Happy Monday! Start the week off right with your

 NCMS Morning Rounds.

Weekly NCMS Legislative Round-Up

Last week marked the NC General Assembly’s crossover deadline, the arbitrary date legislators set for themselves to determine which bills should continue to be considered. Any bill without an appropriation or fee attached needed to pass from one chamber to the other in order to remain ‘alive’ for further consideration. Some of the bills that did make it  that did make it through crossover are described below as well as in last Friday’s NCMS Political Pulse video. Keep up with the day-to-day action on our legislative blog.

  • HB 480 – NC Cancer Treatment Fairness would offer parity in pricing for oral and injected cancer treatments. The proposal states that every health benefit plan offered by an insurer that provides coverage for intravenously administered or injected anticancer drugs shall provide coverage for the prescribed orally administered drug. The orally administered anticancer drugs shall not be subject to any prior authorization, copayment, coinsurance or deductible provision or to any other out of pocket expense that does not apply to intravenously administered or injected anticancer drugs.
    HB 925 – Medical Malpractice/Jury Instructions/Judicial Instructions would require juries hearing medical malpractice cases to receive written instructions from the judge. The bill also would require a single judge be assigned to the case for its duration.
    HB 796 – Emotional Support Animals – Rental Units would require a licensed physician, licensed psychiatrist, licensed clinical social worker or licensed psychologist to provide written documentation on the need for an emotional support animal for landlords.
    HB 613 – Essential Services for Homeless Youth would establish responsibility, liability and immunity for health care providers who render certain essential health services to consenting unaccompanied homeless minors.
    HB144—Hands Free NC would make it unlawful to use a wireless device while operating a motor vehicle. Distracted driving has been shown to be an increasing cause of accidents. Legislators were concerned about how this proposed law would be enforced.
    HB 474/SB 375 – Death by Distribution is considered part three in the legislature’s attempts over the past several sessions to introduce laws designed to stem the opioid epidemic in the state. This bill would make distribution of a controlled substance that results in someone’s death a new class of felony – death by distribution. The NCMS is working with lawmakers to ensure that physicians who are following the proper prescribing procedures and standards of care are not caught up in this penalty.
    • Two bills concerning telehealth made it through crossover: HB 721 – Increase Access to Telehealth directs the NC Department of Health and Human Services to make certain charges to Medicaid and NC Health Choice policies relating to telehealth to require health benefit plan coverage. And, HB 555 – Modernize Medicaid Telemedicine Policies enhances access to behavioral and mental health providers through telemedicine and telepsychiatry.

In the coming weeks legislators will be focused on negotiating a new budget for the state and well as continuing the process of seeing the above proposals and others through committee and to the House or Senate floors for final votes.

Legislators hope to have concluded their business by July 4, which means there is still plenty of opportunity for you to come to Raleigh for a White Coat Wednesday to share your valuable thoughts on these and other proposals with your legislators. Learn more and sign up for a convenient time for you. If Wednesdays don’t work, contact NCMS Assistant Director of Legislative Relations Sue Ann Forrest to find another time to visit. Your elected representatives count on you, their constituents, to let them know the impact of the policies they are considering.

Dr. Reeder on the Radio

Last week NCMS President Timothy J. Reeder, MD, MPH, FACEP spent nearly an hour being interviewed by Adam Goldstein, MD, MPH, a professor of family medicine at UNC School of Medicine in Chapel Hill and host of the nationally syndicated radio show Your Health Radio. The conversation covered topics like health care cost, public health challenges, the opioid epidemic and the urban/rural disparities in health care and the NCMS’ work in each of these areas. Watch your NCMS Morning Rounds for the air date, which should be around May 18, and where you can listen.

CME Accreditation Education Day at NCMS

Tomorrow, Tuesday, May 14, CME accreditation providers in NC and the Medical Education Committee will have an education day at NCMS Center for Leadership in Medicine in Raleigh.

They will be discussing the transformation of CME and address the changing needs of clinician-learners and best practices for our state’s programs. Learn more about the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education’s initiatives.

In the News

Drug Companies Will Have to Disclose Prices in TV Ads, NEJM Journal Watch, 5-10-19

Learning Opportunity

The two-day Pri-Med Raleigh conference will be held at the Raleigh Convention Center, June 13-14. Primary care professionals can earn up to 13 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. This year’s conference will have 13 new, evidence-based sessions to impact patients’ quality of life. Learn more and register.