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News & Press: Updates for Members

January Advocacy Updates!

Monday, January 7, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Seth Maid
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By Kay Castillo, BSW, Director of Advocacy, Policy, and Legislation, Registered Lobbyist

 

Happy New Year!

 

A lot happened in the last few weeks of 2018, so NASW-NC has provided a brief overview of the North Carolina General Assembly’s actions as well as what to look forward to regarding the long legislative session set to begin this Wednesday, January 9, 2019 and how you can help!

 

Stay up to date during the legislative session! Sign up for our weekly advocacy updates and action alerts!

Vetoes and Veto Overrides
Voter ID: As expected, the legislation passed, and Governor Cooper vetoed the bill. Legislators then overrode the veto and the bill became law. Learn more about what was passed from our December Update! Staff at the North Carolina General Assembly also prepared a detailed bill summary, available here.

 

Two other bills were vetoed by Governor Cooper and lawmakers overturned both vetoes just before the new year. House Bill 1029 Bipartisan State Board Changes makes various changes to the operations of the State Board of Elections. Governor Cooper vetoed the bill due to a section of the bill that allows campaign finance violations to be confidential. Additionally, Governor Cooper vetoed Senate Bill 469 Technical Corrections because of stormwater regulation provisions and allowing charter schools to be operated by municipalities.

 

NASW-NC Legislative Committee
The NASW-NC Legislative Committee is in the process of finalizing a draft of NASW-NC’s 2019-2020 Legislative Agenda. We are seeking member input! Please fill out this Google Form and let us know what advocacy priorities you would like us to address! NASW-NC members can also email ideas to kcastillo.naswnc@socialworkers.org or call the chapter office at 919-828-9650.

 

The NASW-NC Legislative Committee will meet monthly throughout the legislative session. If you are an NASW-NC member and would like to join us, please contact Kay Castillo at kcastillo.naswnc@socialworkers.org for information on meeting dates!

 

Health Information Exchange Authority Updates: Tele-Town Halls and Migration
One top priority for NASW-NC this legislation session is getting the June 1, 2019 deadline for providers to connect to the state’s Health Information Exchange (HIE) extended by at least two years. We will continue to update members as we seek legislation this session.  

View the November 2018 North Carolina Health Information Exchange Authority (NCHIEA) Tele-Town Hall. Contact Lakeisha Moore to receive information about future virtual town halls. These will be conducted on the second Friday of every month at noon!

Not ready to connect? Consider the extension process offered by the NC HIEA. Click here to learn more.

 

Some of you may have received the following information from NC HIEA. However, for those that did not, we wish to share this update from the NC HIEA:

The NC HIEA, and its partner SAS Institute, is pleased to announce that it is transitioning the HIE platform to the InterSystems HealthShare HIE platform in the first quarter of 2019. Standout benefits of this new platform include enhanced data mapping, reporting, improved clinical portal and consent capabilities.

 

How It Impacts You: You don’t have to do anything at this time.


In order to focus fully on the migration, any NC HealthConnex Participant currently in process to build a data integration that does not go live by December 17, 2018, will be put on hold until the migration to HealthShare is complete. The go-live is anticipated in mid-March. An updated timeframe for your connection will be available April 2019.  Please note this does not impact your compliance with the HIE Act.

The current NC HealthConnex platform is running in parallel. If you are a full participant and would like portal credentials to the existing clinical portal, please contact the NC HealthConnex SAS Help Desk at (919) 531-2700.

 

Clarifying Protections for Pregnant State Employees

On December 6th, Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 82: Promoting Health and Wellness by Clarifying Protections Afforded to Pregnant State Employees. Under this executive order, North Carolina must provide workplace adjustments to state employees (anyone working for a state department, agency, board, commission, or committee which the Governor oversees) who have physical limitations related to pregnancy at their request. The order also encourages companies that receive state contracts to provide the same protections to their employees.

New NASW Practice Alert
Court Decision on the Affordable Care Act: Texas v. Azar
In December 2018, a judgement was issued in a case regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and determined the ACA to be invalid. This ruling threatens health insurance access and consumer protections for millions of people. It is expected that the decision will be challenged and the ACA remains in effect as the case moves through the courts. Click here to read NASW’s Practice Alert regarding the court decision. In early January, this same judge that ruled the ACA to be invalid, said the law can stand while his judgement is under appeal.

 

Join us March 6, 2019 for Social Work Advocacy Day!
Registration and further details coming soon!


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