2010 MWC-Raleigh Success Stories
The North Carolina office, consisting of Harry Kaplan, Franklin Freeman, John Merritt, Johnny TIllett, Gardner Payne, Amy Hobbs and Bo Heath, had many legislative successes for their clients. The team tackled tough issues and advocated for major policy changes in North Carolina.
December 12, 2010
Selected 2010 North Carolina Legislative Accomplishments
Responsible Tort Reform
MWC’s Harry Kaplan was part of a business coalition led by the North Carolina Chamber to promote responsible tort reform. North Carolina is one of the few remaining states that recognize contributory negligence. Legislation was introduced to replace this standard with a comparative fault system that would subject businesses and individuals to increased liability and raise costs to consumers. MWC worked to oppose any changes to the liability system that would create an unfair and unbalanced system.
Health Insurance Changes
- MWC worked with health plan clients to create the North Carolina High Risk Insurance Pool. This pool provides coverage to those with expensive pre-existing conditions at a subsidized rate. Funding for the subsidy comes from a state appropriation and an assessment on insurance providers. MWC worked to make sure the subsidy was spread broadly among all providers.
- MWC lobbied to keep prescription drugs available and affordable for State Health Plan members and Medicaid recipients through responsible case management.
- MWC successfully prevented the adoption of mandated benefits that would reduce the availability and increase the costs of health insurance in North Carolina, particularly for small businesses.
Protecting Domestic Wine Wholesalers
North Carolina's Wine Franchise Laws were originally enacted decades ago and have not been amended to keep pace with the globalization of wine production. Domestic wholesalers found that they could be completely shut out of a brand of wine through no fault of their own by decisions made by foreign wineries. Johnny Tillett led an MWC team consisting of Harry Kaplan, Amy Hobbs and Bo Heath in effort with the North Carolina Beer and Wine Wholesalers to put measures in place to protect domestically owned and operated wholesalers from the business decisions of foreign wineries.
Expanding North Carolina's film industry
MWC Senior Vice President John Merritt, representing the Wilmington Film Commission, led a coalition of supporters in lobbying legislators to expand the tax credit for producing films and episodic television series in North Carolina from 15% to 25%. The expanded tax credit is expected to bring new movie and television projects to North Carolina, creating thousands of new jobs.
Watching out for NC's coastal home owners
Insurance to protect homes against wind and related damage in the eastern part of North Carolina was at risk. MWC’s Harry Kaplan was part of a coalition that pushed successfully for legislation to stabilize and ensure the solvency of the state’s coastal property insurance plan (known as the “Beach Plan”) while providing insurers with the certainty necessary to continue offering coverage on the NC coast.
Cutting Medicaid costs while providing better health care services
MWC Senior Vice President Harry Kaplan introduced MedSolutions to North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services officials and, after months of negotiations facilitated by Kaplan, MedSolutions won a contract to provide radiology benefits management (RBM) services to the State's Medicaid Program. MedSolutions uses its patented RBM process, which includes the use of evidence-based clinical guidelines, as well as the clinical expertise of doctors and nurses, to determine the medical necessity and appropriateness of high-tech imaging studies, e.g., MRI, PET, CT and ultrasound, and deliver necessary medical care effectively and efficiently to those in need. MedSolution's RBM is projected to reduce unnecessary overutilization of imaging studies and ensure that radiology services are provided at the right time to the right people.
Protecting advertising rights of physicians and providing more medical consumer choice
The North Carolina Medical Board proposed an advertising rule that would restrict an entire association of doctors from advertising as “board certified.” A doctor can become board certified by passing a rigourous program of exams and on the job training which allows the doctor to advertise that he or she focuses their practice in a certain area of medicine, thus allowing the consumer more choices when choosing a doctor. MWC’s Bo Heath worked with the Medical Board to craft a rule with strict requirements while still allowing qualified doctors to advertise as board certified.
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