Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services Update

The Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services met on April 10, 2018.

Comments from the Secretary

Influenza Update

Secretary Mandy Cohen, MD, Department of Health and Human Services explained that we have seen a severe flu season, particularly with individuals over the age of 65.  However, the state did see a higher peak than recent season, with activity peaking around February 10th. She encouraged individuals to seek their physician early on if they experience symptoms.

Cherokee County DSS

Secretary Cohen explained that on March 19, DHHS assumed temporary responsibility of Cherokee County DSS due to improper use of Custody and Visitation Agreements. DHHS is currently working with the county leadership to complete training, staffing, and oversight in order to be in compliance moving forward.

Birthing Centers

Secretary Cohen explained the background of the recent tragedies with Baby+Co in Cary. She noted that NC does not require the licensing of birth centers. DHHS has asked Baby+Co let DHHS staff conduct an on-site review. A letter was sent to Baby+Co, however, as of the committee meeting, officials have not connected to see if the business will allow them to do this visit and investigation. She noted that DHHS is limited in their authority, and that they do not have regulatory authority to enforce changes.

Rep. Greg Murphy (R-Pitt) pointed out that NC is one of eight states that does not regulate these types of centers.

Social Service Regional Supervision and Collaboration Working Group Report

Sen. Tamara Barringer (R-Wake) and Rep. Sarah Stevens (R-Surry) discussed the work group and the importance of the effort that has been put into this document from across the state.

Aimee Wall, UNC School of Government presented  the entire report including an overview of the laws relating to this topic, stage one recommendations, and stage two plans. The goals of this report was to provide high quality services across counties, ensure accountability to agencies, and provide transparency of local agency performance outcomes.

She noted that after FY 2020-21 a county’s failure to comply will result in a corrective action plan. Failure to complete the plan, will result in the regional office temporarily assuming administration.

Presentation of Draft Committee Report

The draft report can be found here. It includes the following recommendations:

  • Continuing the subcommittee on aging
  • Studying medical residency programs
  • Developing measurable objectives for funding GME
  • Implementing a statutory telemedicine framework
  • Participating in the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT)
  • Updating reporting requirements for health issues in local confinement facilities

Vote on Draft Report

 The draft report was approved by the committee.


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