Welcome to June and your first

NCMS Morning Rounds of the month

June 3, 2019

NCMS Weekly Legislative Update

It’s budget time at the NC General Assembly, with the Senate releasing its budget last week. Several notable provisions for NCMS members were included in the budget proposal, which NCMS Senior VP for Advocacy and Advancement Chip Baggett, JD, described as ‘compact and interesting.’

No Medicaid rate cuts were included in either the Senate or House budgets, with legislators focused on the transformation of the program to managed care in the coming months. Primary care physicians, ob-gyns, nurse practitioners and physician assistants did receive a rate increase in the Senate budget. Several amendments to the state’s certificate of need (CON) laws were included in the Senate version, but nothing on this controversial issue was in the House budget. Among several public health provisions, the Senate included money for enforcement of youth tobacco laws. Read our summary of the Senate’s budget proposal to get all the details.

Several other bills of note did come closer to becoming law last week. HB 70 – Delay NC HealthConnex for Certain Providers passed the Senate chambers, but the House has not voted on this proposal, which would extend the deadline for certain groups, including psychiatrists, to connect to the state’s Health Information Exchange until 2021. The deadline for the majority of hospitals and physicians was Saturday, June 1. It is likely the House will pass the bill this week, but it will not have gone into effect by the deadline.

HB388-Immunizing Pharmacists passed both chambers and is on the Governor’s desk. If he signs it, which appears likely, it will only be the 17th bill signed into law this session. The legislation expands the number of vaccines pharmacists are able to administer.

This week legislators will begin the process of reconciling the House and Senate budget proposals. The hope is to have concluded their work by the July 4 holiday, which means there are only four more Wednesdays to participate in our White Coat Wednesdays to visit legislators at work in Raleigh. Don’t feel you have to confine yourself to Wednesdays. We’re happy to make arrangements any day that is convenient for you. Many legislators have remarked on how nice it is to have a steady stream of white coated constituents to ask about pending legislation and discuss issues that impact health care in their community. Sign up to participate in White Coat Wednesday. Contact NCMS Assistant Director of Legislative Relations Sue Ann Forrest, MPA to arrange another day to visit.

NCMS Presents At ECU on Advocacy and Change

NCMS advocacy and leadership development staff were at ECU last Friday to offer insights on NCMS efforts to engage physicians in our advocacy efforts as well as change management to participants in the Teachers of Quality Academy (TQA) program, a professional development initiative for health care leaders. The program is aimed at changing care delivery through a medical school curriculum focused on building knowledge and skills in quality improvement and patient safety (QI/PS).

This is part of Redesigning Education to Accelerate Change in Healthcare (REACH), an AMA grant-funded initiative to transform ECU’s Brody Medical School curriculum to better prepare future physicians for QI/PS in a team-based environment.

NCMS President Offers Advice on Dealing With the Heat

As temperatures reached record levels last week, NCMS President Timothy J. Reeder, MD, MPH, FACEP, was on the Greenville WITN television news to advise viewers on how to deal with the heat and to identify the signs of heat stroke. Watch Dr. Reeder.

The NCMS regularly receives requests for physician and PA expertise on a wide variety of health care topics from media outlets throughout the state. If you are interested in being added to our list of expert sources, please contact NCMS VP for Communications and Marketing Elaine Ellis and let her know the areas you would feel comfortable commenting on for the general public.

In the News

Health Officials Threaten Travel Ban Amid Measles Outbreak, Becker’s Hospital Review, 5-24-19

Learning Opportunity

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released its latest ‘Beyond the Policy’ podcast. This 22-minute episode, “CMS Innovation Center: Where we are, How Models are Developed and the Next Steps in Value,” features a discussion on the direction of the CMS Innovation Center with CMS Administrator, Seema Verma and CMS Innovation Center Director, Adam Boehler moderated by Tom Corry, the CMS Director of the Office of Communications. Listen now.