S958: Encouraging developments
The Board is heartened by recent improvements to Senate Bill 958, which would make numerous changes to the Board's investigative and disciplinary processes. The latest version of the bill, which had a favorable hearing in the House Health Committee on July 23, represents a vast improvement over earlier iterations, which contained several provisions the Board believed would slow its work and endanger patients.
In recent weeks the Board met frequently with the bill's sponsor and other interested parties to express its concerns. As a result of those meetings, the most concerning provisions have either been eliminated or revised to minimize any negative impact on patients. S958 next heads to the House Judiciary I Committee, where it could be heard as soon as Tuesday, July 28. If it is received favorably there, it would progress to the House floor for a vote and, if successful, back to the Senate for concurrence.
If approved by the General Assembly, the changes mandated by S958 would become effective October 1, 2009
H878: NCPHP access for all NCMB licensees
House Bill 878, which would permit the NC Physicians Health Program to extend its assistance to all NCMB licensees with substance abuse/alcohol issues, has passed both houses of the legislature and was ratified July 16. The changes would allow anesthesiologist assistants and perfusionists to access this valuable resource. The Board began licensing these practitioners in the last three years.
H878 was submitted to Gov. Perdue on July 17. The Board applauds its passage and eagerly awaits the Governor's signature.