Here’s your Monday NCMS Morning Rounds.

June 7, 2021

NCMS Legislative Update

Last week was a busy one at the General Assembly. The budget process has started. However, the House and the Senate have been unable to reach an agreement on a spending amount, both in recurring and non-recurring dollars. The House decided to move forward with their own process, having each individual appropriations committee to meet to discuss their priorities. The Health Appropriations Committee on the House side met to discuss some legislators’ top priorities. There will be a lot to come in upcoming weeks on budget updates, so stay tuned.

While a lot of Senate dialogue was spent on confirmation of the Governor’s pick for secretary of the NC Department of Environmental Quality last week, several bills moved through the process, including SB257 — Medication Cost Transparency Act. There was an amendment in the Senate, so this bill will go back to the House. We will continue to update you on this bill’s progress.

HB453 — Human Life Nondiscrimination Act/No Eugenics moved through two Senate committees. We expect it to move through Rules and the Senate floor, likely, this week. The NCMS believes this bill interferes with the physician-patient relationship and we stand with the North Carolina Obstetrical & Gynecological Society (NCOGS) in opposing this bill.

HB224 — Occupational Therapy Interstate Compact is currently sitting on the Governor’s desk. We’ll update you when—or if—the Governor signs this bill.

SB116 — Putting North Carolina Back to Work Act has received a lot of attention from the media and garnered discussion on the House side. It passed the House late on Thursday and has been sent back to the Senate for concurrence. More to come on this bill.
It’s likely to be a budget-filled week this week. Stay tuned for updates.

Are You Up to Speed?

The North Carolina Broadband Survey is designed to gather information on locations in the state without adequate internet access and speeds.

The information gathered from the survey will:
• Provide clear data to guide investment of funds through the state’s Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology grant program
• Inform research and policy recommendations
• Support strategic targeting of additional funding streams

The survey is a collaboration between the N.C. Department of Information Technology’s Broadband Infrastructure Office and the Friday Institute for Education Innovation at NC State University.

The survey takes about 5 minutes to complete and is available in both English and Spanish. Participants are encouraged to also take the optional internet speed test to connect survey data with broadband speed information.

Take the survey.

Prior Approval Requirement for High Tech Imaging Terminating July 1, 2021

Effective for dates of service on or after July 1, 2021, prior approval (PA) for high tech imaging services (ultrasounds, computed tomography [CT], magnetic resonance [MRI] and positron emission tomography [PET]) will no longer be required for North Carolina Medicaid fee for service (Medicaid Direct) beneficiaries.

Beginning July 1, 2021, providers who contact eviCore will be notified that a beneficiary either does not require PA thorough Medicaid Direct or will be referred to the beneficiary’s prepaid health plan for assistance. PA is still required for high tech imaging services for delegated beneficiaries for dates of service prior to July 1, 2021. Retroactive eligibility will continue to be managed by eviCore.

NC Medicaid is in the process of end dating clinical coverage policy 1K-7, Prior Approval for Imaging Service that will be effective July 1, 2021.

To assist with this transition, NC Medicaid requests that imaging claims with dates of service prior to July 1, 2021, be submitted by Sept. 30, 2021.

In the News

A pandemic upside: The flu virus became less diverse, simplifying the task of making flu shots, STAT, 6-2-21

Learning Opportunity

Hot Topics with Health Plan Chief Medical Officers, Thursday, June 17 | 5:30-6:30 PM
Hosted by Shannon Dowler, MD, Chief Medical Officer of the NC Division of Health Benefits, the Medicaid Managed Care webinars on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month are dedicated to bringing you late breaking information and guidance on NC Medicaid’s transition to Managed Care.

Learn more and register here.

If you have policies you’d like your NCMS Board of Directors to consider, please complete the Board input form here. Thanks for reading!