NCMS Morning Rounds 7-12-19

Happy Friday! Enjoy your

NCMS Morning Rounds.

July 12, 2019

$20K Disaster Relief Check Delivered to Jacksonville Practice

NCMS Director of Member Services, Eastern Region, Frank Snyder, recently was pleased to present a $20,000 check to Wesley F. Hambright, MD, to help in his practice’s recovery from Hurricane Florence. Dr. Hambright’s independent solo ob-gyn and infertility practice in Jacksonville suffered wind and rain damage to its roof due to last fall’s storm.

The money to help Dr. Hambright is just the latest in what so far totals $270,063 distributed by the NCMS Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund throughout eastern North Carolina in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. This help is possible thanks to the generous contributions from physicians, physician assistants and other individuals both in North Carolina and nationally, and through support of The Physicians Foundation and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.

“We are fortunate due to the generosity of The Physician’s Foundation and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina to be able to continue to support practices that suffered losses during the hurricane,” said Gerri L. Mattson, MD, MSPH, FAAP, president of the NCMS Foundation Board of Trustees. “These practices are vital to the health of those local communities. This work is central to our Foundation’s mission to help ensure access to care across the state.”

So far, 14 individual disaster relief grants ranging from $2,500 to $60,000 have gone to practices in areas hardest hit by Hurricane Florence in Whiteville, Wilmington, Morehead City, Burgaw, Goldsboro, Jacksonville and Angier. Five more awards totaling $42,500 have been approved by the NCMS Foundation’s Disaster Relief Grant Review Committee and will be distributed to those practices in July. As recovery efforts drag on, applications for Disaster Relief funds from the NCMS Foundation are still being accepted.

Access the guidelines and application form.

Surprise Billing Up for Discussion in US House Commitee

The US House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health took up H.R. 3630, the ‘No Surprises’ Act, yesterday morning. We have been watching this and other bills before Congress that seek to address the payment disputes that can arise between physicians and insurers when patients are ‘surprised’ to receive a bill for services from physicians they were unaware were out-of-network.

The Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI), with which the NCMS works closely, has several resources to help you more fully understand the issue and what is being proposed on Capitol Hill. Review PAI’s one-sheet, ‘The Facts About Surprise Medical Bills.’

A central sticking point in the discussions is how rates would be established when a payment dispute arises. The PAI and the American Medical Association (AMA) oppose setting rates at the median in-network amount, opting instead for an independent dispute resolution process and establishing benchmark rates that are fair to all stakeholders in the private market and that include actual local charges as determined through an independent claims database.

While the full House Committee on Energy and Commerce is expected to take up this bill before the end of the month, two other committees must review it – the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Education and Labor Committee – so the debate will no doubt continue as the various proposals make their way through the legislative process. Watch your NCMS Morning Rounds for updates.

Dr. Murphy Wins Primary

NCMS member Rep. Greg Murphy, MD, a Greenville urologist and NC representative from Pitt County, won Tuesday’s primary for the Republican nomination in North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District. This is the seat that was held by Walter B. Jones, Jr., from 1995 until his death last February at age 76. Murphy will now face off in the General Election on Sept. 10 against Democrat Allen Thomas, Libertarian Tim Harris and Constitution Party candidate Greg Holt.

For more details, read the Raleigh News & Observer‘s article on the primary.

In the News

After Limits on Residency Work Hours, Did Doctors Perform Worse? New Study Says No, STAT, 7-11-19

Learning Opportunity

The Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement’s (PCPI) 2019 Conference, “The Quality Landscape: Charting the Course for Success,” will be held Nov. 10-12 in Chicago, IL. This year’s conference is focused on population and patient-centered care and utilizing data for maximum impact. It will feature a range of talks, discussions, and networking opportunities on furthering the reaches of quality with experts and thought leaders in measurement, registries, and quality improvement.
Learn more and register.


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