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News & Press: Updates for Members

Advocacy Update: HIEA and What Social Workers Should Know

Wednesday, March 13, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kay Castillo
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NASW-NC Advocacy Update: Health Information Exchange Authority

NASW-NC was instrumental in getting House Bill 70, Delay NC HealthConnex for Certain Providers introduced by House leaders. In its original form, House Bill 70 delayed behavioral health providers’ connection to the state’s Health Information Exchange Authority from June 1, 2019 to June 1, 2021.

See NASW-NC’s Policy Brief on the need for delay.


On Tuesday, March 12, House Bill 70 passed the House Health Committee unanimously. North Carolina Health News covered the committee meeting and interviewed Kay Castillo, NASW-NC Director of Advocacy, Policy, and Legislation and Registered Lobbyist.

Prior to it’s passage in Committee, significant changes were made. House Bill 70 will now:

  • Extend the deadline for most providers to connect to the HIE through June 1, 2020.
  • Extend the connection deadline for psychiatrists until June 1, 2021.
  • Allow all providers to request an extension deadline of June 1, 2021.
  • Allow the Department of Health and Human Services to permanently exempt providers from connecting to the HIE. Exemptions may be granted if: the provider is impending retirement or closure; the provider lacks access to affordable or sufficient broadband capacity; the provider cannot affordably acquire health information technology options, and whether excluding the provider from Medicaid would result in a lack of access to care for Medicaid recipients.


The bill will now be heard in House Rules before it can be voted on by the House. Should the House approve the bill, it will head to the Senate to be heard in committees. Once the Senate approves the bill, it will be sent to the Governor to be signed into law.

Other HIEA Updates

If the bill does not pass, providers will need to follow the June 1, 2019 deadline. An Extension until June 1, 2020 is possible. However, providers will need to sign a Participation Agreement in order to get this extension.

Learn more about the Extension Process here.

What happens if you do not connect? This week, BlueCross BlueShield sent out the following provider update regarding the HIEA: Click here to access the full article.

“Beginning June 1, 2019, Blue Cross NC will reject all State Health Plan claims received from a NC HIEA non-compliant provider, until the provider becomes compliant. This will be based on the NPI compliance information we receive from the NC HIEA.”

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