorizes the Legislative Research Commission to study federal and state barriers to a market-based health care delivery system, to compare hospital based operating room and ambulatory surgical centers as a venue for the provision of surgical services and to study NC’s CON program compared to other states.

HB 204Update and Modernize the Midwifery Practice Act

In the final days leading up to the May 16th crossover deadline, House Bill 204, which proposed broad expansions to the scope of practice of Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM), was converted to a study proposal directing the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services to study whether CNMs should be given more flexibility in the practice of midwifery.  However, this study bill failed to meet the May 16th crossover deadline.

Physician Supply Study – it is anticipated that legislation may be enacted this session to authorize the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services to study ways to enhance physician recruitment, retention and distribution in North Carolina. Language has not yet been proposed, but is being discussed.

 
 

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