Current Bulletin

  • BCBSNC Announces New President and CEO

    Patrick-Conway-MDOn Tuesday, Aug. 8, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s (BCBSNC) Board of Trustees announced that Patrick Conway, MD, MSc will be the insurer’s new President and CEO. Dr. Conway currently serves as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Deputy Administrator for Innovation and Quality, and Director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). He will join BCBSNC as President and CEO-elect on October 1. Current President and CEO Brad Wilson will remain CEO during the transition.

    Dr. Conway joined CMS in 2011 as the agency’s Chief Medical Officer and currently serves as the most senior, non-political executive at CMS. He has worked in both Republican and Democratic administrations. He is recognized as one of the driving forces behind the national movement to value-based care, with health care payments tied to quality and innovation.

    Prior to joining CMS, Dr. Conway oversaw clinical operations and research at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center as Director of Hospital Medicine, with a focus on improving patient outcomes across the entire multi-billion dollar health system. He also served at McKinsey & Company as a private sector consultant for health care clients early in his career. He is a practicing pediatric hospitalist and a former White House Fellow and Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2014.

    He completed his pediatrics residency at Harvard Medical School’s Children’s Hospital in Boston and graduate with High Honors from Baylor College of Medicine and summa cum laude from Texas A&M University.

    “At this important time in health care and health insurance transformation, Dr. Conway brings a unique background and perspective to our company and state,” said current President and CEO Brad Wilson in a press release announcing Dr. Conway’s appointment. “I look forward to working with him, and introducing him and his family to the great state of North Carolina.”

    The NCMS also extends a warm welcome to Dr. Conway!

     
  • NCMS Plan Practice Selected As One of Charlotte’s Healthiest Employers

    At Hospice and Palliative Care Charlotte Region (HPCCR), a North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) Plan practice, the mission is to provide comprehensive mind, body and spiritual care for individuals at the end of life. Practice leaders know this mission is compromised if their own employees are not healthy in mind, body and spirit as well and have built a winning wellness program. HPCCR’s success in building a healthy work environment was recently recognized by The Charlotte Business Journal as one of the city’s healthiest employers.

    In its fifth year, HPCCR’s wellness initiative has included annual biometric screenings and a health fair at all four of its locations. The aggregate data from these events is used to formulate a comprehensive strategy designed to improve the health of the workforce and create a culture of true well-being.

    Backed by substantial financial incentives for participation, HPCCR has achieved amazing engagement numbers in their annual challenges, preventive care screenings and being tobacco free. They have a robust wellness committee led by a dedicated Employee Health Coordinator whose primary job responsibility is the health and well-being of their employees. Led by CEO Peter Brunnick, the leaders of HPCCR fully support the well-being initiatives and play an active role in the program.

    As Health Promotion Manager for the NCMS Plan, Jason Horay works with our NCMS Plan participating practices to create healthy workplaces.  Ultimately, this culture allows our plan members to thrive and empowers them to maintain, improve and manage their health.  He recently connected with Hospice & Palliative Care-Charlotte Region to discuss what it means to have healthier employees.  Enjoy this video highlighting their health philosophies, how they were successful integrating good health and well-being practices into their daily lives, and the benefits they have experienced as a result.

    For more information on how you can get your office to practice wellness, contact Jason Horay at jason.horay@mmic.com or call him at 919-878-7530.

     
  • Announcing the NCMS Photo Contest Winners

    After a painstaking selection process, the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) is pleased to announce the winners of our NCMS member photo contest. The photos selected will be featured in our 2018 NCMS calendar. Be sure to renew your membership as soon as you receive your invoice so we can send your new calendar in time for the new year. In the past we have run out of this popular member benefit, so be sure to renew promptly.

    Some fun facts about this year’s contest:

    • Over 70 entries;
    • 13 finalists, 13 semi-finalists, 23 honorable mentions;
    • 12 new photographers submitted their work this year; two of these newbies won their categories; six placed as finalists or semi-finalists;
    • One physician has won the Nature Category four years in a row – congratulations to Kathryn McConnell Greven, MD!
    • One physician has won the contest two years in a row in two different categories – congratulations to Karl S. Chiang, MD!

    This year’s category winners and the finalists are:

    • Karl S. Chiang, MD, overall winner
    • Kathryn M. Greven, MD, FASTRO, winner in nature category
    • Robert J. Starkenburg, MD, winner in wildlife category
    • Keith V.A. Nance, MD, winner in North Carolina category
    • Edgar O. Hartle, MD, FACEP, winner in travel category
    • Steven A. Dingeldein, MD, finalist
    • Steven M. Genkins, MD, finalist
    • Craig M. Greven, MD, finalist
    • Edward A. Hedrick, MPAS, PA-C, finalist
    • Rodger D. Israel, MD, MPH, finalist
    • Jeffrey D. Mewborne, MD, finalist
    • Robert M. Varnell, MD, finalist
    • Philip W. Ponder, MD, finalist

    The work of these gifted photographers as well as that of the semi-finalists and those receiving honorable mentions will be revealed in the 2018 NCMS calendar. Congratulations to all our gifted member photographers!

     
  • NCMS Past President Frank Russell Reynolds, MD, Remembered Fondly

    dr frank reynoldsLong-time North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) member Frank Russell Reynolds, MD, 97, died Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017 at his home in Wilmington, NC following a brief illness. Dr. Reynolds joined the NCMS in 1950 and served as president in 1974-75. He was a founding Board Member and President of the NC Medical Mutual Liability Insurance Company.

    “Dr. Reynolds was a strong leader for medicine in every sense of the word,” said NCMS CEO Robert W. Seligson. “He was a compassionate, caring and dedicated physician. He possessed the unique combination of extraordinary medical talent and leadership skills. He was committed to his profession and stayed active in organized medicine his whole life. No doubt he was a major influence in shaping health care policy in our state. His contributions and his legacy will not be forgotten.”

    In his obituary in the Wilmington Star News, Dr. Frank, as his patients often called him, is remembered fondly for the high quality, compassionate care he delivered to children throughout his career as a pediatrician.

    Dr. Reynolds was born and grew up in Wilmington. He graduated from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and the then two-year UNC School of Medicine. He completed medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine and served pediatric internship, residency and fellowships at Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, Va., Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia and James Walker Hospital in Wilmington. He served in the US Army during World War II. He returned to Wilmington in 1950 opening a private pediatric practice becoming only the sixth pediatrician to practice in Wilmington.  He retired in 1996.

    Our sympathy and condolences go out to his family.

     
  • In the News

     
  • Learning Opportunities

    Free Webinar: Transformation to Value-Based Payments Under the ACO Model The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) and the NC Medical Group Management Association are sponsoring a Lunch and Learn webinar on Tuesday, Aug. 15, from noon to 1 p.m. on the topic of transforming to value-based payments under an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model. The webinar will feature Lynn Barr, MHP, CEO of Caravan Health & Chief Transformation Officer of National Rural Accountable Care Consortium (NRACC).

    Learn more and register. This webinar is free, but registration is required.


    The premiere of a documentary exploring the lack of evidence-based treatment in mental health care and the importance of family involvement will be shown on Aug 25 at 7 p.m. at The Cary Theater in Cary. Tickets are $6 each. Watch the trailer at goingsane.org. After the screening, there will be a Q&A with the director and other mental health care groups (like NAMI).


    The CHESS 2017 Move to Value Summit, “The Future of Value-based Medicine,” to be held Aug. 27-28 in Winston-Salem, brings together stakeholders from across the health care ecosystem who wish to learn more about those issues driving health care’s move to value.  View the Move to Value Summit 2017 agenda and register today!


    For the first time the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will hold a National Provider Enrollment Conference at the Charleston Area Convention Center, Sept. 6-7. This is an opportunity to interact directly with CMS and MAC provider enrollment experts. Registration is free. The deadline to register is Aug. 29. Get more information.


    The North Carolina Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities invites you to the North Carolina Health Equity Impact Awards on Sept. 14 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn/Raleigh Crabtree Valley. These awards recognize the students, community members, professionals and organizations that have successfully implemented a systems-change approach to reduce health disparities and promote health equity. RSVP to ncminorityhealth@dhhs.nc.gov by Friday, Sept. 1.


    The Poe Center for Health Education and the NC Medical Society Alliance will host two luncheon conferences in Raleigh to examine the opioid crisis and explore collaborative solutions. The first will be held in Raleigh on Sept. 14 and the second will be held in Greensboro on Sept. 15. At both meetings the keynote speaker will be former Los Angeles Times reporter and national speaker, Sam Quinones, author of the book, “Dreamland: the True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic.” A panel of local experts in Raleigh and Greensboro will discuss the impact of opioids in their communities and the opportunities for change. The meetings are approved for 3.0 CMEs, which fulfills the North Carolina Medical Board’s licensing requirement for opioid prescribing education. Learn more and register.


    The Southeastern Medical Legal Symposium, Physicians Reviewing Physicians, Sept. 18-19, in Atlanta, GA, brings together stakeholders in the various professions involved in litigated medical claims. In its fourth year, the symposium is sponsored by the American College of Legal Medicine [ACLM]. Invitees include health care professionals (e.g., physicians, medical directors, psychologists, and nurse case managers), attorneys, dual degreed MD/PhD/DDS/DPM-JD’s, risk managers, claims managers, adjusters, judges, and others. Learn more and register.


    The 2017 Lifestyle Medicine Symposium, sponsored by MAHEC, Mission Heart and Asheville Cardiology Associates will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 6 in Asheville. A vast majority of chronic disease, directly related to poor lifestyle choices, is reversible and preventable through the proper choices in nutrition, exercise and stress management. The growing field of Lifestyle Medicine, an essential foundation for prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and other chronic medical conditions, makes available the necessary evidence-based solutions for providers to counsel patients and improve patient outcomes. Learn more and register.


    Save the Date for the 29th Annual Fall Foliage Cancer Conference focusing on Updates on Breast and Prostate Cancers, at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, Oct. 20-21, 2017Learn more.


    Caravan Health will present its second annual Accountable Care Symposium on Dec. 6-7 in Phoenix, AZ at the Hilton Squaw Peak Resort. The symposium is a learning and networking event for current and future participants in Advanced Payment Models. Registration for the symposium opens Tuesday, August 1, 2017.  For more information, please visit www.caravanhealth.com/symposium.


    MAHEC, working with the North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians, The Governor’s Institute on Substance Abuse and Project Lazarus: A Project of CCNC, is offering A Guide to Rational Opioid Prescribing for Chronic Pain, an online education course. The course is designed for all prescribing health care practitioners who are interested in an overview of the rational prescribing approaches for persons with chronic pain disorders. It will fulfill the North Carolina Medical Board’s requirement of at least one hour of continuing education designed specifically to address prescribing practices for chronic pain management. The course cost is $15 for the first 6 months. Offers 3 hours of AAFP, AMA/AAFP Equivalency, and CDE; www.mahec.net/opioid.


    NCTracks has Computer-Based Training (CBT) courses on a variety of topics available to providers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. Anyone who is a registered user with NCID access to the NCTracks secure Provider Portal can access and take a self-paced course. A list of courses available can be found here and under Quick Links on the NCTracks Provider Training page of the public Provider Portal.

     

     

     
  • Registration Now OPEN for the M3 Conference, Sept. 14-16 in Raleigh

    2017-M3150x150What does the future hold for health care? Register today for the M3 Conference and find some answers.

    Register Now!

    The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) and the North Carolina Medical Group Management Association (NCMGMA) are joining forces once again to present an array of educational, networking and social opportunities for their respective memberships.

    We have a who’s who of state and national health care leaders ready to share their perspectives and insights on health care legislation and policy and how it will impact your practice, the state and our nation. Download a preliminary schedule of events.

    Speakers include:

    Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, who will answer the question: ‘How Did We Get Here and Where Are We Going? The Secretary’s Vision for NC.’
    Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH
    Rep. Greg Murphy, MD, who will speak about being “Your Physician in the General Assembly,” and will discuss the critical importance of advocacy by the medical community as well as the latest developments in health care legislation in North Carolina. murphy
    Robert L. Laszewski, president of Health Policy and Strategy Associates, who will address ‘US Health Care Policy in a New Administration, A New Era.’ Robert Laszewski
    Rebecca Onie, JD, CEO of Health Leads, who will share “Tackling Social Determinants: The Key to Bending the Cost Curve.” Rebecca Onie
    Will Latham, president of Latham Consulting Group, who will show you the strategic way forward in your practice and how to successfully manage change. latham

    Panel discussions on Saturday will feature experts to help physicians and your entire team understand the opportunities and challenges of practicing in alternate payment models.

    Don’t miss this opportunity to learn, be inspired and engage with your colleagues.

    register now button

     
  • NCMS Board Reviews Strategic Direction

    The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) Board of Directors met last weekend and agenda topics included:

    • review of the outcomes of the recently concluded long legislative session and each of the NCMS’ legislative priorities. The Board also looked ahead to the several short sessions the first of which begins next month;
    • a report from NCMS leadership about their recent visits to Washington, DC and their ongoing discussions with US Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis on the health care debate at the federal level;
    • received an update and reflected on next steps in the strategic planning work done at the May Board retreat.

    “We are living in a chaotic time” NCMS President Paul R.G. Cunningham, MD, told Board members at the beginning of the meeting. “This offers us an opportunity to lead. It does require that you keep your wits about you.”

    Bill Ferrell, MD, chair of the NCMS’ Legislative Cabinet, delivered the legislative summary in each of the NCMS’ priority areas: scope of practice, budget, insurance, opioid abuse, and health care coverage for the working poor. Read summaries of legislation introduced in each of these areas on our 2017 Legislative blog.

    “This was a busy, dynamic legislative session,” Dr. Ferrell told the Board, noting that an additional priority area, tort reform, did not come up in any meaningful way this session. Legislation on scope of practice and insurance are likely to be back in some form next session for further debate. The legislature will reconvene for short sessions in August, September and November 15 to take up redistricting and two pending Medicaid reform bills, but any legislation could be brought up at these brief sessions meaning the NCMS advocacy team needs to be especially nimble in the coming months.

    Dr. Cunningham, NCMS CEO Robert W. Seligson and David Tayloe, MD met personally with Senators Burr and Tillis a few weeks ago to express concerns about the proposals under consideration by the Senate. The NCMS remains in constant contact with our North Carolina Congressional delegation as the debate over repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act continues. Read our position on the ACA repeal and replacement.

    Past NCMS President and Strategic Planning Officer Dev Sangvai, MD, MBA updated the Board on progress on the NCMS Strategic Plan since the Board’s planning retreat in May. The Board reaffirmed the NCMS’ mission, vision and values at the retreat and identified six areas of focus for the coming years: membership, health system innovation, leadership, advocacy, business development and administrative.

    Since May, NCMS staff has been reorganized to better support the six priority areas and to help amplify our presence among physicians. Board members offered ideas and discussed on how to engage with our members and potential members by partnering with new groups, creating new rituals within the NCMS to build community and identifying physicians and physician assistants ‘pain points’ and addressing those needs.

    Read a summary of the Strategic Planning document.

     
  • Welcome Carteret Health Care!

    carteretThe North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) extends a warm welcome to Carteret Health Care, our latest group to join the medical society. We’re glad you’re part of the NCMS community and look forward to meeting and working with you all.

    The relationship with Carteret extends back nearly a year when NCMS Vice President for Rural Health Initiatives Franklin Walker opened discussions with the group’s executives and medical staff about becoming a rural accountable care organization. Since then, Walker has been working closely with the group to move to this new value-based model of care. NCMS will also offer help through our partnership with the National Rural Accountable Care Consortium and Caravan Health on care coordination and navigating the new payment structure under MACRA in addition to NCMS’ standard benefits.

    Carteret also has been exploring becoming part of the Carolina Complete Health Network, which the NCMS is working to build in hopes of becoming one of the state’s Medicaid providers under the Medicaid reform plan.

    “We are thrilled to have Carteret join our growing membership,” said NCMS CEO Robert W. Seligson. “This group represents a new model within the NCMS membership and is an example of how the NCMS can help a group achieve an innovative and visionary approach to health care leadership that will serve them well into the future. Welcome!”

     
  • NCMS Expresses Concern About UHC’s Plans to Eliminate Consultation Codes

    The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) along with other state and specialty medical societies across the country are jointly drafting a letter to United Healthcare (UHC) outlining serious concerns with the insurer’s announcement in its June 2017 Network Bulletin that UHC will no longer pay for consultation codes effective Oct. 1, 2017.

    “There are widespread changes afoot for the United States health care system; some of these changes are already creating barriers to care for patients,” the letter states. “It is our utmost concern that UHC’s proposed policy will only create another barrier, preventing patients from receiving specialty care.”

    Stay tuned to the NCMS Bulletin and blog for a copy of the final letter, which should be sent later this week and updates as the dialogue with UHC continues.