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