News and information for NC ob/gyn physicians. March 23, 2018.
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North Carolina
Obstetrical & Gynecological Society

2018 Annual Meeting Info | NC Ob/Gyn Society Online

In this edition:

Join us in Asheville for the
2018 Annual Meeting
of the NC Ob/Gyn Society and the NC Section of ACOG.

Program and online registration available here.


GOPAC - the political action committee of NC ob/gyns - needs your support.

Kate Menard Urges Support for Levels of Maternal Care

Dr. Kate Menard, President of the NC Ob/Gyn Society, urged the NC Child Fatality Task Force’s (CFTF) continued support of a study bill that directs the NC DHHS to assess timely and equitable access to high quality risk-appropriate maternal and neonatal care. In a presentation delivered to the CFTF on March 7, Dr. Menard underscored the critical importance of early risk-appropriate prenatal care. Her presentation included an overview of the ACOG/SMFM consensus statement on Levels of Maternal Care, which she encouraged the state to take into consideration. The CFTF approved the recommendation to continue its support of the study bill.

At the March meeting, the CFTF also approved a recommendation that the CFTF support legislation aimed at adding Pompe, Mucopolysaccharidosis type I (MPS I) and X-linked Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD/XALD) to North Carolina’s newborn screening panel. The conditions were added to the federal Recommended Uniform Screening Panel (RUSP) by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services in 2015 and 2016, but are not currently part of the newborn screening panel in NC.

The CFTF also approved a recommendation to support a funding request of $100,000 for the Perinatal Quality Collaborative of NC's (PQCNC) birth certificate initiative. Dr. Martin McCaffrey, a UNC neonatologist, presented an update on PQCNC’s birth certificate initiative. Funding would provide for the development of a Birth Certificate Dashboard, a meeting of stakeholders and birth certificate registrars, regional trainings, and personnel.

The CFTF is a legislative study commission that examines the causes of child death and makes recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly on how to reduce child death, prevent abuse and neglect, and support the safety and well-being of children. The CFTF was created in 1991 by state statute as part of the broader statewide Child Fatality Prevention System. Since 1991, the child death rate has decreased by 45%.

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NC Ob/Gyns Advance Federal Legislative Priorities at the ACOG’s 2018 Congressional Leadership Conference

A 13-member delegation represented North Carolina ob/gyns at the ACOG’s 2018 Congressional Leadership Conference (CLC), March 11-13, in Washington, DC. The annual advocacy event is an opportunity for ob/gyn physicians to discuss priority federal legislative issues with members of the U.S. Congress and their staff. Key issues addressed this year included maternal mortality and Medicaid preservation.

Maternal Mortality: The ACOG is asking federal legislators to cosponsor bills that aim to reverse America’s rising rates of maternal mortality. Specifically, H.R. 1318, the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act, and S. 1112, the Maternal Health Accountability Act can help improve the health and safety of pregnant women, and save families from devastating losses, by investing in local maternal mortality review committees (MMRCs). MMRCs are essential to understanding maternal deaths and identifying opportunities for prevention, yet up to 17 states still have not yet established an MMRC. North Carolina’s MMRC was established in 2015 (HB 465/S.L. 2015-62). Resources from ACOG:

Medicaid Preservation: Medicaid is the pathway to jobs and financial stability for women and girls. Girls enrolled in Medicaid as children are more likely to attend college and experience upward mobility. ACOG urges Congress to reject any proposals that would shift costs to states, limit eligibility, or cut services will have a disproportionate negative impact on low‐income women. Resources from ACOG:

Visit the ACOG website for additional information regarding federal legislative issues of interest to ob/gyn physicians.

ACOG’s CLC is a three-day advocacy event held annually in Washington, DC. The program schedule includes in-depth legislative and political training sessions, key legislative updates, featured speakers, social and networking opportunities, meetings with members of Congress and their staff, and an Ob-GynPAC reception. The 2018 CLC included more than 15 hours of CME-accredited programming. This year’s featured speakers included Ana Navarro, GOP Strategist and Political Contributor to CNN, ABC News and Telemundo; Dr. Wanda Barfield, Rear Admiral, US Public Health Service and Director, Division of Reproductive Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion; and Dr. Anne Schuchat, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among others.

2018 North Carolina CLC Delegation:

  • Clayton A. Alfonso, MD (Durham)
  • John R. Allbert, MD (Charlotte)
  • Elizabeth Kathleen Borders, MD (Shelby)
  • Haywood L. Brown, MD (Durham)
  • Melissa P. Cisa, MD (Durham)
  • Charlotte R. Gamble, MD (Durham)
  • Jennie J. Hauschka, MD (Charlotte)
  • Lydia M. Jeffries, MD (Asheville)
  • Nell B. Johnson, MD (Winston-Salem)
  • Robin D. Matthews, MD (Clyde)
  • Wanda K. Nicholson, MD (Chapel Hill)
  • Lorene A. Temming, MD (Charlotte)
  • W. Alan Skipper, CAE (Raleigh)

CLC participants pose with Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis outside the US Capitol Building during the 2018 CLC.

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NC Maternal Mortality Review Committee Update

North Carolina’s Maternal Mortality Review Committee members, Specialty Consultants and partnership with NC DHHS (State Center for Health Statistics and Women’s Health Branch) continue to work diligently toward confirming those deaths reported as pregnancy related and/or associated each year. In a report released last month by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), its findings are based on data submitted by nine states. North Carolina was one of the states asked to contribute its data. It found that 6/10 pregnancy-related deaths are preventable and offers the first-ever prevention recommendations based on review committee findings. This shows the value of review committees and the role they can plan in turning the tide on maternal mortality in the U.S.

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Introducing Early Check, a Research Study to Screen Newborns for Rare Conditions

Starting later this year, Early Check, a voluntary, statewide research study, will invite pregnant women and new mothers from throughout North Carolina to have their newborn tested for rare conditions not included in the state newborn screening program. The goal will be to learn about rare health conditions and look for better treatments to help babies who have them. The study is funded by NIH and collaborators include UNC, Duke, Wake Forest/Baptist, RTI International, and the North Carolina State Newborn Screening Laboratory. Although OB-GYNs will not need to recruit participants, we want you to be aware of the study in case you get questions from patients. We will share more updates with you as we receive them from RTI.

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Eleanor Greene Participates in NCMS Leadership College Program

Congratulations to Dr. Eleanor Greene (High Point) on being selected to participate in the NC Medical Society’s Leadership College Program. Dr. Greene practices with Triad Women’s Health and Wellness Center in High Point. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Piedmont Health Services and Sickle Cell Agency and as a member of the NC Advisory Committee on Cancer Coordination and Control. She is also Past President of the NC Medical Board. Dr. Greene is among 20+ scholars selected for the Leadership College’s Class of 2018. Selection for Leadership College participation is competitive, with more applicants than there are seats available in the year-long program.

You, too, can enhance your leadership skills by taking part in an NCMS leadership development program. The Kanof Institute for Physician Leadership is currently accepting applications for two exciting leadership development programs: the Leadership College and the Health Care Leadership and Management Program (HCLM).

The NCMS Leadership College builds and enhances physician and PA leadership skills and equips graduates to become more influential in motivating leaders in their medical practice settings and their communities. Ob/gyns interested in a letter of nomination from the NC Ob/Gyn Society should contact Denna Suko at, or 919-833-3836. Partial sponsorship may be available to Society members in good standing. Applications for Leadership College are due July 30, 2018.

The NCMS Health Care Leadership and Management (HCLM) Program provides a critical framework for physicians based on economics, finance and leadership development. With this framework, graduates are provided the necessary vocabulary for the business realm and are equipped to take on greater leadership positions in their career. The curriculum is designed with greater emphasis on deeper leadership development and skills that include strategic planning, negotiation and financial literacy and application. Applications for HCLM are due August 31, 2018.

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Lukes, Steiner Recognized as Triangle Region's 2018 Health Care Heroes

Congratulations to Dr. Andrea Lukes and Dr. Anne Steiner on being named among the Triangle Business Journal’s 2018 Health Care Heroes. Each year, the Triangle Business Journal honors Triangle-area individuals and organizations that are “putting innovation and compassion to work to improve the human condition.” The 17th Annual Health Care Heroes Awards were presented on March 8, at the Prestonwood Country Club in Cary. For more information, visit the TBJ website.

Andrea Lukes, MD, Health Decisions - Dr. Lukes established the Carolina Women's Research & Wellness Center (CWRWC) after completing 10 years at Duke University Medical Center (DUMC). She received her bachelor’s degree in religion from Duke University (1988), followed by a combined medical degree and master’s degree in statistics from Duke University (1994). She then completed her ObGyn residency at UNC (1988). While on faculty at DUMC, she co-founded and served as the Director of Gynecology for the Women’s Hemostasis and Thrombosis Clinic. She participated in research programs supported by the NIH and CDC, as well as conducting multiple industry sponsored FDA trials. She continues to actively consult with industry regarding development and implementation of research protocols, including communications and presentations to the FDA. She has participated in over 75 FDA approved clinical studies.

Anne Steiner, MD, UNC Health Care - Dr. Steiner is a Professor in the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Dr. Steiner received her MPH from the UNC School of Public Health in 2003. Her MD degree was awarded magna cum laude from Emory University School of Medicine in 1998. Dr. Steiner completed both her internship and residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at UNC. Prior to her appointment at UNC, she was a Fellow in the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Dr. Steiner's research focuses on reproductive aging, antimüllerian hormone (AMH), and predictors of fertility and infertility. She recently completed Time to Conceive, a prospective, time-to-pregnancy cohort study, which enrolled over 750 women ages 30-44, and she is the primary investigator for the UNC site of the Reproductive Medicine Network.

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2018 NC Child Health Report Card

“Most kids in North Carolina are in EXCELLENT or VERY GOOD HEALTH, but this varies by income level,” according to the 2018 NC Child Health Report Card released this month by NC Child and the NC Institute of Medicine. This year’s report includes data on healthy births, access to care, financial and physical security, and health risk factors. The report calls on stakeholders to enhance financial security for families through programs and policies that promote job creation, improve education, and examine the impact of tax and wage policies.

NC Birth Data - The report offers a mixed bag with regard to NC birth data. Big reductions were seen in births to teen girls ages 15-19 (-31.4%), babies born to women who smoke (-16%) and babies who are born before 37 weeks of pregnancy (-9.6%). However, some measures saw increases; pregnancy-related deaths per 100,000 live births increased by 12.4% and the number of babies who are born at a low birthweight increased by 4.5%.

“Successful policies, including increased access to family planning services and sexual education programs, have contributed to a 31% decrease in births to teen girls ages 15-19 between 2016 and 2012 (21.8 live births per 1,000 in 2016 compared to 31.8 per 1,000 in 2012). Teen girls who have babies are more likely to live in poverty than their peers who delay childbearing, and are also less likely than other mothers to have received early prenatal care. Unfortunately, while teen birth rates have declined overall, significant racial disparities persist. African American teens in North Carolina are nearly twice as likely and American Indian and Hispanic/LatinX teens almost three times as likely as their white peers to give birth.”

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NC Health Information Exchange Update

Christie Burris, Executive Director of the NC Health Information Exchange Authority (NC HIEA), has reported that NC HealthConnex, North Carolina’s state-designed Health Information Exchange is now live with more than 1200 active participants, with an additional 300+ in queue for onboarding. By June 1, 2020, the date by which LME/MCOs and PHPs are required to be connected and submitting encounter claims data, the NC HIEA estimates that 98% of NC health care providers will be connected to the NC HealthConnex. It is also projected that NC HealthConnex will offer visibility into 90% of citizens receiving treatment in NC and will also provide access to data from other states through connections to national health care data networks.

Completion of a legislatively-required feasibility study is expected by late February/early March. The feasibility study is required to examine:

  1. The availability of connection, exchange and data submission standards established by the Office of the National Coordinator for Information Technology within the US Department of Health and Human Services.
  2. The adoption of national standards for connection, exchange and data submission standards by provider type.
  3. Cost estimates by provider type to connect and submit data to the HIE and any availability of federal or State funds to meet connection or submission requirements.
  4. Data captured in the treatment of patients, segmented by provider type.
  5. Activity of other states and payor plans with respect to the establishment of an HIE Network.
  6. Alternatives to the connection and submission of demographic, clinical, encounter and claims data through the HIE Network.

Burris presented this information in an update on the NC HIEA’s progress toward completing its legislative requirements to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services on January 16. The North Carolina General Assembly created the NC HIEA in 2015 to facilitate the creation of a modernized HIE to better serve NC health care providers and their patients. The NC HIEA is governed by an 11-member Advisory Board, appointed by the General Assembly and made up of various IT and health care representatives that include the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of the Department of Information Technology and the Director of the Government Data Analytics Center.

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Protect Yourself and Your Patients In the New Medicaid System
Source: NC Medical Society 

The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) has steadfastly held that the protections for physicians and patients laid out in state law under Chapter 58 must be carried forward in the new Medicaid managed care system. A bill currently under consideration by the North Carolina House of Representatives, HB 156, however, does not include these essential protections.

This bill would require Medicaid Prepaid Health Plans to obtain a license from the Department of Insurance and lists minimum requirements for the application process. It also contains language on penalties, enforcement, management agreements, fees, fiduciary responsibilities, continuation of services and suspension of licenses. But currently, the bill does not contain any of the Chapter 58 patient and provider protections. NCMS continues to actively work to ensure that these protections are included moving forward.

Please reach out to your legislator and insist that the Chapter 58 protections, which are crucial to the success of Medicaid managed care, be included in this bill.

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ACOG Annual Clinical and Scientific Meeting, April 27-29

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The NC Ob/Gyn Society invites you to a
White Coat Wednesday @ the Legislature
in Raleigh on
Wednesday, May 30

Program details and registration:

Introducing the NCMS LEAD Health Care Conference

The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) is excited to announce our new and not-to-be-missed annual event – the LEAD Health Care Conference. Mark your calendar now for Oct. 18-19, 2018 to be part of this innovative conference focused on Leadership, Education, Advocacy and Discovery – LEAD. For more details, visit the NCMS website.

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NCTracks 2018 Regional Seminars Schedule

Regional Seminars are back! NCTracks Regional Seminars are a great opportunity for new providers and existing providers with new staff who use NCTracks - or anyone who needs refresher training. This in-person training is provided local to you and allows you to meet our Regional Provider Relations Representatives.

NCTracks will conduct four Regional NCTracks Seminars in the coming months. The purpose of these Regional NCTracks Seminars is to help educate new providers, educate new billing staff of existing providers, and serve as a refresher for current and experienced provider staff. Regional seminars allow for participation by more providers, particularly those who cannot travel to attend single Instructor-Led Training classes. They will also allow providers an opportunity to meet and become familiar with their Regional Provider Relations Representatives. It is a learning opportunity and a chance to network.

Each of the seminars runs from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and are offered on different dates and locations across the state. Providers can register for the seminar most convenient for them:

  • New Bern, North Carolina (March 27)
    Craven County Center, 300 Industrial Drive, New Bern NC
  • Greensboro, North Carolina (April 19)
    Guilford County Cooperative, 3309 Burlington Rd, Greensboro NC
  • Concord, North Carolina (May 25)
    Cabarrus County Cooperative, 715 Cabarrus Ave West, Concord NC
  • Raleigh, North Carolina (June 14)
    CSRA, 2610 Wycliff Rd, Raleigh NC

Seminars will feature the following:

  • Provider Communication booth
  • Hub for guidance on locating provider resources
  • Help Center
  • SMEs from Enrollment, Claims, Prior Approval and Provider Relations to help providers who bring in specific examples

Topics include:

  • Common reasons Enrollment and Manage Change Request (MCR) applications are delayed and how to avoid delays
  • Helpful hints for submitting Prior Approvals
  • Top 10 denial reasons for Professional and Institutional claims and the resolutions
  • Submitting Pharmacy Prior Approvals
  • Expectations when contacting the NCTracks Contact Center
  • Helpful hints for Family Planning

Providers can register for the NCTracks Regional Seminars and the Provider Help Centers in SkillPort, the NCTracks Learning Management System. Logon to the secure NCTracks Provider Portal and click Provider Training to access SkillPort. Open the folder labeled Provider Computer-Based Training (CBT) and Instructor Led Training (ILT). The sessions for the 2018 Annual Regional Seminar and the Provider Help Center Sessions can be found in the sub-folder labeled ILTs: On-site. Specific dates and times can be selected for registration under 2018 Annual Regional Seminar or the Provider Help Center Session.

Refer to the Provider Training page of the public Provider Portal for specific instructions on how to use SkillPort. The Provider Training page also includes a quick reference regarding Java, which is required for the use of SkillPort. Walk-ins will be allowed based on capacity.

Thanks and we hope to see you there!

The NCTracks Team

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