Bill Summary for H 318 (2019-2020)

Summary date: 

Mar 7 2019

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
House Bill 318 (Public) Filed Thursday, March 7, 2019
AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE RIGHT OF PATIENTS TO ELECT NONOPIOID PRESCRIPTIONS AND TREATMENT, ESTABLISHING A PROCESS BY WHICH PATIENTS MAY OPT OUT OF OPIOID PRESCRIPTIONS AND TREATMENT, AND REQUIRING THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES TO DEVELOP AND MAKE AVAILABLE ON ITS INTERNET WEB SITE AN OFFICIAL FORM FOR PATIENTS TO VOLUNTARILY OPT OUT OF OPIOID PRESCRIPTIONS AND TREATMENT.
Intro. by Belk, Black, Dobson, White.

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Bill summary

Titles the act as The Opioid Prescription and Treatment Opt Out Act.

Enacts new GS 90-21.17A, which provides as follows. Sets out the General Assembly's intent. Allows an authorized practitioner (a physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner licensed and in good standing in this state) to issue a portable voluntary nonopioid advance directive form (form) for a patient, as follows: (1) with the patient's consent if the patient is a competent adult; (2) with the consent of the patient's parent, legal guardian, or legal custodian, if the patient is a minor; or (3) with the consent of the patient's representative, if the patient is not a minor but is incapable of making an informed decision regarding consent for the opt out. Sets out requirements for documenting the basis for the form and for the required signatures. Requires the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), in consultation with named entities, to develop and update, as necessary, an official voluntary nonopioid advance directive form that indicates to all health care providers that the patient must not be offered, prescribed, supplied with, or otherwise administered a controlled substance containing an opioid. Requires that the form be provided to the Commission for Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services and that the form be easily accessible on DHHS's website. Sets out fields that must be included on the form. Provides liability from criminal prosecution, civil liability, or disciplinary action for any authorized practitioner, emergency medical professional, hospice provider, or other health care provider who withholds opioid prescription and treatment in good-faith reliance on the form if there are no reasonable grounds for doubting the validity of the form or the identity of the patient and the provider does not have actual knowledge of the revocation of the form. Also provides immunity for failure to follow a form if the provider had no actual knowledge that the form existed. Knowingly or willfully failing to comply with a from is grounds for liability in a civil action, disciplinary action, or both. Allows health care facilities to develop policies and procedures authorizing providers to accept a form as if it were an order of the medical staff of that facility. Specifies that authorized practitioners in a health care facility are not prohibited from issuing a written order, other than a form, to allow a patient to opt not to receive opioid prescription and treatment or to use, withhold, or withdraw additional medical interventions as provided in the form. Provides that similar forms originating outside of the state are valid if the form appears to have been issued in accordance with the applicable requirements of that jurisdiction or this state.

Makes conforming changes to GS 130A-466.

The above provisions are effective January 1, 2020.

Requires DHHS, in consultation with specified entities, to develop an official form, make the form easily accessible on the DHHS website, and provide notification and a copy of the form to the Commission for Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services by January 1, 2020. 

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