AN ACT ESTABLISHING A LICENSURE PROCESS AND ANNUAL LICENSE FEES FOR BIRTH CENTERS.
House committee substitute to the 2nd edition makes the following changes.
Makes the following changes to proposed Part 4A to Article 6 of GS Chapter 131E, Birth Center Licensure Act (Act).
Changes the effective date of the offense created by the Part making it unlawful for any person to resist proper entry by DHHS representatives upon any premises other than a private dwelling. Makes the offense effective December 1, 2019 (was, July 1, 2019), and applicable to offenses committed on or after that date.
Modifies the appointment provisions of NC Birth Center Commission (Commission) members, clarifying the appointment of members by the General Assembly upon the respective recommendations of the Speaker and the President Pro Tempore from among those elected by the NC Obstetrical and Gynecological Society and by the North Carolina Affiliate of the American College of Nurse-Midwives. Provides for vacancies to be filled in the same manner as the original appointment, except that unexpired terms that were legislatively appointed must be filled in accordance with GS 120-122 (previously, provided for the executive committee of specified organizations to fill vacancies until the organization nominates a member to fill the vacancy at its next meeting).
Eliminates the provisions requiring the Commission to notify a licensee within 60 days after confidential information is transmitted and include a summary of the information transmitted; requiring the Commission to allow the licensee to request a copy of the information transmitted within 30 days of notification; and prohibiting the provision of notice of copies pending ongoing criminal investigation by any law enforcement agency or Department of Health and Human Service (DHHS) personnel with enforcement or investigative responsibility.
Changes the effective date of the licensure requirements, adverse action provisions, and service limitations from July 1, 2019, to one year after the rules promulgated by the Commission are adopted. Concerning licensure requirements, raises the nonrefundable annual license fee to $400 (was, $100) and adds a nonrefundable annual pre-birthing room fee of $17.50. Adds new provisions to allow currently operating and accredited birthing centers to continue operations as the Commission is constituted and promulgates permanent rules. Requires those operating birth centers to submit completed applications and requisite fees to the Division of Health Service Regulation within 90 days of the effective date of the Commission's permanent rules regarding licensure applications. Requires the application and fee to be received or postmarked no later than 90 days after the rules are adopted. Concerning adverse actions on a license, authorizes the DHHS Secretary or a designee (previously, only the Secretary) to suspend the admission of any new patients to a birth center if the birth center conditions are detrimental to the health or safety of any patient (was, for substantial noncompliance with the provisions of new Part 4A or related rule and dangerous to any patient; also, previously authorized the Secretary to suspend services of the birth center). Eliminates the factors the Secretary was required to consider before suspending admissions. Establishes that the suspension is effective until the Secretary or a designee is satisfied that the conditions or circumstances merit its removal. Further, clarifies that this authority is in addition to the authority to suspend or revoke the license of the birth center.
Adds a new statute to the Part to make it a Class 3 misdemeanor to operate a birth center without a license, punishable by a fine of up to $50 for the first offense and up to $500 for each subsequent offense. Specifies that each day of continuing violation after conviction is considered a separate offense. Effective one year after the rules promulgated by the Commission are adopted.
Adds a directive for DHHS to develop a birth center licensure application consistent with the Part's requirements and make it available upon the adoption of the rules by the Commission.
Makes further clarifying and technical changes. Changes the act's effective date to the date the act becomes law (was, July 1, 2019), except as otherwise provided.
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