Legislation Gives Providers More Time to Connect to NC HealthConnex
This bulletin provides important information regarding changes in the law concerning NC HealthConnex, the state-designated health information exchange.
Governor Roy Cooper signed House Bill 395 (now NC Session Law 2021-26) into law on May 27, 2021, exempting ambulatory surgical centers from the requirement to submit demographic and clinical data, extending for certain providers and entities the deadlines for mandatory participation in NC HealthConnex, and instituting reforms to protect patients. Connection deadlines are extended as follows:
- Extends the connection deadline for NC Medicaid and State-funded health care service (i.e. State Health Plan) providers, and their affiliated entities, until Jan. 1, 2023 (currently Oct. 1, 2021).
- Extends the connection deadline for physicians who perform procedures at ambulatory surgical centers, dentists, psychiatrists, and the State Laboratory of Public Health until Jan. 1, 2023 (currently June 1, 2021).
- Extends the connection deadline for pharmacies and State health care facilities operated under the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) (State psychiatric hospitals, developmental centers, alcohol and drug treatment centers, neuro-medical treatment centers and residential programs) until Jan. 1, 2023 (currently June 1, 2021).
Extending the deadline until Jan. 1, 2023, will allow additional time for health care providers to complete their technical onboarding process without being out of compliance with the Health Information Exchange (HIE) Act. The connection process can take several months. Providers that are not submitting data to NC HealthConnex and have not completed their HIE Participation Agreement should initiate the connectivity process as soon as possible. There is no guarantee of additional extensions and, as noted below, the General Assembly is requiring compliance reports by March 1, 2022.
Among other changes to the HIE Act, the North Carolina Health Information Exchange Authority (HIEA) Advisory Board is tasked with developing final recommendations regarding appropriate features or actions to support the Statewide HIE Act and to report on the status of entities and providers not connected to the HIE Network as identified under subsection (b) of this section, to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services on or before March 1, 2022.
Additionally, the NC HIEA has been directed to work with the State Health Plan Division, Department of State Treasurer, NC Medicaid and DHHS to identify providers and entities who have not connected to the HIE in accordance with G.S. 90-414.4 and to contact each entity or provider to ascertain their connection status and to inform them of the connection requirements. By Nov. 1, 2021, the Department of State Treasurer, DHHS and licensing boards shall assist the NC HIEA with contact information and addresses for providers and entities.
For information on who is currently connected to NC HealthConnex, visit the NC HealthConnex Participant Map.
For providers who would like to inquire about their organization’s connection status, please email HIESupport@sas.com.
All other questions may be directed to email@example.com.