Welcome to a new week and your

NCMS Morning Rounds!

NCMS Endorses ‘Truth in Advertising’ Proposal

The NCMS has endorsed recently introduced legislation that would ensure patients know the credentials of whoever is providing their medical care. HB849—Health Care Practitioner Transparency Act would require all health care professionals:

  • to verbally state to a patient if they are a physician, which means they have completed the significant educational and licensing requirements that come with an MD or DO (Doctor of Osteopathy) degree;
    • to clearly identify their credentials in advertising and marketing materials; and
    • to wear a badge or ID that visibly designates their education and training; and display their education, training and licensure in their offices.

“We appreciate Representatives Larry Potts (R-Davidson), Greg Murphy (R-Pitt), Kyle Hall (R-Stokes) and Larry Yarborough (R-Person) for recognizing the need to help patients make informed choices,” said NCMS President Timothy J. Reeder MD, MPH, FACEP. “We are pleased to see legislation that will provide clarity and transparency to N.C. patients. Every patient has the right to know whether the health care provider they are entrusting with their care is a medical doctor or not and can provide the level of care they are expecting. People who do not have the appropriate level of education and training to perform certain health care services can lead to unfortunate medical errors and patient harm. This bill provides necessary protections to all patients across the state.”

This Week’s Legislative Round-Up

Buckle your seat belts because the next few weeks are going to be crazier than usual at the NC General Assembly as the May 9 ‘crossover’ approaches. This arbitrary deadline is a way to push the legislature’s business forward as any bill without an appropriation attached must have moved from one chamber to the other by this time. In the coming days legislative committees will be scurrying to get bills through and your NCMS advocacy staff will be working hard to keep our legislative blog up to date with all the latest progress.

We also will be calling on you – possibly with little advance notice – to contact your legislators with targeted Action Alerts. As bills pop up in committee, we need your help to let policymakers know how legislation could impact your practice. Watch your email for these Action Alerts in the coming days, and please act promptly when you receive them.

While legislators had a short week last week due to a brief spring recess, there is still some important news to report from the General Assembly. If you like to watch your news, please get the update from NCMS Senior VP for Advocacy and Associate General Counsel Chip Baggett via our Political Pulse video. For those who want a written update, here are a few key items of note.

An extremely significant proposal this session is HB611—Amending Rules of Evidence. The NCMS is strongly opposed to this legislation as it would dismantle an important element of our 2011 tort reform victory. The NCMS has joined with a diverse coalition of business, trade and professional organizations to lobby against passage. Read this group’s joint letter to the NC House on why this is a detrimental proposal. Over the weekend you received an Action Alert urging you to contact your legislator about this ill-conceived proposal. This is an urgent request as the crossover deadline looms.

The deceptively titled HB267—Require Safety Helmets/Under 21 is still alive and passed out of the House Transportation Committee last week on a 14-12 vote and will now move to the House Rules Committee. We oppose this proposal since it would allow those over age 21 to ride a motorcycle without a protective helmet.

HB474/S375—Death By Distribution is another piece of legislation we’re monitoring closely. While the bill is aimed at prosecuting drug dealers, we are working to ensure no health care provider who is properly prescribing controlled substances would be improperly charged under this legislation.

Keep up daily with what’s going on at the General Assembly on our Legislative blog, and please watch your email for Action Alerts to help us advocate on your behalf.

Sharing Input on Healthy Opportunities Pilots

The NC Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) seeks, shares additional expert input into the design of the Healthy Opportunities Pilots. These is a first-of-its-kind Medicaid fee schedule that will define and price nonmedical, evidence-based services to address housing instability, food insecurity, transportation insecurity, interpersonal violence and toxic stress to improve health and reduce costs for a subset of Medicaid beneficiaries.

Prior to Pilot launch, the Pilot Service Fee Schedule will be reviewed and approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The Commonwealth Fund and Manatt Health are convening an expert advisory panel to offer feedback on this Pilot Service Fee Schedule. The panel will convene starting May 7, and interested stakeholders are welcome to attend and observe the panel meetings, which will be held in Raleigh.

Learn more about The Commonwealth Fund’s and Manatt Health’s Advisory Panel, including the list of Panelists and open meeting dates, meeting materials and locations.

In the News

AI, Wearables Take Back Seat to Financials for Health Care Orgs, Health IT Analytics, 4-24-19

Learning Opportunity

The Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) in Asheville will present ‘Social Determinants of Health and Its Impact on North Carolina’ on Tuesday, June 18. This one-day conference aims to educate participants about initiatives and frameworks that address social determinants of health on the federal, state, regional, and county level. Learn more and register.