Committee Updates

Government Affairs Committee Update
November 2021

November Election Cycle:
The outcome of recently held state and local elections was discussed, the most significant of which was the gubernatorial race in New Jersey. As of Wednesday evening various national media outlets were calling a very close race in favor of the incumbent Phil Murphy, however the challenger had yet to concede as of Thursday morning. A recount will likely occur due to the slim margin of victory.

State Reports:

No report

New Jersey
A lengthy discussion as to Horizon Blue Cross’ recently announced global reimbursement rate cuts, scheduled to take effect in January, was held. NERUCA’s concern is that should the cuts go through as projected, the impact on urgent care operations statewide would be disastrous. Additionally, the feeling is that these cuts will most likely be projected to other E/M levels of care, other medical disciplines beyond urgent care, to other payers who may seek to echo the HBC program, and likely given the size and scope of the national BC/BS system, will easily jump across state lines to potentially impact all urgent care owner/operators within NERUCA’s catchment area . NERUCA GAC and Payer Relations are actively engaged at devising and implementing a tiered strategy aimed at mitigating the impact of this dangerous action. More upcoming on this very soon.

New York
Regarding the 2020 Executive Order mandating reporting of COVID-19 and Influenza test results to NYSDOH, at present only COVID-19 test result data must be reported, the requirement for flu test result reporting has lapsed and not been renewed.

Connecticut, Rhode Island
No report

The most recent summary of active bills potentially relevant to urgent care operations and practice within the state has been forwarded to members of the GAC. Bills that are currently active address a number of areas of concern, including nurse triage, ambulance transport to urgent care, behavioral health in urgent care, increasing MassHealth access to urgent care, telehealth, emergency paid sick time, and rapid accessibility to COVID-19 vaccinations, to highlight a few. Everyone will review the document. NERUCA GAC projects the largest topics of concern to be those focused on behavioral health, primary care/urgent care relationships, telehealth reimbursement. The Mass Legislative Work Group believes most of the current bills will remain active through the remainder of the current legislative session, some are moving faster than others. The Legislative Work Group continues to actively lobby members of the legislature regarding several of these items.

Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine
No report

General Updates:

GAC Membership
NERUCA Administration will be reviewing prior GAC minutes in an effort to regenerate the committee’s membership roster and then reach back out to prior participants, looking to gauge continued interest and future participation.

Recent discussions among the entities as to the evolving nature of the various relationships among the organizations have taken place. More to come over the next few months.

NERUCA Annual Conference
The NERUCA Board has been actively engaged in attempting to restart the annual conference, looking to early November 2022 for the same. Conversations are being held with potential venues and vendors at the present time, stay tuned for more to come on this soon.

Government Affairs Committee Update
October 2021

· Global rates may be modified by BCBS based on actions in NJ
· State of NY stepping up auditing of facilities

State Updates

New Jersey
· Horizon is notifying urgent care companies that their global rate will be lower.

New York
· State stepping up reporting and safety compliance audits.
· Fundraiser dinner on Dec 8th, Providers meeting the governor which is led by the medical society.
· No change in onerous reporting requirements by state. We expect smaller provider organization will struggle to comply. See website for tools to help automate reporting.

Connecticut Reports:
· Nothing in to report for Connecticut right now.

Massachusetts Reports:
· Several active bills that could impact urgent care including parity for telehealth, focus on disparities in primary care, access to mental health services
· Lobbyist on retainer. Practices that are interested in working directly with MA coalition of Urgent Care providers should reach out to Lynne Rosen, CEO, PhysicianOne Urgent Care ([email protected])

New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine
· Report pending

· Report pending