NCMS Legislative Update
May 11, 2021
Things have been busy at the NC General Assembly this week as the crossover deadline approaches. Crossover is when a bill must pass either the House Chamber or the Senate Chamber to remain viable for this legislative session. Hundreds of bills were filed this week. For a comprehensive list of the many bills we're tracking, please visit our Legislative blog here.
Several proposals we want to mention:
• SB345- PA - Team-Based Practice, which makes various adjustments to the licensure and supervision arrangement of physician assistants. This bill passed unanimously through the Senate. Since it meets the May 13 crossover deadline, it will now make its way through the House. For more on this bill and the NCMS’ position it, please visit our Understanding Team Based Practice webpage here. This page also includes a recording of our May 5 webinar hosted by our NCMS Medical Team Task Force chair, Robert ‘Charlie’ Monteiro, MD.
• Currently there are several other bills aiming to change vaccination laws. HB 779 – Coronavirus Vaccine Bill of Rights, HB 686 – No Gov’t Retribution for Refusal of CV19 Vax and HB 558 – Prohibit Mandatory CV19 Vaccinations. The NCMS opposes these proposals. Not only would they negatively impact the current COVID-19 vaccination efforts underway, but they also would make it unlawful to mandate vaccinations against any illness. Please use this Action Alert to protect the current statutes governing vaccination and protecting public health in our state.
• HB149 - Improving Access to Care Through Telehealth, would require health benefit plan coverage for the delivery of health care services through telehealth. This bill moved through the House Insurance Rules Committee this week and remains viable for this legislative session.
• HB 453 – Human Life Non-Discrimination Act/No Eugenics and SB405- Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, both moved on both the House and Senate sides. The NCMS opposes legislation that interferes with the physician-patient relationship. We believe both bills have components that do just that.
• SB505- Medical Billing Transparency, received a unanimous vote. Passing the Senate, it will now move over to the House. No amendments, beyond the initial amendment mentioned a few weeks ago, were made to this bill. The NCMS was part of a sign-on letter explaining why we would prefer that federal legislation on billing transparency or surprise billing, passed last year, be implemented before the state acts on this issue. Read the letter here.
• HB608-Dignity for Women Who are Incarcerated, made it through the House Health Committee and House Rules Committee and will likely be on the House floor next week.