PO Box 27167
Raleigh, NC 27611
Phn: (919) 833-3836
Fax: (919) 833-2023

March 5, 2015 | view this message as a web page 

In this edition:

NCMS: Take Action

In 2013, the NC General Assembly included a 3% “withhold” for all Medicaid services with the intention of using that money as the foundation of a shared-savings program. After difficulty developing the program, the “withhold” was redrafted as a cut the following year with an effective date of January 1, 2014. That cut has not been implemented due to delays in NCTracks.

Doctors treating Medicaid patients now face a requirement to pay back 3% of everything they have been paid by Medicaid for the last 14 months. Every day that passes increases this financial and administrative burden. We know this money has already been spent on staff salaries, office overhead, and other basic requirements of serving the Medicaid population.

Call or email your representative/senator and tell them how much you will have to send back to Medicaid, and what it will mean to you and your practice. Tell your legislator that you cannot afford a massive recoupment at the same time as you are being asked to transform the entire way we deliver health care to the Medicaid population.

TAKE ACTION NOW ==>> and share this alert with your colleagues.

NOTE: Primary care physicians who received enhanced Medicaid payment rates in accordance with the ACA will not be subject to the 3% reduction in 2014. However, those same PCPs will be subject to the reduced rates and a recoupment of payments made for January and February 2015 dates of service.

Reprinted with permission from the North Carolina Medical Society.

Top of page 

Significantly Revised Workers’ Comp Fee Schedule Achieves Final Approval--First Update in 20 Years!

The North Carolina Neurological Society (NCNS) and the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) are excited to report that the N.C. Industrial Commission has confirmed that North Carolina’s workers’ compensation fee schedule has been updated for the first time in nearly 20 years. The new rates will take on effect July 1, 2015. The N.C. Rules Review Commission on Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, approved administrative rules which provide the fee schedule update. “The new fee schedule means huge progress for our state’s injured workers, the physicians who treat them, and our workers’ compensation system as a whole,” said NCMS President Robert E. Schaaf, MD, FACR in a statement released by the NCMS on Feb. 23, 2015.

This outcome is the result of many years of advocacy by the NCMS on this issue along with many specialties’ efforts and a lot of work by NCMS Associate General Counsel Conor Brockett, who guided the successful strategy to completion. Robert A. Yapundich, MD, NCNS Annual Meeting Program Chair, was a member of the NCMS Task Force dedicated to this issue. The update was required by legislation calling for the Industrial Commission to link workers’ compensation rates to Medicare rates and policies. One of the forces that propelled this action is the difficulty that workers currently experience when seeking care resulting from on-the-job injuries. The proposed rules were published in the North Carolina Register in November 2014 and a public hearing was held in December. The NCNS joined the NCMS in a comment letter last month supporting the proposed rules.

“The new Industrial Commission Medical Fee Schedule incorporates long needed revisions that will protect injured workers’ access to healthcare while significantly reducing the overall cost of the workers’ compensation system by establishing fair and reasonable fees for medical treatment,” said Chairman Andrew T. Heath, in a press release.

Top of page 

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

Please take a few minutes to browse this 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 NCNS at ncneuro@ncmedsoc.org, or contact us at 919-833-3836.

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 

CMS Announces Shortened 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 

McCrory Addresses Medicaid, Partnership with Doctors in State of the State Speech

In his State of the State Address on February 12, 2015, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory calls for a “patients’ first philosophy” in health care. He spoke about a “partnership with doctors” (@1:00), “physician-led reform” (@1:40), and the intention to “Continue to make North Carolina an excellent place for doctors to practice medicine.”(@2:47) Watch the health care portion of his speech online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EI_uQNwzSSE.

Top of page 

This publication is a service of the North Carolina Neurological Society (NCNS)
Privacy Policy | Opt Out