Advocacy Update
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
 
NCASCA Legislative Update 5-23-19

North Carolina Treasurer Moves Forward with Plan to Reduce Reimbursement

State Treasurer Dale Folwell and the State Health Plan announced last week that the Plan’s new network-provider contracts have been released and are now available for providers to view and sign. The State Health Plan provides coverage to the state’s teachers and state employees.

Providers have until July 1st to return their signed contract to be part of the North Crolina State Health Plan Network.  Providers not returning a contract will be out-of-network as of January 1, 2020. 

At the last NCASCA meeting, Legislative Director Dick Carlton shared that Treasurer Folwell recently introduced an across-the-board reduction for all provider types. Healthcare providers have been working during the legislative session to support HB 184 to delay this implementation. 

HB 184 would create a committee to study and report on the redesign of the State Health Plan the State Treasurer has created. Though this bill has support in the House, the Senate has not taken action on this bill. 

NCASCA will keep members informed of any updates regarding the status of this bill and its provisions.
 
NCASCA Legislative Update 5-06-19

The General Assembly is working in overdrive as the self-imposed cross over deadline of May 9 is approaching.  Cross over is where a bill must pass its house of origin before this set date unless it affects the budget.  If it does not, it is dead for the biennium.   Several of these bills have direct effects on the North Carolina Ambulatory Surgical Center Association Members.   

Certificate of Need (CON) is a big issue this session. The position of our association is to prevent CON repeal and consider any modest changes to make that a better process.  The Senate has SB 646 and SB 361 in play.  Both of these bills seek to repeal the CON laws in some form or fashion.   SB 361 has a complete repeal provision.  It was scheduled to be heard on May 2 in the Senate Health Committee. It was taken off the calendar.  That sometimes means that the bill has some outstanding issues.  The House is considering both HB 173 and HB 857.  HB 857 specifically targets Ambulatory Surgical Facilities for a CON exemption and HB 173 seeks a CON exemption for Ocular Surgery.  We are working with hospitals and other stakeholders to defeat all of these bill in their current form.

HB 184:  Study State Health Plan Design.  This bill creates a committee to study and report on redesigning the State Health Plan for teachers and state employees.  This would stop the State Treasurer's plan to cut the reimbursements rates the State Health Plan pays to health care providers.  The bill passed the House and is now in the Senate where leadership is trying to work on a compromise.

HB 43:  Establish Standard for Surgical Technology.  This bill passed the House with a favorable grandfather amendment as well as an amendment to exempt a provider that cannot find a certified surgical tech in its area.  This bill is over in the Senate waiting its fate.

Finally, NCASCA is still working to take action on the Health Information Exchange issue.  We were already able to extend the deadline to connect until June 1, 2021 but are looking at ways to completely eliminate the requirement. 

On a broader view, bill filing deadline has come and gone unless it is a bill relating to the budget.  The state budget passed the House and will now go to the Senate for consideration.  It is widely expected that the Governor will veto any budget without Medicaid expansion.  Therefore it may be a long,  hot summer on Jones Street.

NCASCA will keep you informed as the session continues.  If you have any questions or want to know how you can get more involved, contact Meghan Millard at [email protected] or at (888) 526-9450. NCASCA Legislative Update 4-23-19

 
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