NCMS Morning Rounds 5-6-19

A new week is upon us!

Here is your NCMS Morning Rounds for Monday.

Another Busy Week Ahead at the NC General Assembly

Legislators are scrambling to get bills through committees and to the floor of the House or Senate to make Tuesday’s ‘Crossover’ deadline. This is the arbitrary date set to keep proposed legislation moving. Any bill that does not have an appropriation attached to it needs to have passed from one chamber to the other by Tuesday (tomorrow) in order to continue to be considered.

Last week saw a flurry of bills pass through committee with 17 committees convening on Tuesday and again on Wednesday. Below is a brief rundown of the status of bills that may impact your practice. If you would like a video summary of what has been happening, be sure to watch your NCMS Political Pulse for the week.

Your action made a difference on HB611—Amending Rules of Evidence, which seems to have gone away for the moment. Thanks for letting your legislators know why you oppose this bill, which would dismantle important parts of our 2011 tort reform victory. The broad coalition of organizations opposed to this bill, including the state’s retail merchants, chambers of commerce and homebuilders among others, helped sway legislators. But the more than 1,000 responses to our Action Alert by you, their constituents, was undoubtedly a major factor. Thank you! Of course we will let you know if this proposal rears its ugly head again in the coming weeks. Watch your NCMS Morning Rounds and our legislative blog for updates.

The biggest focus this week was the release of the House’s budget proposal last Tuesday. Included in that 300-page document is more loan repayment funding for doctors and dentists; funds to keep the state’s transformation to Medicaid managed care on track and dollars for youth tobacco prevention. Review HB966-2019 Appropriations Act. And watch our legislative blog for our summary, which highlights the parts most important to your practice.

Other highlights include:

  • HB267-Require Safety Helmets/Under 21 failed to pass out of the House Health Committee last week, so it appears to have stalled perhaps for this session.
    HB562—Health Care Reimbursement Contracts would allow assignment of benefits or permit patients to assign insurance payments directly to their provider even if the provider was out-of-network for the insurer. This bill failed to pass out of the House Insurance Committee.
    HB534—NC Pharmacy Benefits Manager Licensure Act also failed to pass out of the House Insurance Committee because time ran out for discussion. This proposal would establish standards and criteria for the regulation and licensure of pharmacy benefit managers. It’s likely to be considered again this week.
    S361—Health Care Expansion Act of 2019 billed by some as the Republican’s answer to Medicaid expansion, contains a smorgasbord of items including repeal of the state’s CON laws is likely to come up for discussion this week.

Two other important proposals that were not discussed last week, but are likely to generate discussion in the coming days.

HB 655-NC Health Care for Working Families, which seeks to provide a new health care coverage option for working families in the state. The NCMS supports this legislation as a way to increase access to care.

The other bill that remains active having passed from the House to the Senate is HB 184—Study State Health Plan Design, which would create a commission to study the design of the State Health Plan, offering the opportunity for an in-depth analysis to ensure future solvency of the plan while simultaneously striving to improve the health of every plan member. No action has been scheduled on this proposal yet, but if it is important to your practice, be sure to have a conversation with your legislator about your support of it.

Keeping Up With the NCIOM’s Health Improvement Solutions

The NC Institute of Medicine’s (NCIOM) initiatives and research aim to improve the health and well-being of North Carolinians by identifying evidence-based solutions with broad stakeholder support. Now you can follow their latest insights and recommendations on the NCIOM blog. Featured posts include an overview of Medicaid work requirements; developing a state wide network to address social determinants of health and a look at CON.

The work of the NCIOM has led to improved health for North Carolinians and positive changes to health care delivery in the state.

Learn more about the NCIOM and its work.

In the News

CDC Urges Helmet Use to Prevent Severe Head Injuries While Riding Scooters, The Washington Post, 5-2-19

Learning Opportunity

Greensboro AHEC is offering ‘Introduction to Motivational Interviewing’ on Thursday and Friday June 6-7 at the Holy Trinity Church, 607 N. Greene St., Greensboro. The 2-day workshop offers health care providers the fundamentals of Motivational Interviewing and how to incorporate it into their practice. Learn more and register.


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