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Advocacy in Action July 12, 2019

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

Senate and House Continue Work; CON Reform Moves Ahead
Both the Senate and the House had busy weeks as the two chambers continued work on a number of issues. They will return on Monday, July 15 and, among other items, consider a joint resolution (SJR 688) that calls on them to adjourn on Monday, July 22 and reconvene on Tuesday, August 27. Next week will continue the General Assembly’s focus on resolving the budget stalemate. At this point, neither chamber has taken a vote to override the Governor’s veto of the budget, in all probability because the votes do not exist on the House side to make that happen.

Because of the lack of movement on the override issue, a number of issues remain in limbo, including H 126 concerning the CON exemption for Medicare-certified home health for CCRCs. Also, caught up in the budget impasse is H 655, NC Health Care for Working Families, the House’s version of Medicaid Expansion “Lite." The House did pass its “mini-budget” bill, H 111, Supplemental Appropriations Act, which keeps the state’s bills being paid and programs eligible for federal monies, even though the state has been operating without an official budget since July 1.

The CON exemption bill has been removed from the Senate’s calendar and referred back to the Senate Health Committee. The leadership of that committee are sponsors and firm supporters of the legislation. Our understanding is that the bill was re-referred to committee to work out some details on thresholds that concern other items in the bill (not ours). It is very important that we not let up now on our efforts to provide information on this bill! We are coordinating with the North Carolina Continuing Care Residents Association and they have been extremely helpful.

What Does the EPA Pharmaceutical Rule Mean For You?
Effective Aug. 22, 2019, providers of aging services with hospice and nursing home settings will no longer be allowed to dispose of pharmaceuticals by flushing them down a toilet or sink drain. The prohibition is part of a new rule from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

All health care settings, including the hospice and nursing home settings mentioned above, will be prohibited from “sewering” pharmaceuticals classified as “hazardous waste.”

The list of pharmaceuticals covered by the rule includes, but is not limited to:

  • Prescription drugs
  • Over-the-counter drugs
  • Compounded drugs
  • Drugs remaining in a non-empty container
  • Clean-up materials from spills of pharmaceuticals
  • Homeopathic drugs
  • Dietary supplements

LeadingAge members that have an existing disposal process for pharmaceuticals, typically through a third party, will not be impacted by the rule. If a member still disposes of pharmaceuticals by sewering, however, it will have to plan for proper disposal by August of this year.

For additional information check out the Final Rule and the webinar from LeadingAge National.

“Surprise” Medical Bills Federal Legislation Begins to Face Headwinds
Kaiser Health News reports that “major health care players have a large interest in the outcome of any legislation on surprise medical bills, and they’re making their voices heard to lawmakers. The rumbles are creating fault lines for senators, who are all largely in favor of acting in some way to address the issue.” An AP story dives deeper into how the issue is playing out in individual states.


LeadingAge North Carolina
222 N. Person Street Suite 205 | Raleigh, NC  27601
Ph. 919.571.8333 | Fax 919.869.1811 |

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