The Latest Assisted Living News from the NC General Assembly!
The Latest Assisted Living News from the NC General Assembly!
Legislative Update
News from the NCGA
October 24, 2019
by Tony Adams, Adams and Associates Government Relations; and Frances Messer, NCALA President & CEO
The 2019 legislative session is still convened and we still do not have a 2019–2020 budget signed by the governor. The 2019 legislative session is scheduled to end October 31, 2019, without the full budget being signed into law by the governor.
The legislature is putting out “mini-budgets” in an effort to circumvent the governor’s vetoed budget. NCALA hopes to get the temporary special assistance and the resident personal needs allowance included in one of the “mini-budgets” since the original budget was vetoed by the governor. The proposed increase for Medicaid beneficiary special assistance funds and the proposed increase for residents’ personal needs allowance was passed by the legislature and includes a section that has $2,250,000 for special assistance personal needs allowance for adult care home residents. This increases the personal needs allowance for residents from $46 to $70 a month effective October 1, 2019. The budget also allocates $3,300,000 for temporary assistance for facilities that serve special assistance residents. The Governor vetoed the bill but the veto was overridden by the House and is awaiting a possible override vote in the Senate.
Senate Bill 302 and HB 70 have both been signed by the Governor and became effective the date of the signing. All other bills listed below are still waiting for committee actions and probably will not be approved in this 2019 Session.

Senate Bill 302

Senate Bill 302 was signed by the governor and became law on July 26, 2019. Part I of the bill makes changes to the adult care licensure general statutes that govern resident care plans and assessments as well as assisted living administrator qualifications.
General Statute 131D-2.15, Resident Assessment, is changed to allow adult care homes to use the service plans completed for Medicaid personal care services assessment for the activities of daily living portion of service plans or care plans.
General Statute 90-288.14, Assisted Living Administrator Certification, states that the department will not certify an administrator who has a substantiated finding of neglect, abuse, misappropriation of property, diversion of drugs, or fraud listed on the Health Care Personnel Registry. G.S. 90-288.14 also lessens the educational requirements to become a certified adult care administrator. The requirement for two years of course work at an accredited college or university has been changed so that 60 months of supervisory experience may be approved and may be able to replace the previously required two years of college. What now counts as "supervisory experience" in this context is spelled out in the revised G.S. 90-288.14.

House Bill 70

House Bill 70 was signed by the governor and became law on June 6, 2019. Changes were made to General Statute 90-414.4, Required Participation in the Health Information Exchange (HIE). G.S. 90-414.4 gives assisted living communities serving Medicaid beneficiaries the option of connecting to the HIE. Assisted Living communities do not have to connect NC HealthConnex.
The other bills listed below are still awaiting committee action and probably will not be approved in this 2019 Session.

Moratorium on Special Care Units

In the budget approved by the House and Senate, the moratorium on special care units is extended from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2021. There are certain exceptions in the section of the budget on the moratorium extension.

House Bill 410

Requires that a study committee be appointed to make recommendations on requiring nursing homes and adult care homes to have emergency electrical services available for use during power outages. The bill was passed by the House is now in the Senate Rules Committee.

Senate Bill 539

Senate Bill 539 would repeal North Carolina’s Certificate of Need laws. It is in the Senate Rules Committee and has not been voted on.

House Bill 698

Directs the Department of Health and Human Services to study the standards for obtaining assisted living program accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Health Care to determine the feasibility of issuing adult care home licenses based on accreditation and to report to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services. Recommendations to the committee shall be reported no later than March 1, 2020. The bill passed the House without opposition and is still now in the Senate Rules Committee for consideration.

Senate Bill 537

The NC Department of Health and Human Services would be directed to establish and convene a workgroup to evaluate reimbursement options under managed care for adult care homes, which consider all funding streams, and to develop a service definition under managed care to accomplish this intent. The workgroup would consist of adult care home representatives and other relevant stakeholders. SB537 passed the Senate, but changes to the bill were made in the House and a conference committee was appointed to work out the differences.

House Bill 754

Would appropriate funds to the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Aging and Adult Services, to enhance protections for residents of long-term care facilities by moving the state’s long-term care ombudsman program towards national standards. The appropriated funds would create 10 full-time-equivalent ombudsman positions within the office of the State Long-term Care Ombudsman program. This bill is currently in the House Committee on Appropriations, Health and Human Services, but has not yet been debated.

House Bill 185/Senate Bill 143

The SAVE Act, An act to deliver Safe, Accessible, Value Directed and Excellent Health Care by Modernizing Nursing Regulations. The bills’ objective is to modernize healthcare by removing outdated and unnecessary restrictions on Advanced Practice Registered Nurses. H185 is in House Health Committee and S143 is in Senate Rules Committee. Neither bill has been debated in committee yet, but since both have fees included, the bills are eligible for consideration in the short session of 2020.

Senate Bill 361

Eliminates redundancy in adult care home inspections in order to efficiently ensure that all adult care homes are inspected to determine compliance with physical plant and resident safety requirements. A conference committee was appointed to work out the differences between the House and Senate.
For more information about the North Carolina General Assembly, or to identify your legislators, please visit www.ncleg.net. For more information on these and other legislative issues, please contact NCALA.

ADAMS AND ASSOCIATES GOVERNMENT RELATIONS

1706 Rangecrest Road, Raleigh, NC 27612
(919) 841-0964    (919) 801-1837 Cell
ta@adamsgov-relations.com
919-467-2486
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