onsms_logo4.fw_The Old North State Medical Society (ONCMS) held its 2016 Leadership Summit in Chapel Hill on Jan. 30, 2016. The meeting took place in the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black History and Culture on the campus of the University of North Carolina. Stephen Keene, the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) Deputy Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and Health Policy, presented on issues related to Medicaid expansion and Medicaid reform.
Based on legislation enacted by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor last summer, North Carolina is negotiating a waiver with the federal government that will allow it to implement some innovations in Medicaid aimed at improving the program’s efficiency. Whether these changes will be accompanied by an expansion in Medicaid eligibility is unknown. Expansion of the program has been a topic of serious debate since the federal government offered to substantially increase its financial support for new Medicaid enrollees beginning in 2014, provided they are very low income (at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level).
Approximately 50 physicians and medical student members of ONSMS discussed many of the important issues these changes raise for the medical community and their patients. Among the topics discussed were the Health Information Exchange, the use and selection of quality measures, how to improve patient engagement, the role of health plans in a reformed Medicaid program and the influence Medicaid has on the broader health system.
“It was a pleasure to meet with ONSMS and have such a robust dialogue on these matters,” Keene said. “We look forward to working together to advocate on these important issues on behalf of all North Carolina physicians.”