Welcome to a new week of NCMS Morning Rounds.

October 11, 2021

NCMS Legislative Update

The focus this week at the General Assembly was an energy bill moving through committee while budget negotiations continue between legislators and the Governor. We may see a final spending plan next week, so stay tuned.

Next week also brings our 2021 Virtual LEAD Health Care Conference, which kicks off Thursday, Oct. 14, in the evening with our Annual NCMS PAC Legislative Forum for our PAC members.*

Not currently a member? Donate $50 today to the NCMS PAC when you register for LEAD to hear from Rep. Kristin Baker, MD (R – Cabarrus), Sen. Sydney Batch (D-Wake), Rep. Becky Carney (D-Mecklenburg) and Senate Majority Whip Sen. Jim Perry (R-Wayne, Lenoir). They will discuss the hot-button medical and patient issues currently in the spotlight at the General Assembly. Come and hear what they have to say about the issues impacting your practice today.

Become a PAC Member today by registering for this highly anticipated event at the LEAD Health Care Conference! Or donate anytime to NCMS PAC here.


*Please note that the Annual NCMS PAC Forum at LEAD is not eligible for CME.

New Study: 2021 Competition in Health Insurance

Curious as to which health insurance company has the largest market share in your area? The American Medical Association (AMA) recently released its 2021 Update to Competition in Health Insurance: A Comprehensive Study of US Markets. This study reports the two largest health insurers’ market shares and market concentration (HHI) levels in each of the 384 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Overall, the study found the majority of U.S. commercial health insurance markets are highly concentrated.

“These markets are ripe for the exercise of health insurer market power, which harms consumers and providers of care. Our findings should prompt federal and state antitrust authorities to vigorously examine the competitive effects of proposed mergers involving health insurers,” the study concludes.

Read the report here.

Questions about Medicaid? Get Answers on Oct. 21

Please join NC Medicaid Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Shannon Dowler, MD, along with all the NC Medicaid Managed Care plan CMO’s, for our October Back Porch Chat on Oct. 21 from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

The new COVID-19 surge response offerings from NC Medicaid, including a COVID-19 vaccine incentive program for NC Medicaid beneficiaries will be reviewed as well as how to help a patient who needs Behavior Health and Individual Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) Tailored Plan behavioral health services move from a standard plan to NC Medicaid Direct.

An overview of a claims dashboard and clinical quality measures will be offered. Also, results across plans in the first quarter of NC Medicaid Managed Care will be reviewed along with a summary of the “latest and greatest” in recent Medicaid bulletins. There will also be a Q & A. Please use this link to submit your questions in advance.

Register for this ‘back porch chat’ here.

In the News

Landlord Behavior after Receiving Pediatrician Generated Letters to Address Poor Housing Conditions, JAMA Network, 10-6-21

Learning Opportunity

The Governor’s Institute Addiction Medicine Podcast is up and ready for a listen wherever – and whenever — you get your podcasts! New Chief Health Equity Officer at the NC Department of Health and Human Services, Victor Armstrong, kicks off the new series with a candid assessment of equity in the field of substance use disorder and mental health services.

Over the course of five episodes, Armstrong discusses what equity means to him, how he understands systemic racism and more, including a very personal story that challenges listeners own preconceptions and offers providers a critical lesson on equity in the process.
The Addiction Medicine Podcast is designed for healthcare professionals and others interested in addiction medicine and will feature thoughtful conversations and insights from clinicians, patients and families, policymakers and other stakeholders.

Listen now.


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