PO Box 27167
Raleigh, NC 27611
Tel: (919) 833-3836
Fax: (919) 833-2023
Feb. 24, 2015 |  view this message as a web page

In this edition:

South Carolina Physicians Must Meet New CME Course Requirement by June 30
Reprinted with permission from the South Carolina Medical Association

CME for Prescribing and Monitoring Controlled Substances:
Mandatory for All South Carolina Licensed Physicians by the SC Legislature
Available at No Cost for our Physician Community

The South Carolina Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP), also known as Senate Bill 840, was signed into law on June 6, 2014. Through this statute, South Carolina licensed physicians are required to obtain two continuing medical education credit hours related to the approved procedures of prescribing and monitoring controlled substances listed in Schedules II, III, and IV.

As outlined by the legislature, the two hour requirement must be met before the end of the current license renewal cycle which is June 30, 2015 and the SCMA is approved by statute to offer this course.

The SCMA recognizes the critical need for more education on prescription abuse and monitoring in our state. Because our leadership knows it is important for physicians to be at the forefront of understanding the complexities of this law, immediately after understanding this new requirement, the SCMA developed an approved CME course designed specifically for South Carolina licensed physicians.

To make adherence to this requirement easier for our physician community, the SCMA is offering this approved course on prescribing and monitoring controlled substances for free to SC licensed physicians.

To receive your two CME credit hours prior to June 30, please visit: www.scmedical.org/content/mycmehome. Click Take a CME Course, follow the prompts to register, complete the course, and print a CME certificate for your records.

SCMA will send this important information to all South Carolina licensed physicians by U.S. Mail in the next few weeks. For questions, please contact our Director of Education, Sharron Kelley, by email at s.kelly@scmedical.org or phone at 1-800-327-1027, extension 173 or directly at 803-612-4104.

Top of page

North Carolina Advocacy Update

Members of the North Carolina General Assembly (NCGA) convened briefly in Raleigh earlier this month to complete organizational work that included selecting leaders for both chambers. Rep. Tim Moore (Cleveland) was selected as House Speaker and Sen. Phil Berger (Guilford, Rockingham) was again selected as Senate President Pro Tempore. The legislative session got underway in earnest on Jan. 28.

Committee assignments for the 2015-2016 session were announced on Wednesday, Jan. 28. On the House side, Rep. Nelson Dollar (Wake) was again named Senior Chairman on Appropriations and Vice Chairman on Health. Rep. Donny Lambeth (Forsyth) was named Chairman on Appropriations and also on Health. Lambeth is also a member of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services. Rep. Marilyn Avila (Wake) was named Vice Chairman on Appropriations, Chairman on Appropriations, Health and Human Services, and Vice Chairman on Health. On the Senate side, Sen. Tommy Tucker (Union) will play a bigger role in health policy and appropriations. Tucker was named Co-Chairman on Appropriations on Health and Human Services and Co-Chairman on Health Care.

Key issues for North Carolina physicians in this legislative session include:

  • Advocating for a physician-led Medicaid program
  • Stopping harmful Medicaid rate cuts
  • Protecting the medical liability reform gains of 2011

CC-AACE members interested in participating in our White Coat Wednesday program, presented jointly with the North Carolina Medical Society, are encouraged to contact us at endocrin@ncmedsoc.org. The White Coat Wednesday program brings physicians to Raleigh for briefings, meetings with legislators, and a taste of how our state’s General Assembly functions. These events are held on Wednesdays, but physicians are welcome on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays – the weekdays when the legislature is in session. If you can’t make it to Raleigh, but you are interested in meeting locally with your legislators, please let us know and we will help make that happen.

Top of page

South Carolina Medical Association Issues a Call to Action: APRN Bill
Reprinted with permission from the South Carolina Medical Association

Physician Supported House Bill 3508, related to continued physician supervision of APRNs to ensure quality health care, has been scheduled for a hearing on March 4, 2015. The South Carolina Medical Association is calling on ALL PHYSICIANS to SHOW UP to support H.3508.

Last week, a subcommittee of the 3M Committee met to discuss H. 3078, a bill that seeks independent practice for APRNs in South Carolina, and a bill strongly opposed by the South Carolina Medical Association. The bill did not make it out of the subcommittee.

The SCMA has just learned that our bill, H.3508 sponsored by Rep. Murrell Smith, Rep. Phyllis Henderson, and others, will be brought before a 3M Subcommittee on March 4, 2015. The SCMA needs as many physicians present as possible both at the State House on the morning of March 4 to speak to your legislators and in the hearing to show support for our bill.

Physicians MUST GET INVOLVED! Please visit the SCMA website for the latest news, talking points and contact information.

Questions: For questions regarding this issue, we encourage you to reach out to the South Carolina Medical Association at news@scmedical.org or by phone at 1-800-327-1021.

Top of page

The New BCBSNC “Estimate Health Care Costs” Website Provides Cost Estimates for Various Procedures. But How Accurate is the Data?

North Carolina physicians: Please take a few minutes to browse this new website and let us know about any inaccuracies and/or discrepancies. In an effort to improve health care costs transparency, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) recently launched a new online costs estimator. Health care consumers can use the site to compare the cost of various procedures within a geographic range simply by entering the type of treatment, their location and the search range in miles. We are looking into this issue at the request of physicians who are concerned with the accuracy of the data presented. Please email your feedback to the CC-AACE at endocrin@ncmedsoc.org, or contact us at 919-833-3836.

Top of page

NCMS Responds To Proposed ACO Program Changes
Reprinted with permission from the North Carolina Medical Society

The North Carolina Medical Society’s (NCMS) ACO Task Force finalized their comments on proposed changes to the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) and submitted them to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) on Wednesday. Review the comments here (PDF).

Generally, the Task Force found CMS’ proposals to be a positive step to encourage more practices to participate in, and continue to participate in the MSSP, although there were some concerns outlined in the comments. CMS released the draft rule on the MSSP for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) on Dec.1, and proposed a number of modifications, including:

  • Allowing for an additional 3 year agreement period containing no downside risk but with a lower shared savings payment potentials (40 percent);
  • Adding a third track with prospective patient attribution and greater risk and savings potential;
  • Updating the Minimum Savings Rate and Minimum Loss Rate for Track 2 to mirror Track 1;
  • Changing the beneficiary assignment methodology;
  • Clarifying some ambiguities in the rule;
  • Improving data sharing and reducing administrative burden.

Top of page

NC Doctors’ Day 2015

March 30, National Doctors’ Day, is a time to recognize and celebrate the hard work of physicians – all of the many medical specialties make up a remarkable community, coming together as one to help and heal patients. The observance dates back to 1933 and was officially established by Congress in 1990.

Now the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) is beginning a new, homegrown tradition with North Carolina Doctors’ Day. To mark the event, NCMS is sponsoring the 2015 North Carolina Doctor of the Year Award, allowing patients and the public to honor our state’s physicians who are:

  • Passionate about keeping patients happy and healthy
  • Experts in using life-changing treatments to give patients the best care
  • And making a positive impact in the community

See more at: www.ncdoctorsday.org/

Top of page

April 14, ICD-10 CM Workshop in Greenville, S.C.

This class will cover ICD-10 CM guidelines and coding case exercises for outpatient physician services diagnosis coding. This class is recommended for experienced coders and any clinical personnel who are involved in tracking patient care.  This workshop is not approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(TM).  Sponsored By: S.C. Office of Rural Health. 

Top of page

Rep. Ellmers Reintroduces the Flex-IT Act

U.S. Representative Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) introduced The Flexibility in Health IT Reporting (Flex-IT) Act of 2015 (H.R.270) on January 26, 2015. Originally introduced in the 113th Congress, this legislation gives providers the flexibility they need to successfully comply with Meaningful Use requirements. The bipartisan bill was introduced with two Republicans and two Democrats leading as original co-sponsors, including Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Rep. G.T. Thompson (R-Penn.), Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.).

The Flex-IT Act allows providers the option to choose any three-month quarter for an EHR reporting period to qualify for the Meaningful Use Program in 2015, as opposed to a full year. This shortened reporting period would be an important step in addressing the challenges faced by doctors, hospitals and other medical providers while avoiding threats to patient safety due to the rigid reporting period currently in place.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a final rule, which included a provision that requires providers to perform a full-year EHR reporting period in 2015. The full-year reporting rule has sparked much outrage in the health care industry, as evidenced in the low attestation numbers reported last year. CMS reports released in December confirmed that only 4 percent of physicians and less than 35 percent of hospitals achieved Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements.

Top of page

CMS Announces Shorter 90-day Reporting Period for Meaningful Use Attestation

Some welcome news came out of CMS on Jan. 29, when the agency announced its plan to shorten the 2015 reporting period for Meaningful Use from one year to 90 days. Read more about what this means to you and your practice.

Top of page

The Sunshine Act Reporting Period Restart

The second year of data submission under the Sunshine Act began on Feb. 2, 2015. March 31, 2015, is the deadline for all applicable manufacturers and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) to submit corrected 2013 data (if needed) and submit their 2014 data to the Open Payments system. CMS released the first year of Open Payments data on Sept. 30, 2014. We encourage all physicians to review the site and to ensure the accuracy of payments associated with them.

Top of page

2015 Annual Meeting – Save the Date!

Mark your calendar for the 2015 CC-AACE Annual Meeting, August 28-30, Omni Grove Park Inn, Asheville, N.C. For more information on this event, please contact Nancy Lowe, nlowe@ncmedsoc.org, 919-833-3836 ext. 111. For room reservations, call 1-800-438-5800.

Exhibitors: Become a part of the 2015 CC-ACCE Annual Meeting! For details, click here (PDF). The CC-AACE W-9 form is available here (PDF).

Top of page


 This message is a service of The Carolinas Chapter of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists
Privacy Policy | 
Opt Out