SB 168 - DHHS Revisions

 

SB 168 - DHHS Revisions

* This bill was introduced as a PCS in the House Health Committee on June 24, 2020.

Disability Definition

This bill aligns the developmental disability definition with federal law.

Co-Payment Schedule

This bill would allow the co-payment schedule for behavioral health, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and substance use disorder services to be set without the rule making process.

Involuntary Commitment

This bill would clarify that clinical mental health counselors can perform first examinations for involuntary commitment.

Telehealth

This language would clarify that the use of telehealth to be used to conduct first and second involuntary commitment examinations during the COVID-19 emergency.

Brian Injury Advisory Council

This language would create the Brain Injury Advisory Council within DHHS in conjunction with other stakeholder groups.

Medical Examiners

This language would allow retired physicians previously licensed in NC, paramedics, death investigators, pathologists assistants and dentists to serve as medical examiners.

The bill also allows the chief medical examiner to appoint emergency medical examiners during states of emergency.

The bill clarifies that all information and records regarding a death investigation shall not become public records.

The bill does provide a licensed psychiatrist exemption.

 

 

 

 

 

SB 168 - Expand Allowable Medical Uses of CBD Oil

Primary Sponsors: Sen. Floyd McKissick (D-Durham), Sen. Ralph Hise (R-Madison)

Bill Summary

This bill would allow hemp extract to be used to treat autism, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease or Mitochondiral disease. Current law only allows the extract to be used to treat epilepsy.

The bill also allows the patient to be under the care of a neurologist or has been examined and is under the care of a physician who has consulted with a neurologist about the patient's condition. Current law only allows the patient to be under the care of a neurologist.

The bill defines a physician as an individual licensed, board certified, and affiliated with one or more hospitals licensed in the state.

The bill requires the documentation of the name, address, and hospital affiliation of any physician with whom the neurologist consults with about the patient's condition in making the recommendation.

Bill Movement

Filed - February 27, 2019

This bill was was referred to the following Senate Committees:

  • Health Care - March 20, 2019
  • Judiciary - April 3, 2019
  • Rules - April 9, 2019

This bill will now move to the Senate floor

The Senate voted not to concur with this bill with a vote of 0-48 on June 25, 2020.

The House adopted the conference report to the bill on June 25, 2020.

The Senate adopted the conference report on June 26, 2020.

The Governor vetoed this bill on July 6, 2020.

 


SB 599 - Open Skating Rinks/Bowling Alleys

SB 599 - Open Skating Rinks/Bowling Alleys

This bill would authorize skating rinks and bowling alleys to resume operations and modify the capacity of temporary outdoor seating for food and drink establishments.

Outdoor seating for food and drink establishments would limit seating capacity to 50% of the current indoor seating capacity or 100 customers, whichever is less.

This bill would limit minor league baseball stadiums to 10% of spectator capacities.

 

SB 599 - State and Local Disability Reform

Primary Sponsors: Sen. Chuck Edwards (R-Buncombe), Sen. Andy Wells (R-Catawba), Sen. Rick Horner (R-Nash)

Bill Summary

This bill attempts to modernize the Medical Review Board and to make technical correction.

The bill would change language of how the board could be composed. Current law states that the board must be made up of at least 3 physicians but no more than five physicians. The current bill language would remove the “no more than five physicians” language.

Bill Movement

This bill was filed on April 3, 2019.

This bill was referred to the following Senate committees:

  • Pensions, Retirement, Aging - passed May 2, 2019
  • Rules - passed May 5, 2019
  • Passed Senate Floor on May 7, 2019

House

  • This bill was changed into a new bill on House Rules Committee on June 15, 2020 to open bowling alleys and skating rinks.
  • This bill passed the House 68-52 on June 16, 2020.
  • This bill passed the Senate 32-15 on June 18, 2020.
  • The Governor vetoed the bill on July 2, 2020.
  • The Senate failed to override the veto on July 8, 2020.

 


HB 1023 - Coronavirus Relief Fund/Additions & Revisions

HB 1023 - Coronavirus Relief Fund/Additions & Revisions

Appropriations

  • $75 million appropriation to DPI for school nutrition services in response for COVID-19
  • $7.4 million the allocation for NC Association of Free and Charitable Clinics and expands the authorized uses from cost of eligible health services provided during COVID-19
  • $7.4 million for the NC Community Health Center Association and expands use of services provided during the COVID-19 emergency
  • $3.5 million allocation to DHHS, Division of Social Services to assist foster child care monthly supplemental payments by $100
  • $15 million allocation to the Department of Commerce for job retention grants
  • $2.6 million for the NC HealthConnex health information exchange
  • $3.5 million for a domestic violence prevention program
  • $7 million to DPI for PPE in public schools
  • $3 million to UNC-P for an advanced analysis project for studying COVID-19 with an emphasis on rural and at risk communities
  • $2 million to UNC-P for the Department of Nursing to assist with medical and patient safety for COVID019
  • $7 million in grants for hospitals to offset costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • $2.5 million to tier 2 counties with populations of less than 150k with a hospital to offset patient care in the COVID-19 pandemic

History

  • Senate Appropriations - 6/23/2020
  • Senate Floor - 6/24/2020
  • House Floor - 6/25/2020
  • Presented to the Governor - 6/25/2020

SB 284 - County Cybersecurity/Satellite Broadband Grants

SB 284 - County Cybersecurity/Satellite Broadband Grants

Primary Sponsor: Sen. Ralph Hise (R-Madison)

*This bill was transformed into a new bill via a proposed Committee Substitute on 6/22/2020. This bill was previously a State Auditor compliance and regulation bill.

Summary

This bill would create a pilot program within the Information Technology Innovation Center within the Department of Information Technology to utilize public-private partnerships to provide comprehensive cybersecurity support services in tier 1 and tier 2 counties.

The bill would create a pilot program within DIT to implement a program management enhancement program.

The bill would establish the satellite based Broadband Grant Program in DIT to provide grants to satellite-based broadband providers based on maintaining new, unserved households as subscribers. The bill would have $4 million for all grants.

This bill would create a time limitation for State agency determination for new leases and lease renewals for colocation, installation, and operation of equipment by a broadband provider to expedite lease agreements.

The bill would appropriate $12.5 million to appropriate to the Department of Information Technology for certain projects.

History

This bill passed in House Appropriations on June 22, 2020.

This bill passed the House on June 23, 2020.

The Senate failed to concur with the House changes on June 25, 2020.

 

 

 


SB 113 - Education Omnibus

SB 113 - Education Omnibus

History

This bill was transformed into the Education Omnibus bill in the House Rules Committee on June 23, 2020.

This bill passed the House on June 24, 2020 with a vote of 116-0.

Summary

School Psychologists

  • The bill exempts certain school psychologists who are licensed by the State Board of Education and regularly salaried employees of DPI or a local board of education. Contract school psychologists would not be eligible for this exception and must be licensed by the NC Psychology Board.
  • $10 million appropriated from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to the School Psychologists Recruitment and Retention Pilot Program

School Nutrition

  • $75 million appropriated from the Coronavirus Relief Funds to DPI for school nutrition services provided by public school units in response to COVID-19.

LME/MCO

  • This bill requires DHHS to calculate a solvency range for each LME/MCO.

HB 471 - Exempt Direct Primary Care from DOI Regs.

HB 471 - Exempt Direct Primary Care from DOI Regs.

Summary

This bill would exempt medical direct primary care from regulation by the Department of Insurance.

The bill states that a medical direct primary care agreement is not insurance.

A medical direct primary care agreement would require the following:

  • Be in writing
  • Be signed by the primary care provider, the provider's agent, and the patient, an adult member of the family, or the patient's legal representative
  • Allow either party to terminate the agreement with written notice to the other party
  • Specify the periodic fee and period of time for the agreement
  • Specify services that are included in the agreement
  • Predominantly state in writing that the agreement is not health insurance

History

This bill was passed in the House as a bill requiring DHHS to create a workgroup to examine administrative duplication for mental health providers.

However, this current bill language was originally introduced as a proposed committee substitute in the Senate Health Care Committee on 5/28/2020.

This bill passed in the Senate Rules Committee on June 2, 2020.

This bill was amended on the Senate floor and passed on June 3, 2020.

The bill will now move to the House.

This bill was referred to the House Rules Committee on June 9, 2020.

This bill was calendared to be heard on the House on June 17, 2o20.

This bill was withdrawn from the calendar and re-referred to the House Rules Committee.

The House concurred with this bill on June 25, 2020.

This bill will now be sent to Governor Cooper.


SB 808 - Medicaid Funding Act

SB 808 - Medicaid Funding Act

Primary Sponsors: Sen. Harry Brown (R-Onslow), Sen. Kathy Harrington (R-Gaston), Sen. Brent Jackson (R-Sampson)

*This bill was introduced as a PCS in the House Appropriations Committee on June 22, 2020 to revise and update the hospital assessments.

*This bill was introduced as a PCS in the House Rules Committee on June 24, 2020 to make compromise changes in order to move the bill.

 

Summary

Dorothea Dix Relocation Project

  • $15 million in nonrecurring funding for the relocation of DHHS in Wake County

Child Welfare Case Management - NC FAST

  • $26.4 million in nonrecurring funding for updates and changes to the child welfare case management component of NC FAST.

Behavioral Health and Crisis Service (COVID-19)

  • $50 million in nonrecurring funding to the LME/MCOs

Early Childhood Initiatives

  • $20 million in nonrecurring funds for early childhood initiatives to assist in mitigating the financial impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Additional Coronavirus Relief Funds for Testing, Tracing, Tracking, and Analysis

  • $100 million in funding to expand testing for surveillance including hiring more temporary staff for tracing

Medicaid Budget Surplus

  • This section disallows DHHS to transfer a Medicaid budget surplus to LME/MCOs

Medicaid Funding

  • $1.4 million in nonrecurring funds to be used for the implementation of an electronic visit verification system for personal care services and home health services under the Medicaid program.
  • $30,000 in nonrecurring funds shall not revert at the end of the fiscal year but shall remain available and used for Medicaid/NC Health Choice programs rebase in 2020-21
  • $84 million in nonrecurring funds for Medicaid and NC Health Choice programs rebase
  • $136 million in nonrecurring funds to the Medicaid Contingency Reserve
  • $213 million from the General Fund to the Medicaid and NC Health Choice programs rebase

Medicaid Transformation

  • Sets a new Medicaid Transformation go live date of July 1, 2021
  • $69.4 million transferred to the Medicaid Transformation Fund
  • Requires DHHS to maintain a hotline for customer service questions related to transformation
  • Allows for a tribal option for Medicaid Transformation
  • Creates a Medicaid Contingency Reserve to be used for budget shortfalls
  • Includes gross premiums tax for the prepaid health plans

New Payment Models

  • Revises the hospital assessment
  • Revises supplemental payments
  • Repeals past requirement eliminate GME to align with Medicaid Transformation
  • Creates hospital uncompensated care fund

 

 

 

This is the summary of the bill language before it was amended in committee on June 10, 2020.

Delay Implementation

  • This bill would require Medicaid Transformation implementation by January 1, 2021.

Funds

  • This bill would appropriate funds to the operation of the NC Medicaid program. No set amounts are listed in this bill as of 5/19/2020. (*This is consistent with the other Senate appropriation bills.)

Use of Medicaid Transformation Fund 

  • The bill appropriates a non-recurring amount for Medicaid Transformation needs in the 2020-21 fiscal year. No set amounts are listed in this bill as of 5/19/2020.
  • The bill appropriates a non-recurring amount to the Division of Health Benefits as needed for the purpose of paying claims to services billed under fee for service. No set amounts are listed in this bill as of 5/19/2020.
  • The bill appropriates nonrecurring funds as needed, and not a lump sum to the Division of Health Benefits for qualifying needs relating to transformation including program design, beneficiary experience, NC FAST upgrades, data management, program integrity, and technical operations.
  • The bill requires the Office of State Budget and Management to oversee the funding use and ensure any requested amount does not exceed $140 million.

GME

  • The bill repeals the past directive to eliminate GME to align with Medicaid Transformation.

Medicaid Transformation Hotline

  • The bill requires DHHS to ensure that the existing DHHS customer service hotline is responsive to questions posed by a Medicaid beneficiary, provider, or the general public.

Tribal Option

  • The bill creates a new option for DHHS to contract with an Indian managed care entity or Indian Health care provider to assist in services to federally recognized tribes.

Revise Supplemental Payments

  • The bill states that the program shall no longer utilize a limit on the number of eligible medical providers that may be reimbursed the program and instead shall limit the total payments made under the program.
  • The bill requires payments to increase reimbursement to the average commercial rate under the State Health Plan and direct that payments increase to the average commercial rate under the managed care system.
  • The bill creates a roll out period for creating this new system.

Medicaid Contingency Reserve

  • The bill creates a Medicaid reserve to be used for budget shortfalls.

Revise Hospital Assessments

  • The bill gives authority to NC DHHS to adjust the hospital assessment payment amounts between October 2020 and December 2020.
  • The bill exempts certain types of hospitals from the supplemental assessment and base assessment.

Gross Premiums/Prepaid Health Plans

  • The bill states that the tax in this section shall be measured by the gross capitation payments received by the prepaid health plan from DHHS for services provided to enrollees in the Medicaid program.
  • The bill states that capitation payments refunded by a prepaid health plan to the State are the only allowable deductions.
  • The set tax rate to be applied to gross premiums is 1.9%.

Hospital Uncompensated Care Fund

  • The bill creates a special fund consisting of federal adjustment receipts arising from certified public expenditures.
  • The funding could be used for payments to institutions for mental diseases and payments to hospitals to reimburse inpatient services, uncompensated care costs, or outpatient services.

History

Filed - 5/19/2020

This bill was passed as a proposed committee substitute in the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 10, 2020.

This bill passed in the Senate Rules Committee on June 15, 2020.

This bill passed the Senate 43-5 on June 17, 2020.

A proposed committee substitute was heard in the House Appropriations on June 22, 2020.

This bill passed on June 23, 2020.

A proposed committee substitute was heard on the House Rules Committee on June 24, 2020.

A clarifying amendment was passed on the House floor on June 25, 2020.

This bill passed the House with a vote of 111-2 on June 25, 2020.

This bill will now be sent to the Senate.

 

 


HB 918 - Expedite Permanency/DHHS Report/SNAP/TANF

HB 918 - Expedite Permanency/DHHS Report/SNAP/TANF

Primary Sponsors: Rep. Steve Jarvis (R-Davidson), Rep. Sarah Stevenes (R-Surry), Rep. Greg Murphy (R-Pitt)

Summary

This bill expedites permanency planning hearings for children who have been removed from the home.

This bill creates a presumption that foster parents with whom a child has lived continuously for 9 months are deemed nonrelative kin.

This bill creates an aggravating circumstance for the exposure of unlawful controlled substances in utero or controlled substances in violation of the law in utero.

The bill requires DHHS, Division of Social Services (DSS) to report annually on certain expenditures for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program.

History

Filed 4/16/2019

Passed House Health Committee -  4/22/2019

Passed House Rules Committee - 5/3/2019

Passed House Session 5/6/2019

Passed Senate Health Care 8/21/2019

Passed Senate Rules 6/18/2020

Passed Senate with an amendment on 6/24/2020

Sent to the House for concurrence on 6/24/2020

This bill passed the House with a vote of 59-53.

This bill will be sent to the Governor.

 


SB 730 - No Patient Left Alone Act

SB 730 - No Patient Left Alone Act

Primary Sponsors: Sen. Warren Daniel (R-Avery), Sen. Jim Perry (R-Wayne), Sen. Joyce Krawiec (R-Forsyth)

Summary

Current Version

This bill states that a hospital shall allow a support person of the patient's choice to be present during the patient's stay, unless the individual's presence infringes on others' rights or safety or is medically contraindicated.

A hospital must have written policies and procedures regarding the visitation rights of patients, including those that may need a reasonable restriction.

A hospital must inform each patient or support person of their visitation rights.

This bill appropriates $10 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to the UNC Policy Collaboratory for statewide testing, tracking, and tracing.

Senate Version

This bill provides visitation rights that will not be impacted during declared disasters and public health emergencies. The bill states that a hospital will provide the opportunity for at least one visitor per patient. The visitation would be subject to the guidelines, conditions, and limitations of the normal visitation policy.

Minors would be allowed one parent/guardian to be allowed to visit and be present while the minor patient is receiving hospital care. The bill clarifies that if there is a custody agreement it will control.

The hospital may require a visitor to submit health screenings to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

The hospital may require visitors to submit health screenings necessary to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

History

Filed - 5.13.2020

Favorable - Senate Health Committee - 6.11.2020

Favorable - Senate Appropriations - 6.17.2020

Favorable - Senate Rules Committee - 6.18.2020

This bill passed in the Senate on June 19, 2020

Proposed Committee Substitute passed the House Rules Committee on June 24, 2020

This bill passed the House on second reading on June 24, 2020. There was an objection to third reading.

An amendment passed to add an additional $100 million in funding to provide grants for businesses that closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thes Senate voted not to concur with the House changes on June 25, 2020.


HB 594 - Temp Open Gyms/Health Clubs/Fitness Centers

HB 594 - Temp Open Gyms/Health Clubs/Fitness Centers

Primary Sponsor: Sen. Rick Gunn (R-Alamance)

Summary

This bill would authorize indoor or outdoor exercise and fitness facilities, gyms, health clubs, and fitness centers to resume operations while also safeguarding public health to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The bill would require all gyms to do the following:

  • Limit capacity to 50% of the authorized fire capacity.
  • Employee requirement to complete a health questionnaire and have their temperature taken. Any employee showing symptoms/fever is not allowed to enter the establishment
  • All employees wear face masks, except when actively leading a group fitness class or when outdoors socially distances. All visitors are strongly encouraged to wear masks.
  • Contactless check-in, including propping open all entry doors when possible. Markings are on the ground to denote proper social distancing.
  • Sanitation spray bottles with disinfectant or wipes available throughout the establishment
  • Hang sanitizer station available.
  • Employees conduct frequent cleanings.
  • Specific requirement for cardiovascular equipment and group fitness classes.
  • Water fountains are limited to filling water bottles only.
  • Personal hygiene amenity services closed except for toilets.

History

This bill was introduced as a proposed committee substitute, replacing a bill with this fitness center language in the Senate Commerce and Insurance Committee on June 4, 2020.

The bill passed the Senate Rules Committee on June 8, 2020.

This bill was amended on the Senate floor and passed with a vote of 36-13 on June 9, 2020.

The House voted to concur with the Senate changes to the bill on June 10, 2o2o with a vote of 69-50.

This bill was presented to the Governor on June 10, 2020.

The Governor vetoed this bill.

The House failed to override this bill with a vote of 66-55 on June 24, 2020.