NCMS Morning Rounds 12-18-19

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NCMS Morning Rounds.

Dec. 18, 2019

Interest Grows in NCMS Foundation’s Project OBOT

For anyone who has read the best-seller Dopesick, by Beth Macy, you’ll know that West Virginia is the epicenter of the country’s opioid abuse epidemic. See the latest state statistics. Recently, a team of those charged with addressing West Virginia’s opioid abuse problems called on NCMS Vice President for Rural Health Initiatives and founder and Director of Project OBOT Franklin Walker, MBA, to describe the NCMS Foundation’s Project OBOT and how it might be implemented in their state.

After a two-hour presentation to the West Virginia group, which included representatives from area medical schools, Medicaid, the state attorney general, the state medical society and state medical board and others, the consensus was that implementing Project OBOT indeed would be beneficial to the state’s efforts.

Project OBOT began in 2017 when Walker and the NCMS Foundation assembled a coalition of partners including local health departments, the Governor’s Institute, MAHEC, the NC Medical Board and others. The project’s goals include increasing the number of waiver-trained physicians and better enable them to provide Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) in their practices. The model also provides technology that allows easier access to telemedicine visits and better care coordination. Patients also can receive lower cost medication to help ensure they complete their treatment, increasing their odds of recovery.

Since its inception there has been a 100 percent patient retention rate and 78 percent of patients participating were found to have completely discontinued use of opiates or illicit drugs as shown by randomized lab screens.

Project OBOT’s positive results thus far have attracted West Virginia’s – and a few other state’s — attention as everyone is grappling with how to stem this nationwide crisis.

Learn more about Project OBOT.

Funding for Gun Violence Research Possible

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and other advocacy groups are lauding the bipartisan federal spending bill that, for the first time in 20 years, invests funds in gun violence prevention research. The legislation would allocate $25 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health. Congress still needs to pass the bill by the end of the week and then President Trump must sign it into law.

The topic of gun violence prevention research funding has been the focus of the last two AAP Legislative Conferences, where hundreds of pediatricians from across the country urged their elected officials to support gun violence prevention research funding. At the Durham Orange County Medical Society meeting last week more than 70 physicians and physician assistants turned out to hear from a panel of experts and high school students on the topic of gun violence and its impact on young people. Several attendees shared their patient stories of encounters with gun violence and the physical and emotional trauma that resulted.

Those at the county medical society as well as those at the AAP and many others see gun violence as a pervasive public health threat that warrants comprehensive action, and the pending legislation as a move in the right direction.

Read AAP President Kyle Yasuda’s, MD, FAAP press statement on the proposed legislation.

NCMGMA Seeks Data for Salary & Benefits Survey

The NC Medical Group Management Association (NCMGMA) recently launched the Medical Employee Salary & Benefits Online Survey, collecting 2019 data. This comprehensive study is designed to gather necessary information for the health care community to see industry trends, and provide comparative information to assist in making crucial business decisions. Anyone who completes the survey will have access to the results this spring.

The NCMGMA is asking for your assistance in completing the survey by Jan. 17, 2020. If you’re a new NCMGMA site user, you will need to first get a username and password to login. You may access the survey here.

Some key points to keep in mind:
• The User Guide will help answer many of your how-to questions. It can also be found on the Support page in the survey, once logged in.
• The Survey is divided into sections that contain categories of questions. You can begin in any section and complete the survey questions in any order.
• The progress bar on the home page will track your overall progress and the icons will help you see any areas not completed.
• Come back as often as needed to complete the survey. All data is saved as you go.
• In order to access results when they are released this spring, participants must complete all required questions and a minimum 75 percent of the survey.

If you would like to learn more and see a demonstration of how to use this survey tool, the NCMGMA is offering a webinar tomorrow, Thursday, Dec. 19 from noon to 1 p.m.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 413 840 249

One Tap Mobile
US (New York)

If you have questions, first reference the Support page accessed via a link in the upper right-hand corner of the platform website. If you are still in need of further assistance, please contact NCMGMA Support at

In the News

Your Guide to a Healthier, Happier 2020, The Advisory Board Forum, 12-16-19

Learning Opportunity

Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) is offering a free regional Advances in Cancer Immunotherapy™ (ACI) program on Thursday, Jan. 23 from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Charlotte. This flyer offers more information. Register now.


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