Hello Tuesday! Here is today’s

NCMS Morning Rounds.

  June 30, 2020

NCMS Asks Governor to Protect Maternal, Infant Health

The NCMS joined several medical specialty societies and state and other agencies to oppose HB918–Expedite Permanency/DHHS Report/SNAP/TANF in calling on Governor Roy Cooper to veto this legislation that was sent to his desk last week after a 59-53 vote in the NC House.

The NCMS opposes this legislation because it discourages women with substance abuse disorder from seeking medical care, including prenatal care and treatment for the disorder. HB 918 also penalizes pregnant women with substance abuse disorder without increasing access to treatment.

Our letter to Governor Cooper cites several national organizations’ findings that show penalizing or punishing pregnant, postpartum or parenting women for substance abuse dissuades them from seeking vital prenatal care and treatment. Studies have shown  non-punitive public health approaches to care and treatment result in better outcomes for both mothers and their children.

Read the full letter here.

Flexibility Offered for CMS’ Merit-Based Incentive Payment System

Last week the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that physicians will have the option of opting out completely or partially from its Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) for the 2020 performance year in recognition of the impact of COVID-19.

Individual clinicians and group practices have until Dec. 31, 2020 to complete the hardship application. Options include opting-out of one or more MIPS performance categories due to the COVID-19 public health emergency or opting-out of all four performance categories and being held harmless from a 2022 payment adjustment.

“We believe this approach maintains a balance of encouraging participation in the Quality Payment Program while still allowing those clinicians that are significantly impacted by the public health emergency to have relief from program participation through the extreme and uncontrollable circumstances policy,” CMS stated in its announcement.

CMS also said it was continuing to monitor the impact of the COVID-19 on Shared Savings Program quality reporting for the 2020 performance year

Learn more about these new flexibilities for MIPS.

Health Care Leadership and Management – Virtually

The Kanof Institute for Physician Leadership (KIPL) Health Care Leadership and Management (HCLM) class of 2020 met over the weekend to continuing their training and to check in on the progress of their projects. The program brought the scholars and HCLM faculty together virtually to continue their studies and interact.

The agenda included learning about negotiation skills with Roger Mayer, Ph.D., a Professor of Management, Innovation & Entrepreneurship at North Carolina State University; digging deeper into the participants’ leadership profiles; discussing how a person’s ‘inner game’ shapes their ‘outer game;’ shifting thinking patterns from subject to object (i.e. having a thought rather than the thought having me) and looking at reactive tendencies and how these get in the way of effective leadership. The weekend sessions also included how a practice’s financials apply to value transformation and innovation and finally, KIPL alumnus and NCMS Board of Directors member Michael Utecht, MD, FACEP shared an update on his project, which involves working with the Klarrio Group.

Applications are still being accepted for KIPL’s 2021 HCLM classes and for Leadership College. Learn more about these valuable leadership development opportunities and how the NCMS Foundation can help you join a new generation of health care leaders.

In the News

Primary Care Practice Finances in the United States Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic, Health Affairs, September 2020

Learning Opportunity

The Region IV Public Health Training Center is offering a webinar focused on ‘Health Equity in Young Children,’ on Tuesday, July 7 at noon. Disparities in health outcomes begin early in life, and are often the result of social and economic inequities. Many of the health problems children experience are the result of preventable health disparities. Learn more and register.

If you have policies you’d like your NCMS Board of Directors to consider, please complete the Board input form here. Thanks for reading!