Advocacy Update
NCASCA Celebrates ASC HIE Exemption 5-27-2021

ASC’s across North Carolina received some great news yesterday. The North Carolina House of Representatives voted to pass House Bill H395 after it came back from the Senate with amendments that did not affect the original ASC exemption. Effective June 1, 2021, North Carolina ASCs are exempt from mandatory Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) requirements and the Health Information Exchange (HIE). 

NCASCA recognized the financial burden that ASCs would face if required to pay for and implement expensive EMRs. NCASCA, in support of the bill's passage, discussed with state legislators and worked at the capital to ensure ASC exemption.

The hard work from the NCASCA legislative team and members to achieve this exemption has paid off. NCASCA is proud to see these results and we are happy to deliver this good news to you. This is a big victory for North Carolina ASCs!

NCASCA will continue to monitor bills that impact North Carolina ASCs. You can count on NCASCA to work with state legislators to increase understanding of the importance of ASCs to their communities and patients.

Thank you for being a member of NCASCA and helping the association achieve this victory for North Carolina ASCs.

Click here to view HB 395 as ratified and signed by Governor Cooper.

NCASCA Legislative Update 4-16-21

The legislature returned from Easter break this week and legislation started flying.

Legislation that concerns NCASCA continues to further grow. The focal point this week was the Health Information Exchange (HIE) issue. Currently, ASCs must be online by June 1st of 2021. That deadline is not likely to hold because the House is poised to extend it until June 1st, 2022. 

Some traction was gained on NCASCA's request to be exempted from the HIE requirement. We have shared information about our centers not being included in the Federal Guidelines, costs and potential duplication. The bill that seems to be the vehicle for this issue is HB 395. While this bill entered hearing last week, no vote was taken and it is expected to reappear next week.

HB 468, Establish Surgical Technology Standards, is scheduled to be heard in the House Health Committee next week. The NCASCA Legislative Team is going to work with the sponsor to ensure that this bill is similar to the desired bill that was signed off on during the last long session.

Certificate of Need legislation remains prolific. HB 410 in the House and SB 309 in the Senate seek to repeal the CON laws in full. SB 506 is a more targeted approach. Both Senate bills are in the Rules Committee and NCASCA is keeping a sharp eye on them. SB 506 aims to exempt ASCs from CON review in counties with a population of 100,000 or more under certain circumstances. A complete repeal is not likely to happen. What is more probable is that some modifications will be made. Modifications can include restricting the ability to "sit" on a CON and an increase on the equipment threshold exemption.

Finally, there are several transparency bills that are of concern. These include SB 505 and SB 415.  We are monitoring these bills very closely. These are "surprise billing" bills that have been introduced around the country.

Please contact me with any question you may have on these or other issues of concern to the NCASCA. 

Thank you, 
Dick Carlton

Richard H. Carlton

Law Office of Richard H. Carlton, PLLC

NCASCA Legislative Update 3-12-21

The NC General Assembly is in full swing as more and more legislation is introduced each day. The Governor and the Legislature just came to an agreement on a bill that would reopen the public schools. That comes as a big relief to many.

Of direct interest to NCASCA are the issues of the Health Information Exchange and Certificate of Need.  The Association has prepared one page talking papers on each of these issues, and they are being given out to the appropriate decision makers on these issues.

On HIE we have had productive discussions with leaders of both the House and Senate.  The Senate already has a filed bill (SB 226) to extend HIE Participation and Enforcement until June 1, 2022.  We are still working both sides for a possible exemption.  That is more difficult, but we at least have to have this extension now.

On the Certificate of Need front, we expect the annual legislation to repeal all or some of the parts of our Certificate of Need laws.  We have made it clear that our Association is against such broad action.  There are minor adjustments that can and should be made to the CON laws, and we are telling those leaders that we want to be part of those discussions in the days to come.

The Senate has introduced two bills that would allow the deductibility of those expenses related to loans received under the Cares Act.  

The Bill filing deadline in the House is April 27 and April 6 in the Senate.

Thank you, 

Dick Carlton
NCASCA Lobbyist

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
NC Health Information Exchange Network Deadline

The North Carolina General Assembly passed a law in 2015 that is beginning to affect health care providers this year. The law created the North Carolina Health Information Exchange Authority (NC HIEA) to oversee and administer the NC Health Information Exchange Network.

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