The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) Board of Directors met last weekend and agenda topics included:

  • review of the outcomes of the recently concluded long legislative session and each of the NCMS’ legislative priorities. The Board also looked ahead to the several short sessions the first of which begins next month;
  • a report from NCMS leadership about their recent visits to Washington, DC and their ongoing discussions with US Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis on the health care debate at the federal level;
  • received an update and reflected on next steps in the strategic planning work done at the May Board retreat.

“We are living in a chaotic time” NCMS President Paul R.G. Cunningham, MD, told Board members at the beginning of the meeting. “This offers us an opportunity to lead. It does require that you keep your wits about you.”
Bill Ferrell, MD, chair of the NCMS’ Legislative Cabinet, delivered the legislative summary in each of the NCMS’ priority areas: scope of practice, budget, insurance, opioid abuse, and health care coverage for the working poor. Read summaries of legislation introduced in each of these areas on our 2017 Legislative blog.
“This was a busy, dynamic legislative session,” Dr. Ferrell told the Board, noting that an additional priority area, tort reform, did not come up in any meaningful way this session. Legislation on scope of practice and insurance are likely to be back in some form next session for further debate. The legislature will reconvene for short sessions in August, September and November 15 to take up redistricting and two pending Medicaid reform bills, but any legislation could be brought up at these brief sessions meaning the NCMS advocacy team needs to be especially nimble in the coming months.
Dr. Cunningham, NCMS CEO Robert W. Seligson and David Tayloe, MD met personally with Senators Burr and Tillis a few weeks ago to express concerns about the proposals under consideration by the Senate. The NCMS remains in constant contact with our North Carolina Congressional delegation as the debate over repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act continues. Read our position on the ACA repeal and replacement.
Past NCMS President and Strategic Planning Officer Dev Sangvai, MD, MBA updated the Board on progress on the NCMS Strategic Plan since the Board’s planning retreat in May. The Board reaffirmed the NCMS’ mission, vision and values at the retreat and identified six areas of focus for the coming years: membership, health system innovation, leadership, advocacy, business development and administrative.
Since May, NCMS staff has been reorganized to better support the six priority areas and to help amplify our presence among physicians. Board members offered ideas and discussed on how to engage with our members and potential members by partnering with new groups, creating new rituals within the NCMS to build community and identifying physicians and physician assistants ‘pain points’ and addressing those needs.
Read a summary of the Strategic Planning document.