Legislative/Policy Initiatives

Legislative & Policy Initiatives

2019 NC Providers Council Legislative Priorities

Senator Floyd McKissick was visited by the NC Providers Council March 19
Pictured from left to right are Lori Gougeon, InReach; Christopher White, LifeSpan Services; Senator Floyd McKissick; and Margaret Mason, Community Based Care.

The NC Providers Council has a great reputation for its analysis of legislation, administrative rules, and Medicaid State Plan, waiver, and clinical coverage policy provisions impacting community services funded through the North Carolina General Assembly and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). With our active involvement at the General Assembly, through The Policy Group and member Legislative Days, collaboration with numerous Divisions of DHHS – including participation on statewide workgroups and Committees, and an ongoing, constructive dialogue with LME/MCO leadership, advocate for providers and the people who we support. The Policy Group is one of the most effective governmental relations firms in North Carolina that specializes in legislative strategies and policy initiatives. The Policy Group substantially increases our member association’s influence on legislative and executive branch issues that affect providers and the people who we support. On Tuesday, March 19th, NC Providers Council members spent the day in downtown Raleigh, led by The Policy Group, meeting with numerous Representatives and Senators who serve on Health and Appropriations committees.  Provider members divided up into several groups to maximize the ability to have productive meetings with as many General Assembly Members as possible.  Each group shared the following list of 2019 legislative budget priorities as a basis for more detailed discussions:

  • Avoid additional cuts to Single Stream Funding
  • Group Home Sustainable Funding
  • Direct Support Professional Wage Increases
  • Increase Innovations Waiver Reimbursement Rates
  • Increase Innovations Waiver Slots
  • Developmental Day Center Funding for 0-3 and 0-5 pre-K special instruction
  • Actuarially Sound Reimbursement Rates to the LME/MCOs after Standard Benefit Plan go-live and for Tailored Plan contracts

“A Meeting with Representatives of the NC Providers Council

I recently met with several representatives of the NC Providers Council. According to their website “the NC Providers Council was organized to promote the overall improvement of both the quality of and access to community support services for individuals who require supports to live in the communities across North Carolina.” Among the people I met with, one was a representative of InReachNC. InReach is “an established leader in providing housing, jobs and community support to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Charlotte/Mecklenburg and surrounding counties.” I also met with two representatives from LifeSpan Services, a group that prides itself in how it “empowers children and adults with disabilities by providing education, employment, and enrichment opportunities to live, work, and play in their communities.” I’d like to thank these representatives for sharing their thoughts and perspectives with me, and I thank them and their organizations for all that they do here in NC.”

2019 Long Session Bills of Interest

Please click here for the comprehensive NC Providers Council bill tracker that we have created with The Policy Group.  Summaries and updates for some select bills are also provided below. 

On June 27th, the ratified Conference Committee Budget was presented to Governor Cooper for signature.  Governor Cooper vetoed the bill on June 28th. You can access the entire, 395 page bill here.  The DHHS provisions begin on page 118.  We have prepared summaries of each provision in the Division of Health Benefits and Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services for your reference.  We hope that the summaries are helpful! Please keep in mind that there may be many additional provisions of relevance to your work in the budget bill sections for Aging and Adult Services, Central Management and Support, Child Development and Early Education, Division of Health Service Regulation, Division of Public Health, Division of Social Services, and Block Grants.  Those all fall within the DHHS section of the budget bill.

On June 27th, the House Health Committee reported favorable Senate Bill 212 Proposed Committee Substitute. Part III of SB212 proposes to delay Medicaid Transformation until March 1, 2020 (versus the scheduled implementation date of November 1, 2019) if the budget bill does not become law by July 15th.

H325 – Update Service & Care Plan Requirements/ACH Residents (Representatives Dobson, White, and Barnes)

This bill would allow Adult Care Homes to use service plans completed as the result of a Medicaid Personal Care Services Assessment to fulfill the activities of the daily living portion of the required service plans or care plans for Adult Care Home residents.

H471 – Reduce Admin. Duplication MH/DD/SAS Providers (Representatives Hardister, Dobson, White, and Adcock)

This bill would require DHHS to establish a workgroup to examine and make recommendations about how to eliminate administrative duplication for MH/DD/SAS providers as compared with physical health providers, in order to avoid duplication and enhance efficiency.  The workgroup would include relevant DHHS Divisions, the LME/MCOs, providers, and other stakeholders. NOTE:  The content of this bill is also in Section 9F.14 of the Conference Budget that Governor Cooper vetoed on June 28th.

H655:  NC Healthcare for Working Families (Representatives Lambeth, Murphy, Dobson, and White)

Representatives Lambeth, Dobson, Murphy, and White held a press conference regarding the filing of this bill.  You can read a WRAL article about the press release and Republican and Democrat perspectives on the bill here.

H656/S548 – Medicaid Changes for Transformation (Representatives Lambeth, Dobson, Murphy and Sasser)

This 20 -page bill amends Chapters 108D [Medicaid managed care for behavioral health services], 108A [Social Services], 122C [mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse Act], and 150B [Administrative Procedure Act (includes contested case hearings)].  Chapter 108D amendments include appeals processes for Medicaid and NC Health Choice beneficiaries for both adverse benefit determinations and adverse PHP disenrollment decisions.  NOTE:  Ratified and presented to Governor Cooper for signature on June 26th.

H659:  Improving Access to Patient Care (Representative Sasser)
This bill would authorize collaborative care practice agreements between clinical pharmacist practitioners and physicians for drug therapy and disease management.

H671:  Behavior Analyst Licensure (Representatives McGrady, Setzer, Jackson, and Shepard)

This bill would establish a regulatory structure and licensure process for behavior analysts and assistant behavior analysts.  The bill would establish a new regulatory Board [NC Behavior Analysis Board]; a license application fee structure; and license application processes, including criminal background checks.  The proposed Medicaid and NC Health Choice clinical coverage policy titled, Research-based Behavioral Health Treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder was posted for public notice and comment until April 20, 2019 but is not yet posted as final.  Please continue to consult with the Medicaid State Plan for coverage criteria.

North Carolina General Assembly Quick Links

2019 NC Providers Council Statewide Committee and Workgroup Participation

  • Mental Health Coalition
  • Developmental Disabilities Consortium
  • Substance Use Disorder Federation
  • The Coalition
  • Provider-LME Leadership Forum
  • DHHS/LME/Provider Steering Committee
  • DHHS TBI Waiver Workgroup
  • DHHS Medical Care Advisory Committee Medicaid Transformation Subcommittee on Beneficiary Engagement
  • DHHS Medical Care Advisory Committee Medicaid Transformation Subcommittee on Behavioral Health and I/DD Tailored Plan Design
  • *Some members also serve on LME/MCO Provider Councils and Boards

Care for NC Statewide Media Campaign

The North Carolina Providers Council is part of the Partnership for Community Well-Being  campaign with Benchmarks and each of the seven LME/MCOs.  The campaign tagline is:  “Serving People.  Strengthening Communities.”  Founder Albert Eckel of Eckel & Vaughan, the public relations and marketing firm implementing the campaign, joined NC Providers Council members at the June 17th Membership Leadership Forum to discuss the campaign messaging and strategy.

With your help, we can shift the public narrative to focus on the positive stories of the people served and the communities strengthened by the system. Our collective voice will amplify these uplifting messages, and influence people to respect the many successes of the system. Eckel & Vaughan has been producing videos to help share those powerful stories.

How You Can Participate in the Media Campaign:

  • Visit CareforNC.org and Like us on Facebook!
  • Promote the campaign among your local advocates and your legislative Members!
  • You can also tweet about the campaign: #CareForNC.
  • Share these informative statistics and narratives with your local community-based service organizations, local advocates, fellow providers, and your legislative Members!