(WGHP) — The North Carolina Healthcare Association delivered a proposal to Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger, House Speaker Tim Moore and North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper on Friday in response to the Senate’s passage of House Bill 149 Expanding Access to Healthcare and a subsequent stall in negotiations between the Senate and House on Medicaid expansion, according to an NCHA news release.
In the proposal, health systems and hospitals would fund a majority of the state’s share of the expense of expanding Medicaid for 600,000 North Carolinians at an estimated cost of over $550 million per year on top of absorbing a minimum projected loss in revenue of more than $700 million as a result of certificate of need law changes involving ambulatory surgery centers.
The proposal also suggests that the state repeal CON law for psychiatric inpatient beds and chemical dependency beds.
“NCHA and our members have urged elected leaders to expand Medicaid to improve the health of our neighbors and communities for over a decade. In fact, our members are offering to invest over $550 million per year to make expansion a reality,” said NCHA Board Chair Roxie Wells, MD, president of Cape Fear Valley Health Hoke Hospital. “In an effort to get stalled negotiations moving and in response to Senator Berger’s and Governor Cooper’s requirement that Medicaid expansion be coupled with certificate of need reform, our board of trustees has made the difficult decision to propose certificate of need law reforms. CON law changes could threaten the survival of community hospitals if they are not implemented carefully. We are putting a lot of trust in legislative leaders to do this correctly. If this policy damages access to local healthcare services, we hope that government leaders will find the resources to preserve crucial healthcare services and facilities, including safety-net services that North Carolinians rely on.”