NCMS Morning Rounds — 7-25-19

It’s Thursday and time for your

 NCMS Morning Rounds.

July 25, 2019

More on Opioid Epidemic in North Carolina

The results of a recent study of data from over 3,000 counties nationwide classified 412 counties as “opioid high risk” or having higher than the national rate of 12.5 opioid related deaths per 100,000 people, and lower than the national rate of 9.7 providers of medication assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorders per 100,000 residents. In North Carolina, 41 of the state’s 100 counties were classified as ‘high risk.’ Review the study findings and data.

The analysis found that counties in the South Atlantic, Mountain and East North Central regions of the US had more than twice the odds of being at high risk for opioid overdose mortality and lacking in capacity to deliver medications for opioid use disorder. Areas where that risk was lower tended to have a higher density of primary care clinicians, a younger population and lower rates of unemployment, according to the study.

State officials are keenly aware of the statistics opioid epidemic in North Carolina. Last April, the state received a $12 million federal grant for opioid abuse prevention, access to treatment for those with opioid use disorder and to build mechanisms to connect individuals to the care they need. This grant is in addition to $54 million from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). State figures show that an estimated 450,000 North Carolinians – 1 out of every 20 — are living with an opioid use disorder.

On Monday, Governor Roy Cooper signed HB 325 – The Opioid Epidemic Response Act into law. This law is intended to help increase access to MAT and expand harm reduction measures like syringe exchange programs to reduce opioid overdose and opioid use disorder related deaths.

Read more about the state’s plans to combat this epidemic in its North Carolina Opioid Action Plan 2.0.

NCMS Plan Wellness Summit

For practices enrolled in the NCMS Plan this year’s Wellness Summit will offer two invigorating days to learn how to foster an environment conducive to you and your colleagues’ wellness. The Summit is free to NCMS Plan practices and will be held in Raleigh on Oct. 17-18. Register here.

At the Summit you will learn techniques to enhance your well-being not only in your workplace, but also throughout your life. If you need additional reasons to attend, here is a video outlining five more.

The NCMS Employee Benefit Plan is the only statewide employee benefit plan designed specifically for North Carolina physicians. It offers a unique combination of health, life and dental programs regardless of your practice’s size or employee benefit budget. Learn more here.

Get the Data on Health Care Spending and Medicare

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), the nonpartisan legislative branch agency that provides the U.S. Congress with analysis and policy advice on the Medicare program, recently released its databook on health care spending and the Medicare program. Included in the databook is information on Medicare spending, demographics of the Medicare population, beneficiaries’ access to care and quality of care in the program. You can access the publication here.

In the News

Physicians Warn of Vaccine Delay in Upcoming Flu Season, Becker’s Hospital Review, 7-24-19

Learning Opportunity

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) along with the Physician Compare support team are hosting two one-hour webinars on the 2017 Quality Payment Program performance information recently published on Physician Compare. Learn more about the Physician Compare Initiative. The webinars will share background information about Physician Compare and provide information on the 2017 performance information recently added to Physician Compare profile pages for Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) eligible clinicians and groups and ACOs. Both webinars cover the same information. Registration deadline is Monday, July 29.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019 at 11 am – Register for this session
Thursday, August 1, 2019 at 3 pm – Register for this session


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