I’m pleased to announce that the Board unanimously approved the appointment of James E. (Jim) Hill, PA-C, MEd, as President-Elect of the NCMS Foundation. Jim is a long-time member of the NCMS and leader within the Physician Assistant (PA) Section. Through his work with the PA Section and advocating NCMS membership, he became involved in the NCMS Foundation. His leadership is remarkable, and I can’t think of a better Leader for the future of the NCMS Foundation. His tenure as President-Elect follows Doug Sheets, MD, who becomes Foundation President in October. Dr. Sheets is also a Past President of the NCMS.
The Board approved other appointments to the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, including Elizabeth Kanof, MD; Katie Lowry, MD; Patti Forest, MD; and David Sousa, JD. Janice Huff, MD was appointed to complete the term of Steven J. Muscoreil, MD, MHA.
We enjoyed interaction with several visitors to our meeting. Pam Silberman, President & CEO of the NC Institute of Medicine, spoke to us on implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Ms. Silberman is a recognized expert on access to care issues and the ACA. She discussed the ACA’s provisions to expand insurance coverage and eligibility criteria for Medicaid, employer-based plans, individual coverage and available subsidies. She reviewed the application and enrollment process and the role of certified “navigators” in helping educate consumers on their choices and any subsidies available and pending penalties.
I appreciated Ms. Silberman’s candid remarks about the complexity of ACA implementation. She has spent much of the last year studying the law in detail, and she acknowledged that there are many aspects within the law that no one knows. With our patients facing stress and confusion about health coverage options, we asked Ms. Silberman what physicians should tell their patients when asked, and she recommended that we direct patients to the website www.healthcare.gov for information. Interesting times are ahead for our practices and our patients.
William A. Walker, MD, President and David Henderson, JD, Executive Director of the North Carolina Medical Board (NCMB) updated us on NCMB efforts to improve and regulate medical practice. Dr. Walker thanked the Society for working together on efforts to address the prescription drug abuse crisis. He reported on the NCMB open forums seeking input to revise their position statement on physician prescribing. The NCMS and the NCMB are collaborating with the Boston University School of Medicine and other state and national partners to offer the CME session SCOPE of Pain: Safe and Competent Opioid Prescribing Education. I strongly encourage my Emergency Medicine colleagues and all prescribers to sign up for this event.
Warren Newton, MD, MPH, was introduced in his new role as Director of the NC Area Heath Education Centers (AHEC)As a partnership between the University of North Carolina, Duke University, Wake Forest University and East Carolina University, AHEC operates nine centers across the state to provide training opportunities for health care professionals and greater access to health care services. Dr. Newton told us that his primary message for the NCMS and our leadership is that he looks forward to working together on educational resources for the medical profession. He also made brief comments on health care reform and workforce needs.
Turning to other agenda items, Timothy J. Reeder, MD, Secretary-Treasurer, presented the proposed 2014 NCMS budget approved by the Finance Committee. The Board approved the budget and forwarded it to the House of Delegates. Dr. Reeder also gave an update on headquarters renovations and related expenses. The House of Delegates will hear more about the renovations with photos and video of the new “NCMS Center for Leadership in Medicine.”
The Board reviewed the schedule and other details for the Annual Meeting, which will take place October 25-26, 2013 at the Raleigh Marriott City Center. Thank you to Tim Beittel, MD (Chair), Rachel Keever, MD, Art Apolinario, MD and Brian Kuscyk, MD who have agreed to serve as Reference Committee members. Continuing with our “virtual” Reference Committee process, reports and resolutions will be posted online for open review and comment from September 23 to October 11. I encourage all members to make time to review and comment on policy decisions. Watch upcoming issues of the Bulletin for details.
I hope to see you at the Annual Meeting. We’re gearing up, and I hope you are, too. See you October 25 and 26 at the Raleigh Marriott City Center. Review the schedule and register today.