Session 2019 Opens: Hot Topics:
The North Carolina General Assembly began its 2019 long session on Wednesday, January 30. The first week was focused on getting committees organized, passing chamber rules and prepping for the year ahead. We did have one bill filed by the Senate and House Democrats to expand Medicaid. This bill is a clean expansion bill and did not include work requirements. We do expect to see Chairman Donny Lambeth (R) file Carolina Cares which is also a Medicaid expansion bill which includes co-pays and work requirements. Both of these bills are aimed to provide health insurance to people who are not qualified currently for Medicaid but also do not make enough to access the Affordable Care Act insurance market.
The Senate and House leadership remain the same from last legislative session with Representative Tim Moore being re-elected as Speaker of the House and Senator Phil Berger being re-elected to the Senate President Pro-Tempore seat. Leadership in the chambers may not have shifted but key committee chairmanships have changed. Senator Ralph Hise who has chaired the Health Appropriations Committee for the Senate and was a leader on behavioral health and developmental disability policy has moved to an important Senate leadership position and is now the Senate Deputy President Pro-Tempore. The House also moved two strong healthcare leaders into the full appropriation seats with Representative Donny Lambeth as a Senior chair and Representative Josh Dobson as chair.
Here is a breakdown of some key health care committees:
Appropriations on Health and Human Services in the Senate will be chaired by Senator Dan Bishop and Senator Joyce Krawiec. Senators Bishop and Krawiec will also be chairing the Senate Health Committee. The Health committee is tasked with taking up policy issues that are important to the state’s healthcare system.
House Appropriations Committee on Health and Human Services senior chair will be Representative Greg Murphy. Joining Representative Murphy are the following Chairs, Representatives Larry Potts and Donna White. The House Health Committee Senior Chair is Representative Greg Murphy with the following members rounding out the chair positions; Representative Josh Dobson, Representative Donny Lambeth, Representative LarryPottsand Representative Donna White.
What is Up Next Week:
Medicaid Managed Care transformation’s next step will be the announcement by the Department of Health and Human Services regarding who will be the private health plans to work with our providers to start managed care in our physical health space. Based on the timelines from DHHS, we expect these announcements to come the week of February 4th.
North Carolina General Assembly will start their committee meetings over the next week. You can check in on their calendar by heading over to www.ncleg.gov.
NC Bill Updates:
House Bill 5: Close the Medicaid Coverage Gap.
Senate Bill 3: Close the Medicaid Coverage Gap.
NC DHHS News:
Tailored Plan: The Department and Health andHumanServicesis continuing its open process of presenting webinars on the goals and vision for the state’s implementation of tailored plans in 2021. The second webinar took place on January 24th. The webinar went into more detail on the timeline of developing the plan, the RFI process and the new draft design on case management under the plan. Updates and a recording of the webinar can be accessed by visiting DHHS Behavioral Health/IDD Tailored Plan page.
The Department will continue to host monthly webinars and is accepting feedback on the proposals as they are released.
Also, take a look at this white paper from i2i focusing on care management under the BH/IDD Tailored Plan.
Healthy Opportunities Pilot: This pilot was approved by CMS under the 1115 waiver. The program addresses social determinants of health for our Medicaid population. You will be hearing lots more about the RFI process for these pilots in the near future. Until then please check out this helpful FAQ.
NC News Update:
WRAL covers the story of Senator Louis Pate’s resignation from the Senate. Senator Pate spent years working to improve our state’s healthcare system. https://www.wral.com/north-carolina-state-sen-louis-pate-resigns-citing-health/18124103/
NC Health News takes a look at the Senate and House Democrats Medicaid expansion legislation.
John Locke Foundation has its own take on Medicaid expansion and other major health care policies that we may see this session. https://www.johnlocke.org/update/the-case-against-medicaid-expansion/
NC Health News covered the NC State Auditor report on Medicaid spending at the LME/MCOs and highlights some of the concerns raised by the audit finding.
National Healthcare News Update:
Disability Scoop takes a look at the feds weighing changes to WIOA. https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2019/01/14/feds-weigh-changes-work-rules/25876/
Axios gives a quick update on President Trump’s proposal on drug rebates. https://www.axios.com/trump-administration-rolling-back-drug-price-rebates-45d99606-87b3-4aef-9320-8a1030210726.html
NC General Assembly; Who Represents Me?
LEGISLATIVE UPDATES FROM JULIA ADAMS-SCHRURICH
Check out Conference Information HERE
PO Box 1658
Boone, NC 28607