Legislative Update: Budget Talks Continue; Numerous Health Care Bills in the Works

It was another busy week at the North Carolina General Assembly with budget discussions at the forefront.  The Appropriations Joint Subcommittee on Health and Human Services continues to meet daily to discuss options for filling a $500 million gap in the Health and Human Services budget, which could mean a 4% rate cuts for NC physicians unless new savings can be achieved.  Read what you can do to help stop this potential cut.  

In addition to the budget debate, many other bills greatly affecting the practice of medicine have been filed this session.  SB 31 – Clarify Penalty for the Unauthorized Practice of Medicine (Mansfield, D – Cumberland). This bill will continue to be discussed in the House Judiciary B Committee after passing the Senate with zero opposition earlier this session. The bill has experienced significant opposition in the House by unlicensed lay midwives (also referred to as Certified Professional Midwives) who currently practice illegally in the state.  The NCMS supports SB 31 as written and is advocating for its passage in the House, without amendments. We encourage you to contact members of the House Judiciary B Committee to express your support for this bill, view a list of those members here.

SB 246 – Expand Pharmacists’ Immunizing Authority (Hartsell, R- Cabarrus), was introduced earlier this month, and this week a companion bill was filed in the House, HB 444 – Expand Pharmacists’ Immunizing Authority (Wilkins, D – Durham). The bills propose to expand pharmacists’ scope of practice to include the administration of any CDC approved vaccination or immunization to patients age 7-13 with parental consent and a specific prescription order, to patients age 14-17 with parental consent only, and to any adult at that adult’s request. 

Bills to license naturopaths as doctors, license lay midwives, and to provide independent practice for nurse midwives are all expected to be filed in the coming days.  It is a busy time for medicine at the 2011 General Assembly. Advocacy for your profession is more important now than ever.

Legislation to Watch:

Recently Filed Legislation:


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