North Carolina Obstetrical & Gynecological Society
May 7, 2015

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In this edition:

New Officers Elected at NC Ob/Gyn Society Annual Business Meeting

The North Carolina Obstetrical & Gynecological Society elected new Officers and Executive Committee Members at its Annual Business Meeting on Saturday, April 18, 2015, in Kiawah Island, S.C. Outgoing President Dr. Robert V. Higgins (Charlotte) passed the gavel to Dr. James T. Al-Hussaini (Mooresville). Dr. Al-Hussaini will serve as President of the NC Ob/Gyn Society for a one-year term of office (2015-2016). Dr. Cecelia F. Grasinger (Boone) will serve as President-Elect and Dr. C. Richard Kirsch (Thomasville) was elected to be Secretary-Treasurer-Elect. Dr. Keith H. Nelson (Greenville) will continue for another year as Secretary-Treasurer.


Dr. Al-Hussaini practices obstetrics and gynecology at Lake Norman Ob-Gyn. A North Carolina native, Dr. Al-Hussaini earned his medical degree at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. He completed residency at the University of South Carolina and was in private practice in Beaufort, S.C. prior to joining the staff at Lake Norman Ob-Gyn. Dr. Al-Hussaini has been a member of the NC Ob/Gyn Society since 2007.

If you would like to become more involved in the Society, please let us know! Call us at 919-833-3836 or email

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Dr. Matthew Finneran Wins Resident Paper Competition

Congratulations to Dr. Matthew Finneran (Carolinas Medical Center) for winning the Resident Paper Competition! Dr. Finneran's paper "Resolution of Cardiac Failure in the Recipient Twin Treated with Selective Fetoscopic Laser Photocoagulation (SFLP) Secondary to Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS)" was selected for the top honor from among five resident presentations featured at the Society's 2015 Annual Meeting. The Society also recognizes and thanks residents Dr. Taylor Turner (Duke), Dr. Kelly Pieh Holder (ECU/Brody), Dr. Jon Larrabee (MAHEC) and Dr. Joe Letourneau (UNC) for their participation.

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Gynecologists and Obstetricians PAC Gets Annual Meeting Boost

Strong support for GOPAC – the NC Ob/Gyn Society’s political action and education committee - was evident at the Society’s recent Annual Meeting where more than $9,000 was raised to advance the Society’s advocacy initiatives. Recognizing the need for a strong PAC to protect and promote quality, safe and accessible women’s health care in our state, individual members made contributions of $50 to more than $1,000. Under the leadership and direction of Dr. H. A. "Sandy" Easley, III (Wilmington), GOPAC has grown in recent years, both in terms of total dollars raised and number of individual supporters. “When physicians see what’s at stake, they see the value. They see that the future of the Pregnancy Medical Home Program is at stake. They see that what happens in Medicaid reform will impact them directly. It becomes obvious. Supporting GOPAC is worth the investment.”

Thank You, 2015 Advocacy Partners!

    • James Al-Hussaini, MD
    • Elizabeth Borders, MD
    • Amy Bryant, MD
    • Gerlad Ray Comer, MD
    • H. A. "Sandy" Easley, III, MD
    • Matthew Finneran, MD
    • Karen Gerancher, MD
    • James B. Hall, MD
    • Robert V. Higgins, MD
    • Lydia Jeffries, MD
    • Rob Lamme
    • Jonathan Larrabee, MD
    • A. Kellett Letson, MD
    • William Lindel, MD
    • Elizabeth Livingston, MD
    • Jack A. Lucas, MD
    • Robin Matthews, MD
    • M. Kathryn Menard, MD
    • Joel Miller, MD
    • Keith Nelson, MD
    • Brenda Peacock, MD
    • Harold Pollard, III, MD
    • P. Lindsay Stevenson, MD
    • Denna Suko, MA
    • David Tait, MD

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Will you join the effort?

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Dangerous Provision Removed from Abortion Bill

A provision that would have put women in harm’s way by barring UNC and ECU faculty and residents from performing and teaching abortion procedures was removed from legislation that is being considered by the N.C. General Assembly this session. House Bill 465, Modify and Clarify Certain Abortion Provisions, was filed on April 1, 2015. In addition to the university provision, the legislation would expand the waiting period from 24 hours to 72 hours and require that abortions only be performed by ob/gyn physicians. Ultimately, the university provision and the scope of practice provision were removed from the bill prior to the House Health Committee action on April 22 when the Committee reported the measure favorably to the House of Representatives. On April 23, the House approved the measure with a vote of 74-45. The bill now awaits Senate consideration.

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Medicaid Reform Update

As you’ve likely gathered from recent coverage and discussion, Medicaid reform continues to be a BIG issue of debate at the N.C. General Assembly. And, the wide divide between the competing proposals does not seem to be narrowing.

To give you an idea of how expansive the issue has grown, a recent article in the Winston-Salem Journal notes all the various bills impacting Medicaid that have been introduced thus far. Debate on any of these of these measures has yet to be placed on the calendar, so it is still too soon to tell how the discussion will play out.

The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) continues to provide leadership on this issue, and the NC Ob/Gyn Society is an active partner in the coalition working to achieve reform that is provider-led. In an op-ed published by The News & Observer on April 15, NCMS CEO Robert Selligson's "Why managed care is not the answer for North Carolina" presents the facts about how the move to managed care has worked in other states, why a provider-led solution is the only real opportunity for true reform, and what the NCMS is doing to present legislators with a homegrown solution.

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Proposed Legislation Threatens Physician-Patient Communication
Reprinted with permission from the North Carolina Medical Society

New Regulation of the Practice of Medicine!

A bill pending consideration by the North Carolina House Appropriations Committee, HB 562, Second Amendment Affirmation Act, includes two unprecedented provisions in Section 15 of the bill.

The first provision would prohibit a physician from asking a patient about lawful gun ownership in any written form. While technically a physician could still verbally discuss lawful gun ownership with a patient, this unprecedented prohibition would constitute a dangerous new level of government intervention in the doctor-patient relationship. This intrusion into physician communication with the patient eliminates an important risk-evaluation tool for the physician.

Second, should a physician discuss with a patient the risks of guns in the home where children reside, Section 15 would prohibit a physician from sharing any information about that inquiry and the patient response with a government official or agency.

  1. This would prohibit the physician from complying with a lawful subpoena for medical records, should the physician have recorded any information about gun ownership in the record. If disclosed, the doctor could face a penalty from the NC Medical Board of up to $500.00 per violation.
  2. It would also prohibit sharing with law enforcement a patient's communication with the doctor indicating that the patient intended to commit suicide with a gun lawfully owned.
  3. Finally, this would make the sharing of medical records unlawful for those patients—including mental health patients—with Medicaid, Medicare or State Employee Healthcare insurance plans, if those records include any information about lawful gun ownership.

Please contact members of the N.C. House Appropriations Committee to make your voice heard. Contact your representatives and tell them to stay out of the physician-patient relationship and vote to remove Section 15 from HB562

Take Action Now - Email Your Representatives

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New Maternal Safety Bundles Coming to a Hospital Near You!

A new set of Maternal Safety Bundles is being rolled out by the Council on Patient Safety in Women’s Health Care, and North Carolina women may soon benefit from the new protocols which are aimed at reducing the incidence of severe morbidity and mortality associated with childbirth. Representatives of the NC Ob/Gyn Society, the NC Section of ACOG and the North Carolina Quality Center met on March 16, 2015, to discuss strategies for introducing this new material to hospital maternity departments in the state.

Sadly, 61 new mothers die each year in North Carolina as a result of pregnancy-related and other medical conditions. While the root causes of their conditions/complications are complex, the Council on Patient Safety in Women’s Health Care aims to tackle the most common preventable conditions that result in morbidity and mortality within the first year of delivery: obstetric hemorrhage, severe hypertension, and venous thromboembolism.

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New Accountable Care Guide for Gynecologists is Now Available

Members of the NC Ob/Gyn Society worked with the Toward Accountable Care (TAC) Consortium to develop a new toolkit aimed at helping gynecology practices make the transition from fee-for-service to the evolving value-based care model. The newest toolkit – Accountable Care Guide for Gynecologists – explains in detail what an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) is, how to evaluate whether an ACO will be successful, and what the risks and benefits are for gynecologists. This guide is the newest addition to the TAC resources, which already includes five general toolkits, such as the Accountable Care Legal Guide (NC Edition), and more than a dozen specialty-specific guides. The collection also includes the Accountable Care Guide for Obstetricians. All the guides are available on the TAC Consortium website.

The NC Ob/Gyn Society extends its appreciation to the following for their involvement in the project:

  • Arthur Ollendorff, MD, MAHEC Ob/Gyn Specialist
  • Edward Newton, MD, Brody School of Medicine at ECU
  • Michelle Langaker, DO, Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine
  • William Johnstone, MD, New Hanover Regional Medical Center
  • Michael E. O’Keeffe, MD, Cornerstone Health Care

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NCTracks to Discontinue “AF” Modifier for Pregnancy Medical Home Providers: What You Need to Know
The following information is provided by NCTracks

Update on Pregnancy Medical Homes

The N.C. Division of Medical Assistance (DMA), working in partnership with Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC) and other community stakeholders including providers, local health departments, and the Division of Public Health, created a program that provides pregnant Medicaid recipients with a pregnancy medical home (PMH). The goal of the program is to improve the quality of prenatal care given to Medicaid recipients and improve birth outcomes.

To date, NCTracks has identified claims from PMH providers by use of the "AF" modifier. Using the "AF" modifier, the NCTracks system supports all three types of Pregnancy Medical Home claims that receive higher reimbursement, including the pregnancy risk screening, delivery, and post partum plan.

Beginning May 3, 2015, the "AF" modifier is longer required for PMH providers to be reimbursed in NCTracks. NCTracks will now recognize which billing and rendering providers are PMH participants, making the "AF" modifier unnecessary.

To be identified in NCTracks as a PMH participant, the provider must have a current contract in place with the local CCNC network. Contracts can be established or updated by submitting a PMH Change Form, which can be obtained from the local CCNC OB team. CCNC sends updates regarding PMH participation to DMA, which in turn updates the NCTracks system. Both billing and rendering providers must be identified as PMH participants in order for PMH incentives to pay.

There will be a 90 day transition period for this change, during which time the "AF" modifier may still be used. The "AF" modifier will be discontinued on July 31, 2015, after which a provider must have the designation of PMH participant in NCTracks in order to receive the incentive payments or enhanced reimbursement rate.

For more information about Pregnancy Medical Home reimbursement, see the DMA webpage at

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Dr. Michele Polidoro

Dr. Michele Polidoro Wins Membership Raffle

Congratulations to Michele Polidoro, MD (North Wilkesboro) for winning this year's Renew to Win membership promotion. Dr. Polidoro's name was pulled from among 217 Society members included in the random drawing for the prize.  Dr. Polidoro won a sweet Harmon Kardon Esquire Mini bluetooth portable speaker.

Dr. Keith Nelson, NCOGS Secretary-Treasurer, drew the winning name on April 18 during the Society's Annual Business Meeting in Kiawah Island, S.C. If your membership has expired, please take a moment to renew your membership today.

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2015 Annual Meeting Sponsors: Thank You!!

The NC Ob/Gyn Society extends its appreciation to the following for their support of the Society's 2015 Annual Meeting.

Platinum Sponsor


Gold Sponsors


Triangle Vascular Associates


Ariosa Diagnostics
Athenahealth, Inc.
Aurora Diagnostics GPA Laboratories
Bayer Healthcare
Carolinas Cord Blood Bank
CCNC: Pregnancy Medical Home
Duchesnay USA
Eastern Carolina Pathology
GE Healthcare
Global Medical Imaging
Lumara Health
Medical Mutual
Merck & Co.
Meridian Bioscience, Inc
Noven Pharmaceuticals
Raleigh Pathology Laboratory Associates
TEVA Women's Health

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