The NCMS Government Affairs staff takes action on the most pressing issues facing the profession of medicine, both at the national and local levels. Below are some of the priority legislative issues on which the NCMS takes action. For a recap of all the recent action at the General Assembly, view the NCMS Legislative Summaries.
- 2014 Legislative Summary (PDF – 22 pages) Medicaid took center stage in 2014, from budget discussions to reforming the program itself. Take a look back at that issue, as well as a range of others—from scope of practice to the regulation of controlled substances—that the NCMS took on at the General Assembly.
Health System Reform
The focus of the country has shifted to health care reform, making membership in NCMS PAC and the Medical Society more important than ever. The North Carolina Medical Society, knowing that physicians and their patients are the primary stakeholders in this debate, has crafted a series of guiding principles that are key to true reform.
The NCMS has been a vocal and committed leader in discussions about Medicaid reform in North Carolina. The Society is front and center in making sure that health care providers are an integral part of these negotiations. Read more about Medicaid Reform and the Medical Society’s involvement in assisting members with NCTracks issues.
Medical Liability Reform
In 2011 the NC General Assembly passed historic medical liability reform legislation. This would not have been possible without the advocacy efforts of NCMS members.
Scope of Practice
Patient safety is of the utmost importance to the NCMS and its members. Every year, non-physician practitioners visit the General Assembly in hopes of expanding their scope of practice, or being granted licensure to practice medicine without attending medical school. NCMS will continue to evaluate each bill that comes forward and educate legislators on any potential threats to patient safety.
The North Carolina General Assembly continues to struggle with budget shortages. The NCMS is maintaining its vigilance in protecting Medicaid from continued cuts and asks that members continue to reach out to their legislators on the importance of protecting this program. For the full story on the 2014 budget battles, view the 2014 Legislative Summary.
How You Can Make a Difference
As the largest physician organization in the state, the NCMS devotes significant resources to advocating physician viewpoints in the public policy arena. Success in these endeavors requires direct physician involvement. All physicians are encouraged to devote some time to understanding the medical issues addressed by the General Assembly and to work with the NCMS to assure the views of the medical community are presented to policy makers in an organized and effective fashion. If you would like more information on how to become involved with NCMS grassroots activities, please contact Chip Baggett, Director of Legislative Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The louder our voice – the larger our impact.
White Coat Wednesdays
White Coat Wednesday Legislative Advocacy Days are your chance to learn more about the ins-and-outs of the government affairs and how best to approach your legislator regarding healthcare issues.
Become a Key Contact
NCMS Key Contacts are a network of North Carolina physicians who can be relied upon to contact their legislators on important issues being debated in the General Assembly. By agreeing to become a Key Contact, we become partners. The Government Affairs staff will provide you with all the necessary background information, pertinent talking points, phone numbers, and addresses; you do the talking in your own way on the issues with which you feel most comfortable. To be a Key Contact, e-mail Chip Baggett for details.
Support NCMS PAC
It is critical that physicians financially support candidates for the General Assembly and Congress who truly understand the relevant issues affecting healthcare today. NCMS PAC allows us to express our support with one unified voice. The strength of NCMS PAC is vitally important during an election year because it helps us to elect candidates who fairly represent issues important to the medical community. Join NCMS PAC today!
NCMS Government Affairs Team
To contact the Government Affairs Department at the NCMS:
- Stephen W. Keene, General Counsel and Deputy Exectuive Vice President, Government Affairs & Health Policy
- Chip Baggett, Director, Legislative Relations
- Conor Brockett, Associate Counsel, Department of Government Affairs and Health Policy
- Jennifer Gasperini, Director, Health Policy
- Jean Lewis, Coordinator, Government Affairs & Health Policy