NCMS Morning Rounds — 8-2-19

Happy Friday!

Here’s your NCMS Morning Rounds.

Aug. 2, 2019

Reminder: The NCMS Does Not Make Referrals

Recently, NCMS staff has seen an uptick in the number of calls from patients seeking referrals to physicians. The NCMS does not make such referrals or recommendations.

If you are closing your practice or terminating your relationship with a patient, please access the NC Medical Board’s comprehensive guide to how to manage both of those scenarios. The Physician’s Guide to Closing a Medical Practice offers sample communications as well as outlines your obligations to patients around their continuing care and medical records. Access that document here.

New Resource in Prescribing Buprenorphine or Buprenorphine + Naloxone

The NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) has released a new resource for physicians and physician assistants on treating opioid use disorder with buprenorphine or buprenorphine + Naloxone. The 4-page reference outlines who can prescribe these treatments and the accepted practices for prescribing them in both the in-patient and out-patient settings. The document also touches on concerns around using these drugs as Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) to treat opioid use disorder. Review the document.

The NCMS Foundation’s Project OBOT offers waiver training for physicians who would like to offer MAT. The initiative also offers a platform that allows physicians and PAs to collaborate with everyone involvedin the patient’s care to help ensure successful treatment. Project OBOT includes access to telemedicine and a special pharmacy card to help defray the cost of treatment for patients. Learn more about Project OBOT.

Another Benefit for NCMS Plan Members

The NCMS Plan is pleased to announce participation in a new Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC pilot program created in collaboration with the YMCA of the Triangle, the NC Alliance of YMCAs and the NCMS Foundation. The pilot program will provide qualifying Triangle-area NCMS Plan members with YMCA Medical Memberships, a first-of-its-kind community integrated health collaboration.

The three-year, $1.5 million investment in the pilot program will provide eligible members with a bundle of services, which include:

  • Subsidized YMCA Medical Membership that provides access to state-of-the-art fitness equipment and group exercise classes in all YMCA locations in the Triangle (Wake, Durham, Chatham, Orange, Lee, and Johnston counties) for Blue Cross NC group and individual lines of business. Blue Cross NC will pay a portion of an individual’s membership. The YMCA will waive joining fees for participants in the pilot program. Medical members will pay a $25 co-pay each month during the length of their evidence-based program.
    • Medical Memberships will be prescribed to patients who have an identified health risk or clinical diagnosis such as pre-diabetes, hypertension, adult and child weight management needs, cancer or the risk of falls due to age or illness.
    • YMCA evidence-based programs include: Moving for Better Balance, Diabetes Prevention Program, Healthy Weight and Your Child, LIVESTRONG at the Y, Weight Management Program and Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring.
    • Coordination with members’ care teams through qualified YMCA staff members who will help patients reach their health and wellness goals and communicate progress with their physicians. This is made possible by the NCMS Foundation’s Our Community Health Initiative (OCHI). Learn more about OCHI.

The YMCA will begin taking referrals immediately with programs starting in the fall. Learn more about the YMCA’s medical memberships.

In the News

In a 1st, Doctors in US Use Crispr Tool to Treat Patient with Genetic Disorder, NPR, 7-29-19

Learning Opportunity

Research indicates people who are struggling with thoughts of suicide are increasingly turning to their faith communities and faith leaders for help and support, even before they will seek care from mental health professionals. The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention is offering a free webinar on Aug. 20 at 2 p.m. titled ‘Partnering with Faith Communities to Promote Faith, Hope and Life.’ The webinar will address the role faith leaders and communities play as key partners in suicide prevention and how to implement community-based suicide prevention efforts. Learn more and register.


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