NCGA Health and Human Services Oversight Committee

The Joint Legislative Oversight Committee met on Tuesday, March 10, 2020.

COVID-19 Update

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Secretary Many Cohen informed the committee that Governor Cooper would be declaring a state of emergency for NC at their noon press conference.

NC DHHS is ordering additional equipment for the state lab to increase the number of COVID-19 tests that can be processed.

To view the most up to date information about COVID-19 visit: https://www.ncdhhs.gov/divisions/public-health/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-response-north-carolina

NC Department of Health and Human (DHHS) Services Budget Update

Information Technology (IT)

DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen informed the committee that the items with the biggest impact on their current budget are information technology projects. There were 163 fewer IT contractors as of February 1. There is also a current freeze on vacant state positions.

Medicaid

Secretary Cohen noted that the Medicaid funds spent on preparation to shift to managed care must be covered by existing budget.

Group Homes

Group Homes have not been impacted with the recurring budget due to leftover funds from last fiscal year’s budget.

Infant Mortality

Dr. Adam Zolotor, MD, from the North Carolina Institute of Medicine presented recommendations from the NCIOM Perinatal System of Care Task Force. The biggest topic of discussion was the impact closing the coverage gap would have on health outcomes.

Telehealth

Ben Money, from NC DHHS, provided an overview of many of the was the Department working to improve telehealth services.

He noted that the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Program has increased behavioral healthcare access for children.

Due to COVID-19 Medicaid has added temporary policy modifications to reduce spread and increase access. Phase 1 allows providers who are quarantined to still provide care. It allows vulnerable well patients to stay home for routine care. This program includes behavioral health services. He added that their are 22 state Medicaid programs that regularly provide reimbursement for remote patient monitoring.

NCDHHS is also partnering with East Carolina University to deliver psychiatry services to hospital ERs and community sites.

Through a partnership with the NC Department of Information Technology, NC has received the Appalachian Regional Commission POWER Grant to conduct feasibility testing for broadband infrastructure in 20 counties. NC was the first in the nation to map broadband this way.

 

 
 

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