Welcome to a new week and your

NCMS Morning Rounds.

Dec. 9, 2019

NCMS Legislative Update

‘Tis the season…for campaigning! Candidate filing opened for statewide races last week and will continue until Dec. 20.

Two NCMS members already have tossed their hats in the ring for the NC General Assembly:

  • Rep. Perrin Jones, MD, an anesthesiologist from Pitt County. Dr. Jones currently is serving in the General Assembly after being appointed to the seat Rep. Greg Murphy, MD, vacated when he moved on to the US House of Representatives to fill the late US Rep. Walter Jones’ seat.
    Mark Hollo, PA-C, has filed for a NC Senate seat to represent Catawba County. Hollo previously served in the NC House of Representatives from 2010 to 2015. He also served in the chamber from 2005 to 2006. Hollo did not run for re-election to the House in 2014. He lost a primary bid for a seat in the NC Senate in 2018.

NCMS Legislative Relations staff anticipates several other physicians or physician assistants filing to run in the coming weeks.

Now, while legislators are home in their districts, is a perfect time to connect with them to have an informal and meaningful conversation about the challenges and opportunities you see in your practice. Building a relationship now, is crucial to effective advocacy when the time comes to ask for the legislator’s vote on any particular piece of legislation. Also, attending local political fundraisers, which will be happening in your district as we head into the 2020 primaries and election, is important to share your insights with candidates at this stage in the political process.

“It’s so important to have your presence there and talk about issues that matter most to you,” NCMS Director of Legislative Relations Sue Ann Forrest, MPA, said. She added that giving to the NCMS PAC is another essential element of being engaged in the political process to help ensure the voice of the profession is heard.

Learn more and give now!

FAQs on State’s Medicaid Transformation Hold

The NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) has released two documents with Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – one for patients and one for you – on the recent hold on the state’s transition to Medicaid managed care.

NCDHHS officials, including Sec. Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH, continue to state that the transformation to managed care will eventually occur once the state works out its budget issues, but cannot give a definite date at this point.

NCDHHS Deputy Secretary for NC Medicaid Dave Richards was recently quoted in North Carolina Health News stating: “We do not want to set a date until we have absolute certainty about the budget. We feel that the two times previous to this that we’ve had the go-live date, the November launch and February one, that people were geared up to do that work, they were prepared to do that work, and then we changed it and that just creates lots of chaos and conflict with folks.”

Watch your NCMS Morning Rounds for any updates.

Carolina Complete Health and Atrium Join Forces for Medicaid Patients

Carolina Complete Health and Atrium Health announced last week that they signed an agreement allowing Carolina Complete Health future Medicaid managed care members to receive care through Atrium Health’s facilities in North Carolina.

This contract ensures that Carolina Complete Health’s Medicaid managed care members will have access to Atrium Health’s integrated network of nearly 40 hospitals and more than 900 care locations and its diverse network of care providers, including an extensive primary care network, leading-edge medical innovations, convenient virtual care options, top-ranked pediatrics, life-saving cancer and heart care, as well as organ transplants with some of the highest-rated outcomes.

The partnership with Atrium Health comes ahead of North Carolina’s transition to Medicaid managed care. [See previous article.] Carolina Complete Health is one of five health plans selected by the state to provide Medicaid managed care as part of North Carolina’s Medicaid Transformation. While it was announced that there would be a suspension in implementation of Medicaid managed care, both Atrium Health and Carolina Complete Health continue to prepare for the program launch.

Carolina Complete Health is a joint venture of the Centene Corporation and Carolina Complete Health Network. Carolina Complete Health Network was formed as a subsidiary of the NC Medical Society in partnership with the NC Community Health Center Association.

In the News

Disparities Between Care in Urban, Rural Areas Getting Worse, Healthcare Dive, 12-4-19

Learning Opportunity

For those who are in the Durham Orange County area the Durham Orange County Medical Society invites you to its December Holiday Dinner Meeting, which will feature a special panel discussion on the impact of gun violence on youth. The gathering takes place on Dec. 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the University Club in Durham. Several new panelists were recently added rounding out the list of distinguished speakers for the evening: Shilpa Shah, MD, a pediatrician at Lincoln Community Health Center and Durham’s Hillside High School, and Angela Strain, MD, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and psychiatry at UNC, will join panelists Susan M. Kansagra, MD; Scott Proescholdbell, MPH; and several student speakers. Register now.