Bill Summary for H 1038 (2019-2020)

Summary date: 

Apr 28 2020

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
House Bill 1038 (Public) Filed Tuesday, April 28, 2020
AN ACT MAKING OMNIBUS APPROPRIATIONS OF FEDERAL FUNDS FOR COVID-19 RESPONSE AND RELIEF EFFORTS IN NORTH CAROLINA, AS RECOMMENDED BY THE HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE ON COVID-19.
Intro. by Lambeth, Carney, Dobson, P. Jones.

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Bill summary

Part I.

Sets out and defines six terms that are used in the act. Defines COVID-19 emergency as the period beginning March 10, 2020, and ending on the date the Governor signs an executive order rescinding Executive Order No. 116 (Declaration of a State of Emergency to Coordinate Response and Protective Actions to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19). Defines Coronavirus Relief Fund as funds received by the State during the 2019-20 fiscal year from the Coronavirus Relief Fund created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020 (PL 116-136).

Part II.

Appropriates $25 million in nonrecurring funds from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (hereinafter Relief Fund) to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to support public health efforts, the State Laboratory of Public Health, local health departments, and rural health providers in building capacity to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Appropriates $25 million in nonrecurring funds from the Relief Fund to DHHS to support behavioral health and crisis services to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Requires that the funds be used for at least the following: (1) to divert individuals experiencing behavioral health emergencies from emergency departments and (2) to allocate $12.6 million in nonrecurring funds to be distributed as a one-time payment to each LME/MCO for temporary additional funding assistance for Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities services on a per diem basis.

Part III.

Appropriates $40 million in nonrecurring funds from the Relief Fund to DHHS, Division of Health Benefits (DHB), for coverage of additional costs related to the Medicaid program, including: (1) funding for the support of COVID-19 related priorities in the Medicaid program as they evolve, (2) additional funding for COVID-19 testing and treatment of patients who test positive for COVID-19, and (3) costs associated with increased enrollment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Requires DHHS to increase the fee-for-service Medicaid rates paid directly by the DHB for all remaining provider types by 5 percent. The rate increases are effective March 1, 2020, through the duration of the declared nationwide public health emergency as a result of the 2019 novel coronavirus.

Authorizes DHB to provide Medicaid coverage described in the specified federal law that covers COVID-19 testing for certain uninsured individuals during the period in which there is a declared nationwide public health emergency as a result of the 2019 novel coronavirus. Authorizes providing this assistance retroactively to the earliest date allowable.

Authorizes DHB to provide temporary, targeted Medicaid coverage to individuals with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level, as requested in the 1115 waiver application submitted on March 27, 2020. If approval is granted for different coverage or a different population than requested in the application, allows DHB to implement the approved temporary coverage, if (1) the coverage is only provided for a limited time period related to the declared nationwide public health emergency as a result of the 2019 novel coronavirus; (2) the coverage is not provided for services other than those for the prevention, testing, or treatment of COVID-19; and (3) the income level to qualify for the coverage does not exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Authorizes DHB to provide this coverage retroactively to the earliest date allowable.

Specifies that the following do not apply to the North Carolina Medicaid program and NC Health Choice program from March 1, 2020, through the duration of the declared nationwide public health emergency as a result of the 2019 novel coronavirus: (1) GS 108C-2.1 (Medicaid Provider application and recredentialing fee); (2) GS 108C-4(a) (requirement to conduct criminal history records checks of provider applicants and enrolled providers); (3) GS 108C-9(a) with respect to any required trainings prior to enrollment (requires applicants submitting an initial application for enrollment in North Carolina Medicaid or North Carolina Health Choice to submit an attestation and to complete trainings prior to being enrolled); and (4) GS 108C-9(c) (requires that prior to being initially enrolled in the North Carolina Medicaid or Health Choice programs, an applicant's representative attend trainings as designated by the Department in rules, including the five specified topics).

Part IV.

Appropriates $50 million in nonrecurring funds from the Relief Fund to the Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM) to be allocated to DHHS and the Division of Emergency Management (DEM) to: (1) purchase personal protective equipment, as defined, that meets CDC guidelines for infection control; (2) purchase other supplies and equipment related to emergency protective measures to address immediate threats to life, public health, and safety related to COVID-19, with examples provided; and (3) meet State match requirements for FEMA public assistance funds for the COVID-19 pandemic. Allows any supplies and equipment purchased with the funds to be available to both public and private health care providers and other entities DHHS or DEM deem essential to the State’s response. Requires DHHS and DEM to ensure that these funds are expended in a way that does not adversely affect eligibility for federal funds. Also requires DHHS and DEM to avoid using State funds to cover costs that will be, or likely will be, covered by federal funds.

Part V.

Appropriates $25 million in nonrecurring funds from the Relief Fund to DHHS to expand public and private initiatives for COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, and trends tracking and analysis through, but not limited to, the four specified methods.

Part VI.

Appropriates $25 million in nonrecurring funds from the Relief Fund to DHHS for (1) adult and child protective services response, (2) support for homeless and domestic violence shelters and house security, (3) child care response, and (4) technology modifications to support COVID-19 emergency relief beneficiaries. Requires that $6 million of these funds be allocated equally among each of the state’s six food banks. Allocates $2.5 million of these funds to Reinvestment Partners, for its Produce Prescription Program, which provides a $40 a month per household benefit for each eligible Food and Nutrition Services recipient enrolled by the recipient’s health care provider; this provision expires three months from the date this section becomes effective.

Appropriates $2.25 million in nonrecurring funds from the Relief Fund to DHHS, Division of Social Services (DSS), to assist in serving children in foster care; requires the funds to be used for $100 monthly supplemental payments for each child receiving foster care assistance payments for April through June 2020.

Appropriates $25 million in nonrecurring funds from the Relief Fund to DSS for facilities licensed to accept State–County Special Assistance (defined as any residential care facility that is (1) licensed by DHHS and (2) authorized to accept State-County Special Assistance payments from its residents). Requires each eligible facility to receive $1,325 for each resident of the facility who is a recipient of State-County Special Assistance between March 10 through June 30, 2020.

Part VII. 

Appropriates $25 million in nonrecurring funds from the Relief Fund to DHHS to support rural and underserved communities especially hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and provides examples of such support. Allows the funds to be used to fund items not addressed by federal relief funds, or as needed to address critical health care needs until federal funds are received for such purposes.

Appropriates $75 million in nonrecurring funds from the Relief Fund to the North Carolina Healthcare Foundation (NCHF) as a directed grant. Requires that the funds be used to provide grants to rural hospitals; grants are to be awarded within 30 days of receiving an application on the basis of need according to tier designation, county health ranking, and hospital-specific financial data. Requires NCHF to provide technical assistance to grant recipients for five years. Requires grant recipients to use the funds for offsetting nine categories of costs related to patient care provided in the state as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; cost categories include supplies and equipment purchased in accordance with Centers for Disease Control guidelines, increasing the number of patient care beds to provide surge capacity, and salary support for furloughed employees. Requires grant recipients to report to NCHF by November 1, 2020, on the use of the funds. Requires NCHF to submit a report by December 1, 2020, to the specified NCGA committee and division on the use of the appropriated funds and recommendations on how recipient facilities can prepare for post COVID-19 sustainability.

Appropriates $1.4 million in nonrecurring funds from the Relief Fund to DHHS, Division of Central Management and Support, Office of Rural Health, to provide directed grants in equal amounts to the 67 member clinics of the North Carolina Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, to offset costs for providing health care and prescription medications during the COVID-19 emergency.

Appropriates $1.5 million in nonrecurring funds from the Relief Fund to NC MedAssist, as a directed grant to offset increased costs for providing prescription assistance services during the COVID-19 pandemic to indigent or uninsured individuals.

Part VIII.

Appropriates $25 million in nonrecurring funds from the Relief Fund to OSBM to establish the COVID-19 Teaching Hospitals Relief Fund. Requires money in the fund to be allocated as directed grants to teaching hospitals in the state to offset expenses incurred for providing patient care as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants are to be awarded based on the amount of charitable care provided in the state, and the amount of lost revenue sustained within the state as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Requires grant recipients to use the funds for offsetting nine categories of costs related to patient care provided in the state as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; cost categories include supplies and equipment purchased in accordance with Centers for Disease Control guidelines, increasing the number of patient care beds to provide surge capacity, and salary support for furloughed employees. Requires grant recipients to report to OSBM by November 1, 2020, on the use of the funds. Requires OSBM to submit a report by December 1, 2020, to the specified NCGA committee on the use of the appropriated funds.

Appropriates $25 million in nonrecurring funds from the Relief Fund to OSBM to establish the COVID-19 General Hospital Relief Fund. Requires money in the fund to be allocated as directed grants to hospitals in the state that are not rural or teaching hospitals to offset expenses incurred for providing patient care as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants are to be awarded based on the amount of charitable care provided in the state, and the amount of lost revenue sustained within the state as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Requires grant recipients to use the funds for offsetting nine categories of costs related to patient care provided in the state as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; cost categories include supplies and equipment purchased in accordance with Centers for Disease Control guidelines, increasing the number of patient care beds to provide surge capacity, and salary support for furloughed employees. Requires grant recipients to report to OSBM by November 1, 2020, on the use of the funds. Requires OSBM to submit a report by December 1, 2020, to the specified NCGA committee on the use of the appropriated funds.

Part IX.

Appropriates $110 million in nonrecurring funds from the Relief Fund to OSBM to establish the COVID-19 Response Research Fund. Requires the fund to be allocated as follows. Requires $100 million to be allocated to the North Carolina Policy Collaboratory (Collaboratory) at UNC-Chapel Hill to coordinate efforts among entities being provided funds. Allows the Collaboratory to put together an advisory panel of representatives from entities receiving funds as necessary to discuss, review, and analyze progress toward meeting goals for the use of the funds. Funds are to be used for (1) the rapid development of a countermeasure of neutralizing antibodies for COVID-19, (2) bringing a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine to the public as soon as possible, (3) community testing initiatives, and (4) other research related to COVID-19. Allocates the $100 million to the following entities in the amount of $25 million each: (1) Duke University Human Vaccine Institute, (2) Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC-Chapel Hill, (3) Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, and (4) Wake Forest School of Medicine. Allocates $10 million to the Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine for a community and rural-focused primary care workforce response to COVID-19. Requires the above entities to report to the specified NCGA committee by September 1, 2020.

Part X.

Specifies that funds appropriated in this act that are unexpended or unencumbered on June 30, 2020, do not revert to the General Fund.

Part XI.

Appropriates departmental receipts for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 fiscal years up to the amounts needed to implement the provisions of the act for the corresponding fiscal year.

Part XII.

Includes a severability clause.

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