House Bill 967-Telemedicine Policy

Legislative Update 

 

The 2018 Short Session of the North Carolina General Assembly has convened, and we are pleased to report that a bill to expand telemedicine and telehealth opportunities for providers in North Carolina was one of the first bills introduced.  House Bill 967 Telemedicine Policy was introduced on May 17.   If passed, this bill would establish a telemedicine policy for North Carolina and direct the Department of Health and Human Services to study and report recommendations for various telemedicine standards.  House Bill 967 provides that “any individual licensed as a health care provider in the State of North Carolina under Chapter 90 of the General Statutes may provide health care services, consistent with the provider’s licensed scope of practice, via telemedicine, to any individual located in the State of North Carolina.”  Occupational therapists are Chapter 90 providers.  The language of this bill was also included as a recommendation by the Joint Legislative Health and Human Services Committee.  The primary sponsors of HB 967 are Rep. Donny Lambeth (Forsyth) and Rep. Josh Dobson (Avery, McDowell, Mitchell).  We appreciate these sponsors for introducing HB 967 and for including Chapter 90 providers, like occupational therapists.  Expansion of opportunities for occupational therapists in the area of telehealth is an advocacy priority for NCOTA.  Please take the opportunity to contact your legislators and ask them to support HB 967.  You can find the contact information for your legislators by using the “who represents me” link on the North Carolina General Assembly website:  https://ncleg.net/representation/WhoRepresentsMe.aspx   

 

 

You can also read HB 967 by clicking on the following link:  https://ncleg.net/Sessions/2017/Bills/House/HTML/H967v0.html

 


 

 

Advocacy Update

The Department of Health and Human Services has released a Medicaid managed care concept paper, “Prepaid Health Plan Network Adequacy and Accessibility Standards.”  These standards consider the perspectives of beneficiaries, plans and providers on what each defines as an “adequate and accessible” network. 

 

 

 

The proposed network does not currently list occupational therapists.  Please take a moment to advocate for the inclusion of occupational therapists Appendix B of the document: Providers Subject to Specialty Care Access Standards section.  Comments are welcome and encouraged, and can be emailed to Medicaid.Transformation@dhhs.nc.gov through March 29, 2018. For more information about Medicaid transformation efforts, including links to previously released concept papers, visit the Medicaid Transformation website.

 

 


 

AOTA's Message Regarding OTA Payment Changes in Budget Bill

Click here to read the official statement


 

Our advocacy is working!

 

On February 9, 2018, the president signed into law a bill that repeals the cap on Medicare part B outpatient therapy services; this has been 20 years in waiting! This therapy cap created significant barriers for our client’s with chronic, long-term conditions and clients that required ongoing services.  This cap previously caused many of our clients financial hardships for paying out of pocket after meeting their cap or if they could not afford services possibly permanent and debilitating injuries. We can now treat based on Medical Necessity!

 

 AOTA President, Amy Lamb issues a public statement:

 

https://www.aota.org/Advocacy-Policy/Congressional-Affairs/Legislative-Issues-Update/2018/therapy-cap-repealed-signed-into-law-aota-president-message.aspx