Health Policy & Innovations

Meet the Health System Innovation Team

From left to right:  Aubrey Cuthbertson; Kristina Natt och Dag, PhD, MA; Kristen Spaduzzi, MS; Franklin Walker, MBA; Melanie Phelps, JD; Danielle Snyder; Ashley Rodriguez, JD

The Health System Innovation (HSI) Team is tasked with a wide variety of functions including:

Finding practice management solutions for NCMS members

  • HSI joined with NCMS partner Recovery Platform to respond to quickly evolving practice management needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic by developing a free telehealth solution called Presence.
  • HSI staff such as Kristen Spaduzzi also work on issues surrounding payer-provider relations and payment reform. Check out Kristen’s recent compilation of telehealth payer policies.

Addressing public health issues and social determinants of health 

  • HSI’s Franklin Walker developed several innovative programs such as Project OBOT and Our Community Health Initiative (OCHI) to address opioid use disorder and social determinants of health respectively;
  • Aware North Carolina’s low ranking in health care outcomes for mothers and infants, the HSI team hosted several Maternal and Infant Health Summits, bringing health care and community leaders together to address this important issue.

Convening groups around exploring innovative models of health care

  • HSI’s Melanie Phelps, JD, helped form the Toward Accountable Care Consortium (TAC), a collaboration of more than 35 state and national specialty and county medical societies, that sought to create educational resources for health care providers interested in forming their own ACOs. That initiative led to the formation of the NC Population Health Collaborative and the NC ACO Council, which both offer innovative meetings centered around new developments aimed at improving health in North Carolina.

Developing leadership skills within health care teams

Improving access to care

  • HSI’s Franklin Walker and Danielle Snyder oversee the Community Practitioner Program (CPP), which recently celebrated its 30th year. CPP places primary care physicians, PAs and NPs into underserved and economically distressed areas of the state in return for educational loan repayment. Since the program’s inception, over 430 primary care providers have been placed in 85 counties within North Carolina, providing over $425 million in care for under- and uninsured patients.

Advocating on behalf of NCMS members on regulatory issues

Developing health care policy

  • A major role for the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) is working with its membership to set health policy as an organization and take public positions on these and other issues as they enter the policy-making arena.
  • Maintaining the NCMS Policy Manual. The Policy Manual contains all of the NCMS’ current stances on a wide range health care issues, ranging from public health to containing medical costs. NCMS policies are reviewed every five years in order to ensure a policy’s relevance and applicability.

Search NCMS Policies

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