NCMS Morning Rounds 10-14-19

 Welcome to a new week of

 NCMS Morning Rounds.

Oct. 14, 2019

Weekly Legislative Summary from the NCMS

The legislative session continues, giving new meaning to the term ‘long session.’ Both the NC House and Senate, however, have briefly adjourned until Oct. 21. Before leaving Raleigh last week, legislators worked on several ‘mini-budget’ bills, although none that impact health care policies or funding. Nothing significant happened on the health care legislation your NCMS advocacy team has been following, however, there are several health care related items to note.

  • It’s official – Rep. Perrin Jones, MD, (R-Pitt), a Greenville anesthesiologist, was sworn in to the NC House of Representatives to represent District 9. Rep. Jones is the only physician in the NC General Assembly.
    • If you missed the NCMS LEAD Health Care Conference, you missed a refreshing legislative discussion. Sen. Don Davis (D-Greene); Rep. Josh Dobson (R-Avery), Rep. Darren Jackson (D-Wake) and Rep. Donna White (R-Johnston) shared their thoughts and insights on Medicaid, access to care, the state budget and how you can influence health policy by building relationships with your elected representatives. Next year’s NCMS LEAD Health Care Conference promises even more engaging legislative content. Mark your calendar now for Oct. 15-17 for the 2020 LEAD Health Care Conference in Raleigh.
    • The NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) announced last week an additional region has been awarded to Carolina Complete Health, Inc., one of the prepaid health plans (PHP) selected to provide services to Medicaid patients as part of the state’s move to Medicaid managed care. Carolina Complete Health (CCH) is a joint venture between the NCMS, Centene Corporation and the North Carolina Community Health Center Association. Last February, the state awarded CCH, a provider-led health plan governed by physicians, a contract to serve regions 3 and 5 beginning in February 2020. NCDHHS expanded the area served by CCH to include region 4. View the region map.

Today: Medicaid Open Enrollment Begins Statewide

As the state’s transition to Medicaid managed care continues, open enrollment for Medicaid beneficiaries officially opens today, Oct. 14. Open enrollment has been underway since July 15 in regions 2 and 4. Today the opportunity for Medicaid beneficiaries to select their health plan begins in regions 1, 3, 5 and 6. View region map.

To help keep everyone informed on this massive transformation of the state’s Medicaid program, the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) will host a Medicaid Managed Care Transition Update Call on Wednesday, Oct. 16, from 4-5 pm. Registration is required; register here. There will be an opportunity to ask questions.

Enrollment packets were mailed to Medicaid beneficiaries to help them choose and enroll in a Medicaid Managed Care health plan, and select a primary care provider from the health plan’s network. Enrollment packets include:

The next big deadline is Nov. 15, when physician and PA practice contracts must be signed and mailed to the prepaid health plans administering the services provided to Medicaid beneficiaries. This deadline was set because it takes health plans at least two to three weeks to process provider contracts and ensure that providers can be paid. Additional time is then needed to transmit information to the NCDHHS for inclusion in the auto-enrollment process. While you may contract with as few or as many health plans as you prefer, patients will be enrolled with an in-network provider for the health plan that they choose or in which they are auto-enrolled.

Dec. 13 marks the end of open enrollment statewide and auto-assignment of Medicaid beneficiaries to the health plans will begin on Dec. 16. Medicaid managed care is slated to begin February 2020.

Physician Wellness: Post-Training Mistakes Residents and Other Professionals Make

Dr. Burnout, aka Clark Gaither, MD, FAAP, recently published the fourth in his series of blog posts on post-training mistakes and how to navigate this transition.

“School is where learning takes place. Life is where your real education begins. Finishing college or training is just the beginning of your education and the start, for most, of the “long routine” of work,” writes Dr. Gaither, who is the Medical Director for the NC Professionals Health Program (NCPHP). “This is the fourth post in a series on common mistakes I have seen residents and other professionals make just out of training, mistakes with long-term, often severe, consequences. This particular mistake is rarely talked about or even acknowledged, namely ignoring the unexpected feelings mentioned above when you realize there is no “next.” It is a feeling of finality.”

Read the blog post and access information and resources addressing physician wellness and burnout.

In the News

Drumbeat Builds for a Peace Corps of Caregivers, Kaiser Health News, 10-10-19

Learning Opportunity

Reminder: Tomorrow, Oct. 15, from noon to 1 p.m. is the Lunch & Learn Webinar titled “The Rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Future of Physician Practices,” featuring Sam Cohen, JD, MPP, Senior Vice President for Health Policy for Curi, a Medical Mutual Co. Learn more and register.


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