NCMS Morning Rounds 4-18-19

Here’s your Thursday NCMS Morning Rounds!

Physician Presence at the General Assembly This Week

Legislators had plenty of opportunity to hear the physician perspective on a variety of pending health legislation this week.

On Tuesday, a group of ophthalmologists met with key legislators to discuss their priorities, which included Step Therapy (HB450—Reduce Barriers to NC Health and Safety); Ocular Melanoma Research (S297 – Cancer Research Advisory Panel); and an important bill to increase access to care for low-income North Carolinians (HB655-NC Health Care for Working Families).

On Wednesday, NCMS Board members came out in force. NCMS President Timothy J. Reeder, MD, MPH, FACEP, along with Region 3 representative Art Apolinario, MD, MPH, FAAFP and at-large board member Eileen Raynor, MD, FACS, FAAP all met with select legislators to discuss the NCMS’ priorities – including HB655-NC Health Care for Working Families.

The NCMS welcomes you to come to Raleigh to see the legislative process in action and to discuss important policies under consideration with your elected representatives. You may sign up for a White Coat Wednesday, or, if Wednesdays are not a good time for you, please contact NCMS Assistant Director of Legislative Relations Sue Ann Forrest at or 919-833-3836 to arrange another time to visit. In the meantime, please consider setting up an appointment with your legislator while they’re home in their district this week and next. Check out the NCMS’ position on important bills anytime on our Legislative Blog.

Valuable Resource for NCMS Members

The NCMS is involved in the Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI) (NCMS CEO Robert W. Seligson, MBA, MA, serves as PAI president), and therefore has access to its many resources, especially around the move to value and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Quality Payment Program.

Under the federal MACRA legislation, most practices that accept Medicare must participate in this program. PAI offers a new tool to figure out where your practice fits in the criteria in its latest newsletter.

Access this tool and read PAI’s take on the QPP experience report for year 1 in its update for April.

Data Dive: Opioid Related Deaths in NC

The state recently released its latest data on opioid related deaths and emergency department visits. Access the data here.

A few key numbers:

  • There are currently 1,584 confirmed opioid-related poisoning deaths for 2018.
    • Opioid-related poisoning deaths increased by 27.8 percent in 2017 (2,025) compared to 2016 (1,584).
    • 45.7 percent of autopsies performed in 2017 have been confirmed as poisonings and 39.8 percent of autopsies performed in 2018 have been confirmed as poisonings.

In the News

Self-Care is a ‘Necessity’ for Doctors, Expert Says, MedPage Today, 4-15-19

Learning Opportunity

The Western Carolina Medical Society is offering a ‘Healthy Healer Retreat’ on Saturday, May 4 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Anderson Auditorium in Montreat, NC. The focus will be on improving workplace communication to successfully overcome challenging situations and share your ideas for workplace improvement. Susan Mims, MD, a local physician who is experienced in teaching workplace communication tools, will be leading this interactive workshop. Attendance is free for WCMS members; $20 for non-members. Register here.


NCMS Morning Rounds will not be published tomorrow, Friday, April 19. The NCMS offices will be closed for Good Friday. We wish those who celebrate Easter and Passover a very happy holiday! NCMS Morning Rounds will return on Monday.


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