NCMS Morning Rounds


Good Morning!

It’s a new week and time for your NCMS Morning Rounds.

Aug. 19, 2019

NCMS Legislative

Yes, the legislature is still in session with several bills of note moving
last week, including:

SB86 –Small Business Health Care Act, which we have been following closely and were able to ensure wouldn’t have an adverse impact on the NCMS’ MEWA health plan. This bill would create opportunities for small employers to provide more health insurance options to their employees. The legislation sits on Governor Cooper’s desk awaiting his signature or veto as of press time.

SB681 – Rural Health Care Stabilization Act establishes a program to provide loans to support eligible hospitals located in rural areas that are in financial crisis. This proposal will move to a conference committee to work out the differences between House and Senate versions. Stay tuned for more on this legislation.

SB458 – PTS Injury Day/Cardiac Task Force/Titus’ Law As often happens this late in the session a number of separate bills are compiled into one. This piece of legislation contains three health care related proposals including making June 27 Post Traumatic Stress Awareness Day; creating a Joint Legislative Task Force on Sudden Cardiac Arrest in student athletes. See our Legislative Blog for more.

In another instance of combining bills, the Birth Center Licensure Act proposal and the Pharmacy Benefit Manager Licensure Act both have been inserted into what was formerly legislation dealing with mini-trucks. Watch for more on the progress of these proposals in upcoming issues of the NCMS Morning Rounds.

Public Health Alert
on Pulmonary Disease and Vaping

The North Carolina Division of Public Health is alerting clinicians to
recent reports of severe pulmonary disease following vaping. Three cases have
been identified in North Carolina since late July; similar cases have been
reported from other states, including Wisconsin, Illinois, California and
Minnesota. The causes of these illnesses are under investigation.

Patients present with respiratory symptoms including cough and shortness of
breath, which may worsen over a period of days or weeks. Other symptoms include
fever, anorexia, fatigue, pleuritic chest pain, nausea, abdominal pain and
diarrhea. The three case patients in North Carolina reported using vape pens
with THC, which is consistent with reports from other states.

Read more about what public health officials know about the clinical findings as well as their recommendations.

If you have questions about the ongoing outbreak, please contact the NC
Division of Public Health at 919-695-2662.

Don’t Forget: Speak
Out About Surprise Billing

With Congress on recess through Labor Day, many members are back home in
their districts, making this a perfect time to connect with them on surprise
billing and pending legislation they will be considering when they return to
Capitol Hill.

‘Surprise billing’ refers to bills that patients incur when they access
out-of-network emergency care or receive unanticipated out-of-network services
at an in-network hospital or facility. The NCMS has joined with other physician
organizations, including the Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI) to promote a
fair, balanced federal solution for “surprise” medical billing, which is best
accomplished by H.R. 3502, bipartisan legislation sponsored by Rep. Raul Ruiz,
MD (D-CA) and Rep. Phil Roe, MD (R-Tenn.), and modeled after New York’s
successful law.

Click here to access a tool that will match you to your members of Congress and enable you to send an email message, post on Twitter or Facebook or call their offices to communicate your strong views about the right approach to solving the surprise billing problem.

Please don’t delay in speaking out to help influence what will undoubtedly be the most important legislation to impact physicians and patients this year. TAKE ACTION NOW!

In the News

State AGs to Congress: Eliminate These 3 Barriers to Opioid Treatment, Becker’s Hospital Review, 8-7-19


The Duke Center for Healthcare Safety and Quality is offering the TeamSTEPPS Master Trainer Course Sept. 26-27 at the University Club in Durham. Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety (TeamSTEPPS) is an evidence-based set of teamwork tools, aimed at optimizing patient outcomes by improving communication and teamwork skills among health care professionals. The Master Training Course is a 2-day in-person course with a train-the-trainer approach. This approach educates participants on the TeamSTEPPS Fundamentals content, provides them with resources for training others, and ensures that they gain the knowledge and training required to implement and coach the behaviors needed to achieve positive results. This course is taught by—and produces—Master Trainers. Learn more and register.


More Posts in Current Legislative Session


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