NCMS Morning Rounds 7-16-19

The new week is underway — enjoy Tuesday’s

 NCMS Morning Rounds.

July 16, 2019

Medicaid Managed Care Enrollment Launched

Enrollment in Medicaid managed care has begun for Medicaid beneficiaries in the Triad and Triangle areas. In an opening day webcast yesterday afternoon, NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Secretary Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH and other NCDHHS staff outlined this first phase for the rollout of this massive new program and answered questions from Medicaid providers and stakeholders.

“Any change of this magnitude is going to come with some bumps,” Cohen cautioned several times, encouraging any practice or beneficiary who encounters problems to reach out through the various troubleshooting avenues so her staff can address them. She also stated that while NC DHHS is moving forward with the scheduled rollout of phase one, the debate over passage of a budget at the General Assembly could impact its continuation. While the implementation currently is underway without a final budget in place, Cohen said “there will be a time when we need a budget” to move forward, estimating that time would come at the end of the summer. She assured listeners that NCDHHS would notify them of any change in the rollout timeline.

So far 200,000 enrollment notices have been mailed to Medicaid beneficiaries in the phase one area in and around the Triangle and Triad. Enrollment brokers are staffing a call-center (833-870-5500) daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., to answer questions about the new Medicaid enrollment process, selecting a health plan from the four options now available and to troubleshoot any problems that arise.

As of yesterday, the first day of enrollment for phase one counties, the call center had handled 1,120 calls, the new website ( had nearly 3,000 visits and 160 people had downloaded the mobile app (NC Medicaid Managed Care) on an Apple or Android device.

Cohen stressed that beneficiaries would have plenty of opportunity to find the plan and physician or PA that best serves their needs as the physician and provider networks mature in the coming weeks and months. Open enrollment will continue through Sept. 13. Auto-assignment for those beneficiaries who have not selected a plan will begin Sept. 16, with benefits becoming effective on Nov. 1. However, beneficiaries can still change their health plan after Nov. 1, Cohen said.

Review the information from the webcast including troubleshooting resources for physician practices and beneficiaries.

Confused by Alternative Payment Models? Here’s a Helpful Resource

If you are overwhelmed by the many facets of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), the Quality Payment Program (QPP), the multitude of Alternative Payment Models (APM) and the alphabet soup of acronyms that go along with this move to value, now there is a place to go for help. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center has created a central online location where everything is organized enabling a better understanding of all the options for participation. Visit this useful resource.

The bottom line is you may earn incentive payments by sufficient participation in APMs, so it behooves practices to understand the variety of choices.

Welcome to First Caduceus Society Member – All Points Wealth Management

The NCMS Foundation is pleased to announce that Andrew Bernstein, JD, CFP and his team at All Points Wealth Management are the first to join the newly created Caduceus Society, a membership for corporations and organizations. This giving society has been created to strengthen relationships with the corporate community and grow funding for initiatives that support the philanthropic missions of the Foundation and Society. Bernstein and his team understand the unique burdens physicians face like student loans and later entry into the workforce and, for over a decade, have been helping them plan their financial journey.

Welcome Andrew and All Points! Learn more about the Caduceus Society.

In the News

State Gun Laws and Pediatric Firearm-related Mortality, Pediatrics, July 2019

Learning Opportunity

Caregivers Summit, Tuesday, Aug. 20, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Friday Conference Center in Chapel Hill. Whether you or your patients or their family members are caregivers this day-long gathering offers useful insights and practical resources. Learn more and register.


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