Crossover is over; Onward to the Budget: The NC General Assembly finished their business in the wee hours of this morning (2:26 a.m. to be exact). Overall, 1,655 bills were filed this session with 343 bills passing in the House and 164 passing in the Senate by the crossover deadline. Several policy bills of interest to NCMS made it through:

  • HB158, the Jim Fulghrum Teen Skin Cancer Prevention Act (aka Ban the Tan) would prohibit those under 18 from using tanning equipment
  • HB 306 would require insurers to cover cancer drugs taken orally.
  • HB528, Chiropractor Co-Pay Parity, would prohibit insurers, other than the state’s employee health plan, from charging larger co-pays than for physicians if a medically similar service is provided.

HB562, which would prohibit physicians from asking their patients about firearms is still alive thanks to a last minute change that attached a $20,000 price tag to the legislation. Bills with a budgetary impact are not subject to the crossover deadline. Most significantly for NCMS this means the debate over Medicaid reform is about to heat up.
Those bills of interest that didn’t make it through include:

  • A House committee unanimously rejected a proposal to legalize medical marijuana.
  • The House Rules Committee killed a repeal of the state’s mandatory helmet law for motorcycle riders.

Name change for the IOM: The National Academy of Sciences voted to change the name of the Institute of Medicine to the National Academy of Medicine. The newly named National Academy of Medicine will continue to be an honorific society and will inherit the more than 1,900 current elected members and foreign associates of the IOM. The National Academy of Medicine will join the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in advising the nation on matters of science, technology, and health.

On the road with Will: Yesterday our Director of Membership Will Barnett was meeting with the physicians at the Outer Banks Hospital. Today, he’s at the Campbell University Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine getting the medical students ‘psyched’ about NCMS membership.

Medicare Data Show Contrast in Generic, Brand Prescribing, Associated Press
The Doctor Will Video Chat With You Now: Insurer Covers Virtual Visits, NPR
US Doctors Rush To Aid Nepal Relief Efforts, MedPageToday