NCMS Morning Rounds 6-20-19

Here is your Thursday NCMS Morning Rounds.

 June 20, 2019

Report from NC AMA Delegation

The NC AMA Delegation made up of John Fagg, MD; Chuck Willson, MD; Mary Ann Contogiannis, MD; Bill Bowman, Jr., MD; Darlyne Menscer, MD; Liana Puscas, MD; NCMS President Tim Reeder, MD, MPH, FACEP; Rebecca Hayes, MD, FAAFP; and delegation chair, Hadley Callaway, MD along with three NCMS senior staff members, attended the AMA’s Annual meeting in Chicago, June 8 to 12.

Delegation Chair, Dr. Callaway, highlighted several discussions of likely interest to NCMS members in his report, including:

  • North Carolina and Michigan were sponsors of Resolution 321 – Physician Health Program Accountability, Consistency, and Excellence in Provision of Service to the Medical Profession, which was adopted by the AMA House of Delegates. The resolutions asks, among other things, that the AMA will “continue to work with and support the Federation of State Physician Health Programs (FSPHP) efforts already underway to design and implement the physician health program review process, Performance Enhancement and Effectiveness Review (PEER™), to improve accountability, consistency and excellence among its state member PHPs. The AMA will partner with the FSPHP to help advocate for additional national sponsors for this project; and the AMA will continue to work with the FSPHP and other appropriate stakeholders on issues of affordability, cost effectiveness, and diversity of treatment options.”
    • The House of Delegates adopted resolutions asking the AMA to advocate for streamlined electronic prescribing, including the ability to cancel prescriptions.
    • A resolution asking that insurance companies collect deductibles and co-pays from the patient on behalf of the provider was defeated. Testimony indicated that insurance companies might divert these monies to premiums or fail to remit the funds to the provider in timely fashion giving too much power to insurance companies. Instead the House of Delegates adopted a resolution that requests better ability to determine the patient’s financial responsibility electronically, so the money could be collected at the time of service.

The House of Delegates also engaged in discussion on several current and often controversial issues, including:

  • The use of vaping and nicotine products generated extensive discussion. AMA policy opposes vaping except as an alternative to smoking for persons already addicted to nicotine.
    • Resolutions asked for regulation of the potency of edible marijuana products. Testimony indicated it is not technically feasible at this time.
    Medicare for All – AMA policy opposes single-payer health insurance and the “public option” as a step toward single-payer. The meeting on this was interrupted by a protest group advocating for Medicare for All. Delegates heard from the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Seema Verma, who spoke strongly against single-payer systems. After extensive discussion, AMA policy remains strongly in opposition to single-payer while preserving support for pluralism and freedom of practice.

To give you some context for the magnitude of this meeting here are some statistics: 2,500 physicians, residents and students from all 50 states and over 115 specialties attended. Over the course of the meeting, 177 resolutions and reports were adopted. Learn more about this gathering and how the AMA adopts its policies.

AHEC Offers Support in Transition to Medicaid Managed Care

The North Carolina Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) have a one-sheet guide to help you and your Medicaid patients as the state transitions its Medicaid program to managed care.

AHEC estimates that 15 percent of Medicaid patients will choose a Prepaid Health Plan (PHP), and over 80 percent will be assigned to an Advanced Medical Home (AMH). The one-sheet handout offers tips to help ensure you maintain relationships with your established Medicaid patients, and establish new relationships with patients who are attributed to your practice who you never may have seen.

Access the tip sheet.

Kudos to Dr. Brooks

Congratulations are in order for Werner Brooks, MD, of Hendersonville, who recently was named Pardee Hospital Foundation Physician of the Year. The award is given to a Pardee physician “whose career has been defined by medical excellence, dedication to compassionate patient care, and a commitment to improving the lives of people throughout the community.” Dr. Brooks was nominated by several of his patients for exemplifying those characteristics.

Congratulations, Dr. Brooks!

In the News

Senators Agree Surprise Medical Bills Must Go. But How?, Kaiser Health News, 6-18-19

Learning Opportunity

Tune in today, Thursday, June 20, at 2 p.m. for a webinar on ‘Maternal Transitions in Care for the Mother-Infant Dyad Affected by Opioid Use.’ The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) are hosting a series of webinars on best practices for managing transitions in obstetric, pediatric, mental health, and addiction medicine care for the mother-infant dyad affected by opioid use disorder. Learn more and register.


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