Current Bulletin

  • NCMS Plan Cultivates Practice Wellness

    The NCMS Employee Benefit Plan recently welcomed practices from across the state to the fourth annual Practice Wellness Summit, held at the North Carolina Medical Society’s Center for Physician Leadership in Raleigh.

    During this two-day experience, Practice Administrators learned practical ways to cultivate desired leadership attributes and increased their understanding of the intersection of individual well-being, leadership and practice culture.  Administrators also enjoyed networking and a time of self-reflection.

    Jordan Deuink from Providence Anesthesiology Associates shares, “thank you for this great experience.  I’ve enjoyed getting to know other practice leaders and the coaching has been excellent.”

    As NCMS Plan practices continue their wellness journey, the NCMS Plan will support their efforts to foster well-being and consider health promotion strategies to help their practices flourish.

  • NCMS, Carolina Complete Health and Eye Docs Team Up For Vision Van Event

    NCSEPS Executive Director Alan Skipper (l-r) with Drs. Escaravage and Geiger with Vision Van.

    The NC Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons (NCSEPS) helped coordinate a vision screening for our state’s residents displaced by Hurricane Florence. The event was made possible through a partnership with the North Carolina Medical Society, Carolina Complete Health and Centene.

    Ophthalmologists, Michael Geiger, MD, of Fayetteville, and George Escaravage, MD, of Wilmington donated their time and expertise to make the event a success, screening over 65 individuals, 50 of whom were prescribed corrective lenses and 10 of whom were referred for follow-up care.

    The screening was held at the Word of Faith Ministry shelter in Kenansville, NC and the necessary equipment was provided through Centene’s Vision Van vehicle.

    Thanks to our partner organizations and Drs. Geiger and Escaravage for their generosity and devoting their Saturday to make a difference in the community.

  • The 2019 NCMS Member Calendar is ready to go. Have you renewed yet to receive yours?

    As the year winds down, it’s time to look forward to an annual tradition around here at the NCMS: the release of the 2019 NCMS Member Calendar! This year the cover features a stunning photo by three-time Photo Contest winner, Karl S. Chiang, MD, of Eastern Radiologists in Greenville. His image entitled “Coastal Carolina Sunrise” and twelve other beautiful photos from contest finalists are featured in this upcoming year’s calendar.

    How do I get one of these calendars, you may ask?  All 2019 NCMS members will receive one soon. If you haven’t renewed your membership yet, now is the time to do so to get your calendar in your member packet. We have a limited quantity of calendars, so don’t miss out; renew now online or give us a call at (800) 722-1350 to renew over the phone or request an invoice.

    Some other interesting tidbits about this year’s calendar:

    • It was a record-breaking year for the Photo Contest. Fifty-eight photographers placed in the contest, including 13 finalists, 18 semi-finalists and 27 honorable mentions. For the full list of contest participants, click here.
    • One of our physicians was so inspired by the photo he captured that he produced a song based on it. Dr. Cecil Thoppil composed a song entitled “Grateful Heart — A Bird Duet,” which can be found on iTunes, Spotify or Amazon Music.
    • Dr. Demetri Poulis shared the backstory on his submission of a photo of Joe Bell daisies. You can learn more about this fascinating flower and how it made its way to the NC Outerbanks here.
    • We do have one correction regarding the winning image in the Nature Category by Dr. Vikas Patel. The photo was taken at Mount Grinell, Swiftcurrent Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana, not at the Athabasca Glacier in Canada as listed in the calendar. We apologize for the error.

    For questions on this publication or on the NCMS Photo Contest, please contact Kristen Shipherd.

  • In the News

  • Learning Opportunities

    Throughout the fall, NC DHHS is offering training to help you understand the state’s Advanced Medical Home model as the primary vehicle for delivering local care management at the transition to Medicaid managed care takes place. Learn more about the upcoming statewide webinars as well as the regional training forums and register.


    The Carolinas Center and the North Carolina Partnership for Compassionate Care will present a one day conference on Nov. 14 from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center Conference Center in Winston-Salem on ‘Navigating the Future By Planning for the Unexpected.’ Learn more and register.


    The NC ACO Council will meet on Thursday, Nov. 15, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Piedmont Triad Regional Council, 1398 Carrollton Crossing Dr., Kernersville, NC. Register here. Questions please contact Danielle Snyder at


    The Governor’s Institute inaugural fall conference Addiction Medicine Essentials will be held Nov. 16-17 at the Archie K. Davis Conference Center in RTP/Durham. The conference will cover a wide range of essential addiction medicine topics including AM 101, Pharmacotherapy, Pain & SUDs, Medical and Psychiatric Co-Morbidities and more! Up to 11.25 hours of CME pending. Learn more and register.


    The 45th Annual Williamsburg Conference on Heart Disease will be held Dec. 2-4 at Williamsburg Lodge in Williamsburg, VA. Learn more and register.


    ‘Providers’ Clinical Support System: Buprenorphine Office-Based Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders, the ‘Half and Half’ Course’ and ‘Recovery Within Reach: Building Team Expertise in Office-Based Opioid Treatment,’ will be offered at locations throughout the state beginning Dec. 4 and continuing through February. Learn more and register.

    The NC Population Health Collaborative will hold their rescheduled third quarter meeting on December 12, 2018, at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh. For more information or to register, click here.


    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.


    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;


    Save-the-Date for the Governor’s Institute’s 10th annual spring conference Addiction Medicine 2019 to be held in Asheville, NC on March 21-23 when we will take a deeper dive into all things addiction medicine!



  • NC DHHS Sec. Mandy Cohen Explains Medicaid Transformation Waiver

    NC Department of Health and Human Services Sec. Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH, offered a webinar Friday for stakeholders involved in the state’s Medicaid transformation to explain and answer questions about the recent approval of the state’s Medicaid waiver application. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved North Carolina’s waiver on Wednesday, Oct. 24, marking the next milestone in the state’s transformation to managed care for its Medicaid program.

    Sec. Cohen and Deputy Secretary Dave Richards explained that CMS approved the state’s plans to integrate physical and behavioral care as well as to offer tailored plans; a strategy to address the state’s opioid abuse epidemic and healthy opportunity pilots. These pilots, which will initially be offered in two to four of the Medicaid payer regions, will address social factors affecting health such as housing, food, transportation, employment and interpersonal safety. These are particularly innovative features of the state’s plan, making North Carolina a ‘national leader,’ according to Sec. Cohen.

    Contracts will be awarded in February 2019 to four Medicaid managed care companies to offer statewide plans (eight companies currently are vying for these statewide contracts). The phase in of the new program will begin in November 2019.

    Review the webinar slides.

  • CMS Approves North Carolina’s Medicaid Waiver Request

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) today approved North Carolina’s request to implement the transition to Medicaid managed care and integrate physical health, behavioral health and pharmacy benefits. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) submitted its amended 1115 Demonstration Waiver application in 2017.

    “The waiver approval represents an important milestone in the transformation of Medicaid from a fee-for-service program to one that puts greater emphasis on population health and medical science. The focus on social determinants of health are essential to the success of the program,” said North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) CEO Robert W. Seligson. “These changes can be beneficial to Medicaid recipients and the health care system as a whole.”

    This transition toward whole person care includes the authority to create Tailored Plans to serve people with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) or higher intensity behavioral health needs and a specialized behavioral health home model to ensure strong care management for those individuals. To support broader state efforts to combat the opioid crisis and improve access to treatment, DHHS received authority to implement new flexibilities that allow for treatment of substance use disorder in institutions of mental disease (IMD).

    “Our highest priority is the health and well-being of the people we serve,” said DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. “Receiving this waiver approval from the federal government will help us continue to build an innovative and whole-person centered system that addresses both medical and non-medical drivers of health.”

    In 2015, the General Assembly directed the transition of Medicaid from a predominantly fee-for-service structure to managed care. Since then, DHHS has solicited extensive feedback from clinicians, beneficiaries, hospitals, counties, health plans, elected officials, advocates and other stakeholders in developing the components of the 1115 Waiver Demonstration. The approved waiver focuses only on the aspects of North Carolina’s Medicaid managed care transformation that require CMS approval.

    For further details on the waiver and the state’s Medicaid transformation visit the NCDHHS website.

  • Dr. Timothy J. Reeder Sworn In As NCMS’ 165th President

    NCMS President Timothy J. Reeder, MD, MPH, FACEP

    Timothy J. Reeder, MD, MPH, FACEP, an emergency medicine physician at the Brody School of Medicine at ECU in Greenville, NC, was sworn in as the North Carolina Medical Society’s (NCMS) 165th president on Friday, Oct. 19, at the Society’s LEAD Health Care Conference in Raleigh.

    Dr. Reeder joined the NCMS in 1998, and has served in a variety of roles including on the Finance Committee, the Credentials Committee and the Communications and Membership Advisory Committee. He was elected to the NCMS Board of Directors in 2012 and served several years as secretary-treasurer. Long a proponent of organized medicine, Dr. Reeder also was president of the Pitt County Medical Society in 2007 and remains active on the local level.

    Dr. Reeder received his MD from Ohio State University, where he also spent his residency. He earned his MPH at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He currently works at the Brody School of Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, as an Associate Professor and Executive Vice Chair. His clinical interests include trauma care, pediatric emergency care and disaster medicine. His educational interests include health systems science including patient safety, quality and leadership. He also serves as Director of the Health System Transformation and Leadership Distinction Track.

    In a moving inaugural address, Dr. Reeder spoke about the importance of returning the joy to the practice of medicine.

    “The activities of our organization must at their core, support and ensure the patient-physician relationship. For this is what gives us meaning and JOY in our practice and profession,” he said. “While this may sound naïve or unattainable, I pledge to you today to strive to use our collective energy, intellect and passion to work toward this goal. No matter the specialty, years in practice or how disillusioned we may have become, the unifying principle that brought us into medicine was our desire to help another human being, through the doctor-patient relationship.”

  • Your NCMS Election Results

    The results of the election for North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) leadership positions were announced at the Annual Business Meeting on Friday, Oct. 19. Just over 500 votes were cast for candidates running for seats on the NCMS Board of Directors, Nominating and Leadership Development Committee and the AMA Delegation. This exceeded last year’s turnout and represents significantly more direct engagement of NCMS membership than in the final years of the House of Delegates.

    Your newly elected NCMS leadership:

    President-elect: Palmer Edwards, MD

    Board of Directors, Region 1: Edward Whitesides, MD

    Board of Directors, Region 4: Rachel Keever, MD

    Board of Directors, At-large members: Danielle Mahaffey, MD and Carl Westcott, MD

    AMA Delegates: G. Hadley Callaway, MD; William Bowman, MD; Darlyne Menscer, MD

    AMA Alternate Delegates: Rebecca Hayes, MD and Liana Puscas, MD

    Nominating and Leadership Development Committee:

    • Region 1: Scott Avery, MD and Michael Moulton, MD
    • Region 2: Justin Hurie, MD
    • Region 4: Gregory Evans, MD and Merritt Seshul, MD

    You may read a little about each person at NCMS Election Headquarters on our website.

    Thank you to everyone who participated in the election and congratulations to those newly elected leaders. As always, if you have a policy issue of concern to bring to the NCMS Board of Directors, please complete this online Board Contact form.

  • NCMS Foundation Disaster Relief Program Now Accepting Applications

    The North Carolina Medical Society Foundation (NCMSF), with the generous support of The Physicians Foundation, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, The Texas Medical Association, the American Medical Association and dozens of individual donors, has established a Disaster Relief Program to aid medical practices impacted by the latest natural disaster, Hurricane Florence.

    “Establishment of this relief fund is completely in keeping with the mission of the NCMS Foundation – to improve access to quality health care for all North Carolinians,” said NCMSF President Gerri Mattson MD, MSPH, FAAP. “We are committed to helping medical practices affected by Hurricane Florence face the daunting task of repairing or rebuilding. Applications for funding are now available for those physicians and physician assistants impacted by the storm to help them to continue to deliver important care in their communities.”

    The Disaster Relief Program will provide grants to help get practices back up and running by covering expenses (not covered by insurance or other funding) related to relocating or rehabilitating a medical practice damaged by Hurricane Florence. This may include replacing equipment, aiding essential medical practice staff, rebuilding patient records, telephone system replacements, signage, medical laboratory supplies and other similar costs — all with the goal of helping physicians begin treating their patients again as soon as possible.

    Learn more about the program guidelines (PDF)       Apply now to the Disaster Relief Program (PDF)