Advocacy Update
NCASCA Legislative Update 6-12-20

The Legislature is in full swing in Raleigh for the traditional second year short session of the 2019-2020 Session. They are trying to conduct business in the very trying circumstances of COVID-19. They would like to wrap up business before July 4, but adjournment time is never certain in this business.

COVID-19 cases continue to rise in North Carolina, but the State reacted early and is well prepared to meet this health challenge moving forward. Hopefully there will be no more shut downs because the pandemic has already had a profound effect on on the Ambulatory Surgical Center industry, but we worked with the Governor's Office to get back to business as soon as practical.

On the health care legislative front, the Senate is poised to pass SB 730.  This is a very emotional bill that would give the patient the right to have a designated person with him or her while in the hospital even during the pandemic crisis. The Health Care association is against this bill because of health concerns in the hospital setting. They feel the hospital is in the best position to make these visitation rules and circumstances change daily. This is truly a tough issue.

SB 808 has the short title of Medicaid Funding Act. The main section of this bill appropriates funds for the medicaid transformation from a fee for service to a managed care organization system.  

Our association is continuing to monitor all health related bills because some members of the Senate still would like to see some action on repealing Certificate of Need laws this session in some form or fashion. To date no such language has been inserted into any legislation.

NCASCA Legislative Update 7-26-19

This week, State Treasurer Dale Folwell re-opened the enrollment period for providers after releasing an updated proposal for the State Health Plan.  Back in June, the State Treasurer was met with resistance when he put forth a plan to slash reimbursement across the board for all provider types and is under pressure to show an effort to recruit providers to serve the plan participants. 

The new proposal limits medical providers in urban areas to 196% of Medicare, up from the originally proposed rate 182%.  Proposed rural provider rates average 200% of Medicare, also up from the original proposed rate of 178%.

Centers have until August 5th to decide if they will participate in the network and return a contract. Providers not returning a contract will be out-of-network as of January 1, 2020.

NCASCA will keep you updated on this issue.  If you have questions, contact NCASCA legislative director Dick Carlton at [email protected] or Meghan Millard at the NCASCA office at [email protected]  

NCASCA Legislative Update 6-28-19

NCASCA earned a hard-fought victory this week when the North Senate Health Committee agreed to remove CON repeal language from SB361. Members of our association came to Raleigh to speak against the repeal of CONS for ASCs in Senate Health Committee.  Subsequently Senator  Krawiec amended SB361 on the floor to take out ASCs from CON repeal.  It passed and the bill is now in House Health Committee. 

At the same time, NCASCA became aware that CON repeal for ASCs was put in HB126.  Senator  Perry was instrumental in taking it out in House Health Committee.  The repeal of other groups including dialysis is still in that bill.

At this point in session, CON repeal seems unlikely given the active bills in consideration.  However, this legislative session has highlighted the need to be vigilant and to educate legislators about ASCs. 

NCASCA calls on members to get to know their state legislators, to host them at your center with a facility tour, and to meet with them at their offices in Raleigh.  Also, encourage your physicians to contribute to the NCASCA PAC - remember personal check only. 

The work has just begun!

For more information, contact NCASCA legislative director Dick Carlton at [email protected] or Meghan Millard at the NCASCA office at [email protected]  

NCASCA Legislative Update 6-14-19

CON At Risk!  NCASCA Campaigning at Capital on Behalf of ASCs

On Tuesday, June 11th, NCASCA members Jamie Ridout, Sean Rambo, James Shafer, Erica Kennerson, and Kelli Collins gathered in Raleigh and met with Senator Burgin, Senator Woodard, Senator Van Duyn, Representative Lambeth, and the Chief of Staff for Representative Lewis.  These NCASCA members expressed their concerns about legislation that would end the Certificate of Need (CON) requirements for ASCs.

On Wednesday, June 12th, NCASCA members Rob Bashore and Virginia Jones attended and testified at the Senate Health Committee Meeting.  Though the Health Committee did pass the bill that would eliminate CON for ASCs (S 361), NCASCA met with stakeholders following the meeting to continue the discussion about our concerns regarding CON repeal.

NCASCA thanks these members for their time to discuss concerns regarding the repeal of the CON for ASCs. 

This issue is gaining momentum as repeal has become a key focus for Senate leadership.  Language to remove CON has been included in the proposed budget bill and in other healthcare bills that are actively moving through the Senate.  With the legislative session set to end in a few weeks, negotiations and bills are moving quickly.  The NCASCA legislative team is working hard to prevent the passage of these CON repeal efforts.  NCASCA will keep members apprised of developments regarding this issue and any calls to action. 

NCASCA Call-to-Action 6-10-19

CON At Risk!  NCASCA Members Invited to Campaign at Capital Tomorrow!

A Senate bill with full CON deregulation is expected to pass.  The same language is also included in the Senate budget.  The House has been resistant to this language, but may come under increased pressure from special interests groups who may try to set up negotiations with the House.  NCASCA strongly opposes the passing of this legislation and is proactively working for ASCs. 

NCASCA leaders will meet with House and Senate leaders at the Capital tomorrow, Tuesday, June 11th.  All NCASCA members are invited to participate. Due to this short notice, it is understood that many will be unable to participate, but if your schedule allows, we invite you to come and let your voice be heard.
The day will be begin at 8:45 a.m. at the Legislative Building.  Call NCASCA Legislative Director Dick Carlton at (919) 632-7744 if you would like to participate
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