Advocacy Update
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

 
NCASCA Legislative Update 4-23-19

The North Carolina General Assembly is gearing up again following a brief spring break.  To recap current activities, NCASCA Legislative Director Dick Carlton and NCASCA President Kelli Collins met with Senator Burgin last week regarding SB 646.  This is a bill that has several provisions, one of which is eliminating CON for ASCs.  The bill also adds a requirement that ASCs meet a commitment that at least 4% of their total revenue be from Medicare or Medicaid cases and report all payer data to the state. 

On behalf of NCASCA members, Dick and Kelli were able to communicate with Senator Burgin that NCASCA was not in support of this bill as drafted and wanted to be part of any discussions amending the language.   This bill is still in the Senate Rules Committee and has not yet moved.  To view more about SB 646 click here.

Other bills NCASCA is following:

HB 857:  CON Exemption/Ambulatory Surgical Facilities  - Introduced last week and has not been referred to committee.  This is another bill that attempts to repeal the CON laws in some form.  NCASCA is closely monitoring this bill.  

HB 43:  Establish Standards for Surgical Technology- Passed the House with NCASCA-suggested amendments to have a more favorable grandfather provision and added the exemption for situations where a facility cannot find a certified tech in its area.

HB 70:  Delay NC Health Connex for Certain Providers - The current bill contains language for how a provider can apply to receive an exemption to the requirement. The current deadline to comply for ASCs is June 2021.  NCASCA is still working on an effort to exempt ASCs from submitting data to the HIE network.  

 

Crossover date is almost here.  Most bills must pass its House of origin before the crossover date, which is May 9.  If a bill does not pass its House of origin, it cannot be considered further this year.   With this deadline approaching, the General Assembly will continue its fast pace the next few weeks.  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 4-01-19

On Wednesday, March 27th, NCASCA members participated in Legislative Day.  They met with members of both the North Carolina House and Senate, educating them on the value of ambulatory surgery centers in their communities and discussing important industry issues.  Led by NCASCA Legislative Director Dick Carlton, these ASC leaders met with Representative Josh Dobson, who is also Chairman of the House Health Committee and Senator Jim Perry, who is a member of the Senate Health Care Committee and Appropriations on Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

 Pictured here are (left to right) James Shafer, Dick Carlton, Jamie Ridout,  Representative Josh Dobson, Matthew Kersten, Rob Bashore, John Cooper, and Sean Rambo. 

NCASCA thanks Jamie Ridout of Capital City Surgery Center, James Shafer of Wilmington Surgcare, Matthew Kersten of Mallard Creek Surgery Center, Rob Bashore of Gateway Surgery Center, and Sean Rambo of Compass Surgery Partners for participating in this event.  Thank you for your efforts to advance the ASC industry in Raleigh!  

 Pictured here are (left to right) Sean Rambo, John Cooper, Dick Carlton, Senator Jim Perry, Matthew Kersten, Jamie Ridout, James Shafer and Rob Bashore.

 
NCASCA Legislative Update 3-21-19

The North Carolina General Assembly is in full swing for the 2019-2020 Session.  The big change this year is that the Republican leadership in the House and the Senate no longer have veto proof majorities.  NCASCA is closely monitoring the following bills this session for our members.  

HB 184- Study State Health Plan Design:  This bill was introduced to appoint an experienced committee to look at the State Health Plan and to develop a responsible way to reduce the costs for State Employees.  The State Treasurer has proposed significant cuts that would be very problematic for the State's hospitals, especially in the rural areas.

HB 173- Act to Exempt Ocular Surgery from CON Laws:  NCASCA has been carefully monitoring CON issues since it is a hot topic in health care.  This bill appears to be the first attempt to amend CON requirements.  After reviewing the facts and circumstances around this bill, we do not believe it will move very far in the legislative process.   

HB 70 Delay NC Health Connex for Certain Providers:  If you recall, NCASCA was successful in obtaining an extension for ASCs to begin submitting demographic and clinical data to the HIE network.  This bill is a vehicle for other healthcare providers are following our lead in trying to get extensions for their provider types.  NCASCA's goal is to get a permanent exemption for ambulatory surgical centers.    

HB 43-Establish Standards for Surgical Technology:  We have been working on this bill for two years to to ensure it is not overly burdensome to ASCs.  The idea behind the bill has merit, but we need to make sure there are no unintended consequences.  It does include language regarding exemption for rural areas and a grandfathering provision  However, we believe this language still needs additional work.  

 
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