NCMS Morning Rounds 5-2-19

Happy Thursday!

Here’s your NCMS Morning Rounds 


Carteret Ob-Gyn Associates with the disaster relief check, l-r, Dr. Thomas Vradelis, Dr. Nicole D’Andrea, Dr. Theresa Johnson and Dr. Shell Garrett-Albaugh, NCMS Director, Member Services, Eastern Region, Frank Snyder.

NCMS Foundations Presents Practice with $40K Check to Aid in Hurricane Recovery

Yesterday, Wednesday, May 1, the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) Foundation was pleased to present Carteret Ob-Gyn Associates in Morehead City with a check for $40,000 to help the medical practice rebuild after the impact of Hurricane Florence last fall.

“We’re so, so grateful that the Medical Society was able to do this for us,” said Nicole D’Andrea, MD, MPH, FACOG, one of the practice’s physicians, noting that while the practice was insured, the deductibles were extremely high and the reimbursements did not come anywhere near the true costs of the disaster. “We’re so appreciative that this check will help us continue to help others in our community.”

While the practice was closed for a full week after Hurricane Florence hit back in September, Carteret Ob-Gyn continued to pay their employees, many of whom were struggling with their own losses. Patients who were near their delivery dates were sent away from the area ahead of the storm, and even though the practice reopened seven days later, some were unable to return for weeks afterward.

Dr. D’Andrea marveled at the generosity and support they received in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane. Their practice manager’s daughter, who lives in Raleigh, parked her truck in a local Home Depot and asked customers to donate generators, water and other needed items that she then transported to Morehead City. She made repeated trips, and Carteret Ob-Gyn Associates served as the distribution point for the donations to community members in need.

“Two, three weeks out we’d have patients come in who were still without electricity or phone,” Dr. D’Andrea recalled. “We’d take them to our back room and say what do you need? Diapers, clothes, water? We were lucky we were able to garner the resources and were so happy to be able to disburse them to the community.”

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. 

“Helping practices like Carteret Ob-Gyn continue to provide care for patients in their community goes to the very core of what the NCMS Foundation is all about – ensuring access to health care in all 100 counties in North Carolina,” said NCMS Foundation Board of Trustees President Gerri Mattson, MD, MSPH. “We are grateful to the many contributors to our Disaster Relief Fund and to the health care team at Carteret Ob-Gyn who persisted through this difficult time. We are honored to help you serve your patients.”

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.

NCMS’ Phelps Selected for NCIOM Membership

The NCMS’ Senior Vice President for Health System Innovation and Deputy General Counsel Melanie Phelps, JD, recently was selected by the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Institute of Medicine (NCIOM) to the prestigious status of membership in the organization. Phelps joins over 150 leaders in health, medicine and policy across North Carolina to receive this honor and partner with the NCIOM to advance health policy for a healthier state.

Phelps has been instrumental in guiding the NCMS’ health innovation work beginning years ago with the formation of the Toward Accountable Care Consortium and Initiative and founding the wildly successful NC Population Health Collaborative. Phelps oversees multiple NCMS Foundation initiatives aimed at improving health throughout the state.

“We are pleased to welcome Melanie to the NCIOM,” said Adam Zolotor, MD, DrPH, president and CEO of the NCIOM. “We look forward to working with all our new members to continue the mission of the Institute, seeking constructive solutions to statewide problems that impede the improvement of health and efficient and effective delivery of health care for all North Carolinians.”

The NCIOM is an independent, quasi-state agency chartered by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1983 to provide balanced, nonpartisan information on issues of relevance to the health of North Carolina’s population. It convenes working groups of knowledgeable and interested individuals to study complex health issues facing the state in order to develop workable solutions to address these issues. The NCIOM also serves an advisory function at the request of the Governor, the General Assembly and/or agencies of state government to assist in the formation of public policy on complex and interrelated issues concerning health and health care for the people of North Carolina.

Congratulations, Melanie!

Otolaryngologists Go To Capitol Hill

A group representing the NC Society of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and the American Academy of Otolaryngology-HNS (AAOHNS) went to Washington, DC last week to participate in the AAOHNS Leadership Forum. The group also visited each North Carolina Senate and House office on Capitol Hill to address issues including:

  • Prior Authorization
    • Patient Safety – Scope of Practice
    • Tobacco Use / Vaping / e-Cigarettes
    • Surprise Billing

North Carolina participants included: Carlton Zdanski, MD, NCSOHNS President; Zainab Farzal, MD, Resident, UNC Chapel Hill and W. Alan Skipper, CAE, NCSOHNS Executive Director.

In the News

A Good Life and A Good Death. What is Palliative Care?, NPR, 4-25-19

Learning Opportunity

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center recently announced the CMS Primary Cares Initiative, a new set of payment models that will provide primary care practices and other providers with five new payment model options. Get more information about the initiative. To learn more, attend one of CMS’ upcoming informational sessions. During the one-hour event, you’ll hear from senior leaders and the team behind Primary Care First about the model aims, requirements, benefits of participation and application next steps.

Informational Session 3: Thursday, May 16 at noon, Register to attend
Informational Session 4: Thursday, May 16t at 3 p.m., Register to attend



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