NCMS Morning Rounds 5-16-19

Another Thursday, another

NCMS Morning Rounds!

NCMS Headquarters Was Busy Yesterday

NCMS Director of Legislative Relations Sue Ann Forrest, MPA, greets physicians at the NCMS headquarters before heading over to the General Assembly to meet with legislators.

In addition to a meeting of the NC Public Health Association, 44 physicians and medical students converged on the NCMS Center for Leadership in Medicine in Raleigh yesterday for a briefing on legislative proposals that could impact their patients. They then walked over to the General Assembly to share their perspectives with legislators. Specialties represented included internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics, ophthalmology and otolaryngology. A large contingent of pediatricians also were at the legislative building yesterday meaning legislators saw a sea of white coats and received the visual message that physicians and PAs advocate on behalf of their patients and their profession.

If you would like to get involved, please sign up for a White Coat Wednesday or contact NCMS Assistant Director of Legislative Relations Sue Ann Forrest to set up a time to visit with your elected officials.

A smaller group of nine pediatricians and ob-gyns also participated in a round table discussion with Gov. Roy Cooper and NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Secretary Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH at the Executive Mansion.

Gov. Cooper asked the physicians about the issues their patients face due to gaps in health insurance coverage as well as how the opioid abuse epidemic has had an impact in their practices. The participants shared stories about the dire consequences of mothers losing Medicaid pregnancy coverage after delivering a baby; the importance of addressing the social determinants of health like transportation, interpretation services, access to mental health providers and care management and how maintaining health insurance coverage for adults without interruption would improve infant and maternal health.

The Governor noted “strong bi-partisan” legislative support to address these issues although he added that there remain “differences in how we get there.” He encouraged the round table participants to talk to their colleagues and elected officials about their experiences and what they see as solutions.

“I feel now is the time for it,” he said.

Thursday Data Dive: Obesity Rates

The map below is based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In summary, the statistics show that more states reported adult obesity rates of 35 percent and higher in 2017 than in 2016—and the highest prevalence of obesity was among adults ages 45-54.

The CDC report stated that race played a significant role in obesity rates, with obesity rates at:
• 38.4% for non-Hispanic blacks;
• 32.6% for Hispanics; and
• 28.6% for non-Hispanic whites.

The risk of obesity was most pronounced among non-Hispanic blacks: In 31 states, at least 35 percent of the non-Hispanic black population identified as obese.

There was also a noticeable difference among adults with varying education levels, with obesity rates at:
• 35.6% for adults without a high school degree or equivalent;
• 32.9% for high school graduates;
• 31.9% for adults with some college; and
• 22.7% for college graduates (CDC Adult Obesity Prevalence Maps).

More Disaster Relief Help from the NCMS Foundation

Pictured l-r: Dennie Underwood, Johnston Pain Management Practice Administrator, Frank Snyder,  Erin Chaney, MD and Scott Johnston, MD.

NCMS Director of Member Services for eastern NC Frank Snyder was pleased to present a $10,000 disaster relief check to Johnston Pain Management in New Bern yesterday. Due to flooding during Hurricane Florence, the practice was closed for seven days last fall.

So far the NCMS Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund has distributed more than $150,000 to help ensure practices in Eastern North Carolina can recover from the lingering effects of Hurricane Florence and continue to provide much needed care to patients in their communities. At least another eight practices are in line for funds in the coming months. Applications for these grants are still being accepted as some practices are still assessing the total financial impact of the storm. If your practice or someone you know is struggling, the funding guidelines and application are available for download at the NCMS website here.

The NCMS Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund exists thanks to generous contributions from individuals, including concerned physicians in North Carolina and nationally, and significant donations from The Physicians Foundation and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. Make a donation to the NCMS Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund.

In the News

North Carolina Awards $9.8 million in Grants to Boost Rural Internet Speeds, WRALTechWire, 5-8-19

Learning Opportunity

Two opportunities remain to meet and greet representatives of the state’s prepaid health plans in the eastern part of the state next week. Sessions will be held on Monday, May 20 in Elizabeth City and Tuesday, May 21 in Wilmington. These meetings offer providers an opportunity to meet with health plan representatives, ask specific questions about provider network participation and Medicaid Managed Care transition. Health Plans and NC Medicaid subject matter experts will be on hand to respond to provider inquiries. Registration is not required. Learn more and see where the sessions will be held in June.


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