NCMS Morning Rounds 1-17-20

Happy Friday! Here is your

NCMS Morning Rounds.

Jan. 17, 2020

ICYMI: Announcement Regarding NCMS CEO Robert W. Seligson

Robert W. Seligson, MBA, MA announced Wednesday that he will be phasing out of his role as Executive Vice President and CEO of the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) after more than 25 years of dedicated service to the physicians and PAs of our state. He will remain in his position while the NCMS Board of Directors conducts a national search to find the best person to carry forward our work of empowering our members to improve the health of North Carolina.

“Under Bob’s leadership the NCMS is recognized as one of the premier state medical societies in the nation,” said NCMS President Palmer Edwards, MD, DFAPA. “The organization is strong and poised to grow and prosper thanks to Bob’s steady guidance over the years. We are pleased to have his ongoing involvement as we search for a new leader.”

The Board has not yet established a timeline for the search process, but looks forward to a smooth and seamless transition. Seligson will continue in his current capacity throughout this period.

2020 NCMS Legislative Cabinet Convenes

NCMS Legislative Cabinet members listen to Dr. Adam Zolotor of the NC Institute of Medicine.

On Wednesday evening the 2020 NCMS Legislative Cabinet convened for its first meeting of the year at the NCMS Center for Leadership in Medicine. The diverse group oversees our legislative and advocacy work and makes recommendations to the Board of Directors.

The Cabinet heard from the President and CEO of the NC Institute of Medicine (NCIOM) Adam Zolotor, MD, DrPH, on the NCIOM’s HealthyNC2020/2030 report and initiative. Review the slides from his remarks. Dr. Zolotor’s presentation aligns nicely with many of the priorities the Legislative Cabinet is considering for its advocacy recommendations to the Board in the coming months, and Cabinet members listened attentively and asked questions of Dr. Zolotor.

The Cabinet also discussed vaping policy and agreed to recommend to the board that vaping be included in all current NCMS policies on tobacco. Review those policies with the recommended changes.

NCMS staff offered the Cabinet their insights into the current political climate; an update on Medicaid transformation and the budget stalemate; the upcoming primaries and 2020 elections and what’s likely ahead in the coming 2020 short Legislative Session.

The Cabinet’s next scheduled meeting is April 15, as noted on your 2020 NCMS calendar. NCMS members are welcome to attend, but please call the NCMS at 919-833-3836 prior to the meeting to make sure the time has not changed.

Study Shows Opioid Addiction Major Concern in Rural Communities

A study published this month in JAMA revealed that opioid or other drug addiction or abuse and economic concerns were identified as the most serious problems facing rural communities. Rural adults also reported recent problems with paying medical bills and accessing health care. Read the study’s findings.

Nearly 60 percent of those surveyed said opioid or other drug addiction was a serious problem, while 1 in 4 said this was the most serious issue facing their community. Nearly half said they personally knew someone with an opioid addiction.

About a third said their family had trouble paying health bills. Nearly 45 percent of those with household incomes of $25,000 or less reported problems paying bills. Of those surveyed 26 percent said they have had recent issues with accessing health care. Almost half said they didn’t seek care because they couldn’t afford it.

The researchers concluded that the findings suggest that in “today’s economically stretched rural United States, opioid or other drug addiction or abuse has emerged as an equal problem with economic concerns. One in three rural adults still have problems paying their medical bills even after the passage and implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Although rural communities have traditionally been self-reliant, more than half of rural adults are open to outside help to solve serious problems facing their communities, including major help from government.”

In the News

The 13 Biggest Threats to Global Health, According to WHO, The Advisory Board Forum, 1-15-20

Learning Opportunity

The NC Department of Health and Human Services will hold a webinar to walk stakeholders through aspects of the State-funded Services Design Under Behavioral Health I/DD Tailored Plans on Friday, Jan. 24 from 10 to 11 a.m. Registration is required.


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