NCMS Morning Rounds 6-21-19

Enjoy the Summer Solstice and

your Friday NCMS Morning Rounds!

June 21, 2019

Another Eastern NC Practice Receives NCMS Disaster Relief Help

The Pediatric Center in Wilmington was without power for a week after Hurricane Florence last fall. While their building didn’t suffer any structural damage, the practice, which has been serving the area’s children for over 50 years, lost a week’s revenue. This, and the fact that practice leaders felt compelled to pay staff for the time the practice had to be closed, was not covered by any insurance policy. Several staff members lost their homes and one is still in the process of rebuilding.

The NCMS Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund was able to help The Pediatric Center recover and recently, NCMS Director for Member Services, Eastern Region Frank Snyder, proudly presented the practice with a check for $7,500 to help offset its losses. So far, the NCMS Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund has given 14 eastern North Carolina practices recovering from Hurricane Florence approximately $270,000 in grants to help ensure patients can continue receiving much needed medical care.

“Helping practices in eastern North Carolina recover after Hurricane Florence is gratifying and is a clear example of how the NCMS Foundation can make a timely and significant impact on access to care,” said NCMS Foundation President Gerri Mattson, MD, MPH. “In areas where often it is difficult to find health care even in the best of times, our disaster relief assistance means patients will be able to continue seeing their doctor even while the rest of the community may be struggling to rebuild.”

Applications are still being accepted for relief funds. Review the guidelines and how to apply. The fund was initially made possible by generous contributions from individual physicians and PAs in North Carolina and nationally in the wake of Hurricane Florence. Other significant support comes from The Physicians Foundation and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. Please consider a donation to this important source of financial relief for colleagues struck by this and other natural disasters.

Summit Connects Those Fighting Opioid Abuse Epidemic

Last Tuesday and Thursday, more than 800 stakeholders – including NCMS staff, leaders and members — participated in the Governor’s Institute Opioid Misuse & Overdose Prevention Summit in Raleigh

Featured speakers included Governor Roy Cooper, NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Secretary Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH, Attorney General Josh Stein and retired U.S. Navy Admiral James “Sandy” Winnefeld Jr., who tragically lost his son to opioid addiction.

“Since the launch of the Opioid Action Plan in 2017, opioid dispensing has decreased by 24 percent,” Sec. Cohen told the group. “We have seen a 10 percent decline in emergency room overdoses since the original Opioid Action Plan.”

North Carolina has funded peer support specialists in six emergency rooms; launched a medical resiliency training project; improved the state’s prescription drug monitoring system; received new Medicaid flexibilities and payments; introduced public education campaigns; diversified and expanded harm reduction strategies; and trained over 3,000 providers on the safe prescribing of opioids and pain treatment. More work remains to be done, however.

Gov. Cooper unveiled the state’s new plan to combat the crisis, the Opioid Action Plan 2.0.

Attorney General Stein discussed the economic cost of the opioid epidemic and the work the Department of Justice (DOJ) is undertaking. In the spring, DOJ launched the More Powerful campaign in North Carolina.

One way the NCMS is addressing this epidemic is through its Project OBOT, which provides a collaborative approach to help our members treat their patients with opioid use disorder comprehensively and effectively. Learn more.

NCMS Life Member Legends

NCMS staff recognizes the rich history of our Society and the many remarkable individuals who make it so. To highlight some of those who have interesting stories to tell, we are asking our life members to contact us so we can speak with you about your contributions to the profession over the years. By capturing your experiences we hope to enrich the understanding of the practice of medicine in North Carolina.

Please provide your name and a brief summary of an important moment in NC medical history that you were part of; a unique contribution you have made to the profession or to the people of North Carolina; or even a funny or memorable incident involving your colleagues or the NCMS that would offer insight into the practice of medicine in North Carolina. Send your recollections to Elaine Ellis. Depending on the number of responses we get, we will attempt to follow up promptly with a more in-depth interview to be added to our archives and perhaps highlighted in the NCMS Morning Rounds.

Thank you! We’re looking forward to learning more about our life member legends!

In the News

Time to End the ‘Manel’ Tradition, The NIH Director’s Blog, 6-12-19

Learning Opportunity

Reminder: Opportunities to learn about the state’s transition to managed care are still available. On Monday, June 24, there will be a Meet and Greet session in Raleigh from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with health plan representatives and NC Medicaid subject matter experts. Learn more.

Training courses also will continue through July. Here is the line-up:

  • Thursday, June 27 – MCT 109: Healthy Opportunities
    • Thursday, July 11 – MCT 110: Overview of Long-Term Services and Supports Populations
    • Thursday, July 25 – MCT 111: Care Management for Long-Term Services and Supports Populations

Learn more and register for these courses.

The NC Medicaid Managed Care webpage also has the most up-to-date information and resources for NCMS physicians and PAs.


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