Welcome to a new blog series to inform you about the legislative activities that the North Carolina Medical Society is focusing on each week! This will be in addition to the regular Bowtie Briefing videos. We hope this series of articles will be able to provide you with more detail than time allows in the video blogs.
We have five main areas of priority that we expect to address in the upcoming legislative session which include the following:
1. Medicaid Reform
2. Patient and Provider Protections in the Medicaid Reform environment
3. Protection of the progress we’ve made on tort reform
4. Opioid Epidemic
5. Scope of Practice challenges
We will be bringing much more detailed information about each of these priority areas over the next few weeks. The NCMS lobbying team typically tracks more than 200 bills during any given long session that could have an impact on the practice of medicine. Those bills typically include many areas not listed above. Therefore, our scope of work is not limited to this list during the legislative session.
Please watch this blog for weekly updates on each of these issues as the session progresses. We hope that you’ll take the opportunity to attend our White Coat Wednesdays in Raleigh to speak with your legislator personally on how these issues impact your practice. You can contact Sue Ann Forrest, [email protected], for assistance.
In exciting news, the North Carolina Medical Society would like to congratulate Rep. Greg Murphy, MD (R – Pitt) on his appointment as Chairperson to both the House Health Committee and House Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services. We are thrilled that one of your peers, will help lead health care conversations in 2017.
At the end of last week, members of the NCMS lobbying team met with a Rep. Craig Horn (R – Union) to discuss the statewide opioid epidemic. Rep. Horn is passionate about this issue, and seeks to be a champion on solutions to the opioid abuse epidemic in the coming legislative session. We would love to hear from you about what steps you are taking in your community to combat the opioid epidemic. These examples can assist us in future conversations with legislators from across the state on what is making a difference at the local level.
Finally, please be sure to check your email on Sunday. We will be introducing you to our new grassroots communication tool that will make the process of contacting your elected officials much more streamlined and efficient. With just a few clicks, you will be able to send a pre-written message, or create your own individualized message. We encourage you to utilize this as an opportunity to welcome legislators to a new session, introduce yourself, and offer to provide professional guidance on health related issues.
We are looking forward to the start of this year’s long session beginning on Wednesday, January 25.
Please check back here for your legislative update each week!