HB 678 – Health Care Flexibility Act

HB 678 – Health Care Flexibility Act


This bill would grant authority to the Secretary of Health and Human Services to waive or modify regulations in response to the potential wave of illness brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic to meet the need for additional health care facility beds and technology to treat patients.

The bill would allow this authority through the duration of the State of Emergency plus one year after the State of Emergency is lifted.

This would include authority to do any of the following:

  • Increase bed capacity in a licensed health care facility
  • Adding kidney dialysis stations to a disease treatment center or hospital
  • Allowing an ambulatory surgical facility to operate as a temporary hospital
  • Regulations on mental health beds

The bill authorizes health care licensure boards to have authority to waive or modify the enforcement of any legal or regulatory constraints that would prevent or impair any of the following:

  • Allowing individuals to provide care if they are licensed in other states
  • Allowing individuals to provide care if they are retired or inactive
  • Allowing skilled but unlicensed volunteers to provide care
  • Allowing students at an appropriately advanced stage of professional study to provide care


This bill was passed in the House as a bill regarding social worker statutory updates.

However, a proposed committee substitute to this bill was introduced in the Senate Health Care Committee for discussion only on 5/28/2020.

This bill was calendared to be heard in the Senate Health Care Committee for a vote on 6/2/2020, but was pulled from the Committee.

*The bill is still not available on the NC General Assembly website as of 12:50pm on 6/2/2020

*The information provided here is based of the language NCMS was able to acquire from staff.


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