NCMS Morning Rounds 4-24-19

Welcome to Wednesday!

And your NCMS Morning Rounds….


Introducing Curi—A New Name and a New Mission for Medical Mutual

As of yesterday, the organization that has done business since 1977 as Medical Mutual Insurance Company of North Carolina has a new name: Curi.
Building on Medical Mutual’s longstanding legacy in insurance and wealth management for doctors, the new company’s mission is to help physicians and their families in medicine, business, and life. Learn more.

Read more about the change in this Triangle Business Journal article: Longtime Raleigh Insurance Firm Has New Name, Aims to Double Headcount in 5 Years.

NC HealthConnex News

To keep up with the latest NC Health Information Exchange Authority (NCHIEA) or NC HealthConnex news, the April update is now available. Review this newsletter.

Highlights include:

  • The NC HIEA strategic guide for the next three years, which outlines key focus areas to support improving the health and well-being of North Carolinians. Five strategic areas for 2019-2021 are detailed along with an array of initiatives embedded in each one, and how progress in each will be measured. Review the NC HIEA Roadmap 2021.
    House Bill 70—Delay NC HealthConnex for Certain Providers was recently passed by the NC House and is currently under consideration by the NC Senate. If passed, this bill would make changes to the NC HIE Act some of which will affect the NC HealthConnex connection requirements and deadlines for some health care providers, including one additional year for those who currently fall under the June 1, 2019 deadline to connect to NC HealthConnex: the new required connectivity date for these providers would be June 1, 2020. For psychiatrists, the deadline would be extended to June 1, 2021.
    • Several educational sessions are planned including a webinar on Monday, April 29 at noon. This is the monthly ‘How to Connect’ session where you can learn more about NC HealthConnex and how to connect. Register here.

Get all the NC HealthConnex news for April here.

Medicare Introduces New Primary Care Initiative

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced the CMS Primary Cares Initiative, a new set of payment models designed to transform primary care to deliver better value for patients throughout the health care system. The models were developed by CMS’ Innovation Center and are part of HHS Secretary Alex Azar’s value-based transformation initiative.

The initiative is built on empirical evidence showing that strengthening primary care is associated with higher quality, better outcomes and lower costs within and across major population subgroups. Despite this evidence, primary care spending accounts for a small portion of total cost of care, and is even lower for patients with complex, chronic conditions.

The CMS Primary Cares Initiative will provide primary care practices and other providers with five new payment model options depending on the amount of financial risk the practice can assume. All of the options seek to incentivize providers to reduce hospital utilization and total cost of care by potentially significantly rewarding them through performance-based payment adjustments based on their performance.

Learn more about the CMS Primary Cares Initiative with this fact sheet from CMS.

This article in STAT also gives an overview of the initiative: US Health Officials Unveil Experiment to Overhaul Primary Care.

In the News

Popular media has picked up on the grim statistics around maternal mortality and racial bias. This article talks about a recent episode of ‘The Resident’, a television medical drama, and its handling of the topic based on a real incident.

Dad’s Story Inspires ‘The Resident’ Episode, Revealing Racial Bias in Maternal Mortality, USA Today, 4-15-19

Learning Opportunity

Registration is open for the 2019 Susan Dees Symposium & the North Carolina Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Society Annual Meeting to be held this coming weekend, April 26-28 at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club in Durham. Learn more and register.


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