Current Bulletin

  • Federal Update: Sen. Hatch Asks for Feedback on AHCA

    capitol-buildingUnited States Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) asked health care organizations for recommendations to improve the American Health Care Act (AHCA) as passed by the US House of Representatives and now under consideration in the US Senate.  Read the AMA’s comments.

    In the response to Sen. Hatch, the AMA primarily focuses on premium affordability, insurance market stabilization and the Medicaid safety net—topics that are generally consistent with the scope of a budget reconciliation bill.  Other policy improvements that might be made to current law—such as medical liability reform or eliminating the Independent Payment Advisory Board and restrictions on physician hospital ownership–do not fit within the framework of the legislative vehicle that the Senate currently is considering.

     
  • Did You Subscribe to the PQRS Listserv? If Yes, Then Read This

    Subscribers to the PQRS listserv are encouraged to sign up for the new CMS Quality Payment Program listserv to keep up-to-date on what you need to know about the new Medicare quality and reimbursement program. The Quality Payment Program is part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) and includes two tracks — Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs) and the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).

    MIPS will replace three Medicare reporting programs:

    • EHR Incentive Program (Meaningful Use)
    • Physician Quality Reporting System
    • Value-Based Payment Modifier

    The Quality Payment Program’s first performance period began on Jan. 1, 2017 and ends on Dec. 31, 2017. Participation in MIPS can start as late as Oct. 2, 2017. The first payment adjustments based on performance go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019. Subscribe to the Quality Payment Program listserv to receive reminders for all of these important deadlines.

    To subscribe, visit the Quality Payment Program website and select “Subscribe to Updates” in the footer. The Education & Tools page includes program resources to help you learn more about eligibility and how to participate.

     
  • United Healthcare To Hold Medicaid Listening Session

    United Healthcare will hold a ‘listening session’ for Medicaid providers on Wednesday, June 14, from 5:45 to 8 p.m. in Raleigh at the Bank of America, Optum Offices, 4242 Six Forks Road. Dinner will be served. The session is billed as an “informal discussion on the challenges, opportunities and actions” United Healthcare and providers “can take together to improve the health of our state.” Learn more about United Healthcare’s outreach to physicians and physician assistants. RSVP for the dinner and listening session to Patti Boone at patti.boone@uhc.com.
     
  • NC Hospital Association Names New President

    steve lawlerOn May 18, the North Carolina Hospital Association (NCHA) named Steve Lawler as its next president beginning July 1. A North Carolina native, Lawler currently is the senior vice president of the regional group for Carolinas HealthCare System. He served numerous leadership roles over 20 years at Vidant Health, including seven years as president of Vidant Medical Center.

    “While the Board undertook a nationwide search, we knew that it was important to choose an individual who understands our state’s political and healthcare climate,” wrote John McConnell, MD, chair of the NCHA Board of Trustees in the letter announcing Lawler’s appointment. “Steve is a proven leader who has established relationships with policy makers and business leaders across North Carolina.”

    Dr. McConnell also thanked Hugh Tilson for serving as interim president for the year.

    “Hugh has been a valuable asset to NCHA for the past 20 years, serving as lead lobbyist and more recently as chief operating officer, and we look forward to his continued contributions as an integral part of the leadership team,” McConnell wrote.

     
  • Interim Dean Named at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

    julie ann freischlagBeginning July 1, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center CEO Julie Ann Freischlag will also fill the role of interim dean of the center’s school of medicine, when the current Dean Edward Abraham leaves to lead the University of Miami’s Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine.

    Freischlag, who arrived at Wake Forest Baptist just this month, already oversees the academic health system, which includes the School of Medicine.

    “Our School of Medicine is well positioned for the future thanks to Dean Abraham, and I want to offer my thanks to him for his many contributions,” Freischlag is quoted as saying the Triad Business Journal.  “Going forward, I know I can count on the help and guidance of many faculty and staff in the clinical enterprise and look forward to working together to achieve Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s highest aspirations.”

     
  • Take Your Best Shot — Then Enter It In the 2017 NCMS Photo Contest

    chiang-homepage-header4

    2017 contest winner and viewer’s choice winner: “Pier into the Night” by Karl S. Chiang, MD

    Calling all North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) members: it’s Photo Contest time again!

    Deadline for submission is June 30, 2017. Learn more about the rules and the prizes.  (Please note: contest open to NCMS current members only; no public submissions.)

     
  • Learning Opportunities

    NCTracks is conducting Regional NC Tracks Seminars to help educate new providers, billing staff of existing providers and serve as a refresher for current and experienced provider staff. The last of the series will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, June 6 – 1450 Fairchild Rd., Winston-Salem, NC

    Review the agenda. Providers can register for the NCTracks Regional Seminars and the Provider Help Centers in SkillPort, the NCTracks Learning Management System.


    Erlanger Health System’s 10th Annual Trauma Symposium will take place June 1-2, in Chattanooga, TN.  Disaster Management and Trauma – Critical Care topics will be covered with a hands-on cadaver and skills lab to apply information discussed in lectures. Discounted rates are available through May 21, 2017.  Go to www.erlanger.org/traumasym to register!


    The Governor’s Institute is providing two free CME sessions offering guidance on opioid prescribing. One is in Dare County on June 8Learn more about the Dare County session and register here. The other will be held in Stokes County on June 20Learn more and register for the Stokes County session here.


    Registration is now open for the 13th Academic Medical Center Security & Privacy Conference, June 12-14, at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill. The conference provides an excellent opportunity for security and privacy professionals at AMCs and other health systems to learn how their peers are handling important privacy and security issues. The program features two plenary sessions and 18 breakout sessions on Legal & Regulatory Compliance, Business Associates/Technology, and Cybersecurity & Risk Management topics, plus a half-day forum on Regulatory Change. Learn more and register.


    United Healthcare will hold a ‘listening session’ for Medicaid providers on Wednesday, June 14, from 5:45 to 8 p.m. in Raleigh at the Bank of America, Optum Offices, 4242 Six Forks Road. Dinner will be served. The session is billed as an “informal discussion on the challenges, opportunities and actions” United Healthcare and providers “can take together to improve the health of our state.” Learn more about United Healthcare’s outreach to physicians and physician assistants. RSVP for the dinner and listening session to Patti Boone at patti.boone@uhc.com.


    June 20, from noon to 1 p.m. Lunch and Learn webinar on ‘How to Get the Best Out of Your Team And Lead Effectively’ with Kristina Natt och Dag, PhD, VP Leadership Development and Executive Director of KIPL, and Erin Grover, Program Manager Leadership Development with Kanof Institute for Physician Leadership. Learn the importance of understanding how interpersonal relationships and behaviors impact collaboration, key components to effective leadership, and how to develop individual roles to achieve the highest potential from each team member. Lunch and Learn Webinars are provided by NCMS Foundation and NC MGMA. Register here.


    A 4-hour online seminar titled “MGMA online MACRA Readiness Workshop” will be held virtually on June 21 beginning at noon.  This workshop offers tactical advice including a comprehensive tool kit.  There are CE credits available. Learn more and register.


    Meet payer representatives at the Multi-Payer Provider Expo in Asheville on July 18, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Doubletree Asheville – Biltmore, 115 Hendersonville Road. Learn more and register.


    The next in the series of workshops presented by the National Rural Accountable Care Consortium and Caravan Health to help practices make the transition to value-based reimbursement will held in Raleigh at the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) Center for Leadership in Medicine on Tuesday, Aug. 1. This workshop will focus on behavioral health integration, patient satisfaction and advancing care information. Learn more and register.


    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.


    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.

     
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