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News & Press: Updates for Members

NASW-NC Legislative Update: HB 70 Advances

Friday, May 24, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kay Castillo
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With the upcoming deadline approaching for providers to connect to the state’s Health Information Exchange Authority, NASW-NC has been hard at work to advance House Bill 70 this week in the North Carolina Senate!

Good news! The bill was heard in Senate Health Care this past week. Senators attempted to strip the hardship exemption language on Wednesday. After learning this, NASW-NC and other behavioral health partners advocated to Senators to maintain these needed exemptions. As a compromise, a limited exemption was put into place for providers for whom connecting would be an undue hardship until December 31, 2022. Providers cannot be granted a total exemption from connecting.

NASW-NC will work with the Health Information Exchange Authority, the State Health Plan, and the Department of Health and Human Services to establish standards for this new hardship exemption.

What’s next for the bill? Senators have promised to advance this legislation next week, ahead of the June 1 deadline. The bill will likely be heard in Senate Rules Tuesday and on the Senate floor Tuesday or Wednesday. From there, the House will quickly vote to concur with the Senate’s changes and the bill will be rushed to Governor Cooper to sign into law. NASW-NC has discussed the need to rush the bill with both Senate and House leadership.

What does this mean for you? Until the bill is signed into law, providers still need to decide if they will sign the Participation Agreement by June 1. Signing the Agreement will automatically grant you an extension to find an EHR and submit data until 2020.

Should the bill be signed on time, the deadline to connect and start submitting data will be June 1, 2020 unless a hardship exemption is granted. For more information about the Participation Agreement, see NASW-NC’s last update on the HIEA.

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