Bill Summary for H 1037 (2019-2020)

Summary date: 

Apr 29 2020

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
House Bill 1037 (Public) Filed Tuesday, April 28, 2020
AN ACT EXPANDING THE STATE'S CAPACITY TO TAKE PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY MEASURES TO ADDRESS THE COVID-19 EMERGENCY, AS RECOMMENDED BY THE HEALTH CARE WORKING GROUP OF THE HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE ON COVID-19.
Intro. by P. Jones, White, Cunningham, Dobson.

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Bill summary

House committee substitute to the 1st edition makes the following changes.

Adds that Section 2.1 of the act is effective when it becomes law.

Amends Section 3.1 by changing the date by which the plan for creating and maintaining a Strategic State Stockpile of personal protective equipment and testing supplies must be developed and submitted to the specified committee from June 1 to July 1, 2020.

Adds new Section 3.2 that requires the Department of Health and Human Services and the Division of Emergency Management, during a public health emergency, to first consider companies based in the state that can provide mobile response units with capabilities to reach rural areas in the state. Specifies the types of operations that must be considered, including feeding operations and triage facilities. 

Amends Section 4.3 by clarifying that following the consultation upon receiving a petition to authorize immunizing pharmacists to administer a recommended immunization or vaccine for COVID-19, if the State Health Director approves the petition, the State Health Director may issue a statewide standing order authorizing the administration of an immunization or vaccination for COVID-19 by immunizing pharmacists. The statewide standing order expires upon the adjournment of the next NCGA regular session. Makes conforming changes. Also adds that the following are immune from any civil or criminal liability for actions authorized by this section: (1) the State Health Director acting pursuant to this section and (2) any pharmacist who administers a COVID-19 immunization or vaccine pursuant to a statewide standing order issued under this section. 

Amends Section 4.7 as follows. 

Makes the following changes to proposed Article 1L, Emergency or Disaster Treatment Protection Act, of GS Chapter 90.

Makes a technical change to the definition of COVID-19. Redefines the term health care facility to now mean any entity licensed pursuant to GS Chapters 122C (Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Act), 131D (Inspection and Licensing of Adult Care Home Facilities), or 131E (Health Care Facilities and Services), or Article 64 of GS Chapter 58 (Continuing Care Retirement Communities). Redefines the term health care provider to mean: (1) an individual licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized under GS Chapters 90 or 90B to provide health care services in the ordinary course of business or practice of a profession or in an approved education or training program; (2) a health care facility where health care services are provided to patients, residents, or others to whom such services are provided as allowed by law; (3) individuals licensed under GS Chapter 90 or practicing under waiver in accordance with GS 90-12.5; (4) any emergency medical services personnel as defined by statutory cross-reference; (5) any individual providing health care services within the scope of authority permitted by a COVID-19 emergency rule; (6) any individual who is employed as a health care facility administrator, executive, supervisor, board member, trustee, or other person in a managerial position or comparable role at a health care facility; (7) an agent or employee of a heath care facility that is licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized to provide health care services; (8) an officer or director of a health care facility; or (9) an agent or employee of a health care provider who is licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized to provide health care services. Modifies the definition of health care service to now mean treatment, clinical direction, supervision, management, or administrative or corporate service provided by a health care facility or a health care provider during the period of the COVID-19 emergency declaration, regardless of location in the state, where the services are rendered to provide testing, diagnosis, or treatment; dispense drugs, medical devices, medical appliances, or medical goods; or provide care to another individual, as previously described.

Limits the scope of immunity provided in proposed GS 90-21.133 to civil immunity only, rather than both civil and criminal immunity. Makes conforming changes throughout and makes identical changes to the immunity provisions for volunteer organizations. Makes clarifying and organizational changes to the conditions specified for immunity to apply.

Adds a severability clause and directs liberal construction of the Article.

Changes the scope of the Article to now provide that the act applies to acts or omissions occurring during the time of Executive Order No. 116 issued on March 10, 2020, and any subsequent time period during which a gubernatorial state of emergency is declared to be in effect during calendar year 2020 in response to COVID-19 (previously, applied retroactively to all acts, omissions, or decisions on or after March 10, 2020, that serve as a basis to a claim).

Adds new Section 4.8 amending GS 90-85.3A to include with the practice of pharmacy, the administration by pharmacists of diagnostic tests and antibody tests for Coronavirus Disease 2019 to patients if the test has been approved or authorized for emergency use by the US FDA. 

Adds that for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency, a hospital, nursing home, or clinic with a valid State registration for controlled substances may temporarily dispense or use controlled substances at additional places of business by completing the specified registration process and providing all required information for any temporary overflow facility or satellite facility. Specifies that there is no registration fee for the emergency registration. Expires 60 days after Executive Order No. 116 is rescinded, or December 31, 2020, whichever is earlier. 

Adds that all healthcare providers must receive and report to the Commission for Public Health and the Division of Public Health the results of any COVID-19 diagnostic test or antibody test performed on an individual before any non-emergency surgery or procedure. Requires DHHS to report this pre-procedure test result data on its website on a county-by-county basis, updated daily. 

Amends Section 5.2 as follows. Clarifies that the waiver of the three-year fingerprinting requirements applies to current child care providers. Specifies that in accordance with federal guidance, all available State and federal name-based criminal background checks for prospective employees seeking employment in licensed child care must be completed (was, the federal requirements for fingerprint-based checks every five years is still applicable). Requires prospective employees to be issued a provisional qualification status. Requires that where only State and federal name-based checks were completed, that fingerprint-based checks be done within 60 days of Executive Order 116 being rescinded; if that is not done, then the prospective employee is disqualified until a finger-print based check is completed. Adds a requirement that the Division of Social Services is to temporarily waive any requirement to complete a fingerprint-based criminal history check pertaining to adoptions, foster care, or child care institutions. Requires, however, that in accordance with federal guidelines, name-based criminal background checks be completed, and in such situations where only name-based checks were completed, that fingerprint-based criminal history checks be completed within 60 days of Executive Order 116 being rescinded.

Amends Section 5.7 to require the suspension of all biennial inspections in addition to annual inspections and regular monitoring requirements for the specified licensed facilities. Expands upon that list to also include those licensed under Articles 5 (Hospital Licensure Act), 6 (Health Care Facility Licensure Act), and 10 (Hospice Licensure Act) of GS Chapter 131E, as well as any provisions within any rules adopted under the specified chapters that pertain to DHHS or the Division of Health Service Regulation monitoring, inspection, or investigative requirements. Maintains the exceptions already listed in the section. Makes additional clarifying changes.

Amends Section 6.1 by clarifying that the the first exams that can be conducted in the physical face-to-face presence of the commitment examiner or using telehealth apply to exams that are required by GS 122C-263 to determine whether the respondent will be involuntarily committed due to mental illness as well as those required by GS 122C-283(a) to determine whether the respondent will be involuntarily committed due to substance use disorder.

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