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Advocacy in Action April 12, 2019

Posted By Jennifer Gill, Friday, April 12, 2019
Updated: Thursday, April 11, 2019

April 12, 2019

Legislation Requiring Emergency Generators Approved by House Committee
A bill introduced by Rep. Julia Howard requiring generators capable of providing “heat, air conditioning, lighting and other essential services” during power outages in skilled nursing facilities, combination facilities, and adult care homes was approved by the North Carolina House Committee on Aging. Cost estimates provided by the North Carolina Senior Living Association pegged the estimated price tag for outfitting the state’s adult care homes with emergency generators at $84 million. All LeadingAge North Carolina life plan communities/continuing care retirement communities have emergency generators. The bill now goes to the House Rules committee for further study. If passed by both chambers and signed by the Governor, the North Carolina Medical Care Commission would be tasked with writing rules to implement the legislation. LeadingAge NC has already had conversations with Medical Care Commission staff about the bill.

Nonopioid Opt Out Bill Introduced
A bill introduced by Reps. Mary Belk, MaryAnn Black, Josh Dobson, and Donna White would “recognize the desire and right of a patient to elect nonopioid prescriptions and treatments.” H318 (the Opioid Prescription and Treatment Opt Out Act) would require the Department of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the North Carolina Board of Medicine and the North Carolina Board of Pharmacy, to develop an official voluntary nonopioid advance directive form by January 1, 2020. The proposed legislation has been reviewed by the LeadingAge North Carolina Public Policy committee and their comments are in the process of being communicated to the bill’s sponsors.

Medicare-Certified Home Health Language Included in Senate Bill
Senators Jim Burgin, Ralph Hise, and Joyce Krawiec have introduced legislation that would exempt from certificate of need review the establishment of a home health agency by a continuing care retirement community. Senate Bill 646 would allow provision of home health services to one or more residents of a life plan community/continuing care retirement community who have entered into a contract to receive continuing care services with lodging. Similar exemptions for LPCs/CCRCs already exist in the State Medical Facilities Plan regarding adult care homes and skilled nursing facilities. It is our belief that if home health services had been as prevalent when those exemptions were placed in the State Medical Facilities Plan as they are now, an exception for home health would already be in the plan. To truly fulfill the duty of an LPC/CCRC, LeadingAge North Carolina and its member communities believe that the provision of Medicare-certified home health is a vitally important component within the post-acute continuum. LPCs/CCRCs have been historically successful in the operations of other care-related components within the campus (chiefly assisted living and skilled nursing for which exemptions already exist), even when faced with limited volumes. This petition would allow LPCs/CCRCs the option of applying for a Medicare-certified home health license and, ONLY if the State found their application compliant with all of its requirements, provide Medicare-certified home health services ONLY to the individuals with whom they have continuing care contracts, as defined by current North Carolina statute. And then, ONLY if the resident chose them. Watch for a special Advocacy in Action message next week.

Senior Housing Rally Scheduled for May 8 in Washington, DC
Senior housing advocates from around the country will gather in Washington, DC on May 8 for a rally on the steps of our nation’s capital to bring attention to the senior housing crisis and advocate for solutions. The rally, building on the success of the wildly successful one held in 2017, is sponsored once again by LeadingAge national. You can find information about the rally, access a detailed flyer, and even watch a nifty video from LeadingAge CEO Katie Smith Sloan. Sign up today and bring your voice to the conversation!

Blue Cross NC and Duke Health to Create New Health Insurance Company Targeting Seniors
If it’s approved by CMS, the new company named Experience Health will begin offering Medicare Advantage plans in the following counties on Jan. 1, 2020: Alamance, Durham, Franklin, Granville, Lee, Orange, Person, Vance and Wake. Blue Cross Blue Shield will provide billings, claims, and enrollment services while Duke Health will provide medical care and facilities.

NEW! LeadingAge North Carolina Bill Tracker
The LeadingAge North Carolina bill tracker is a quick and easy way to help members track current legislation in front of the General Assembly in Raleigh. The spreadsheet is simple to navigate and will be updated and sent to you on a regular basis.

LeadingAge North Carolina | 222 N. Person Street, Raleigh, NC 27601
919-571-8333 | |

Tags:  Advocacy in Action 

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