July 20, 2015 |  2015 NC/SC Annual Meeting Brochure  |  view this message as a web page 

In this edition:

Budget, Medicaid Talks to Address Certificate of Need

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) weighed in recently with a July 13 FTC staff statement re-affirming that Certificate of Need (CON) reduces competition, drives up health care costs and reduces access to care. "CON laws raise considerable competitive concerns and generally do not appear to achieve their alleged benefits for health care consumers," the staff comment states. As the comment explains, CON laws can restrict entry and expansion, limit consumer choice, and stifle innovation. Additionally, the CON process can be exploited by firms to thwart or delay entry by new competitors and can obstruct efforts to restore competition that has been lost to an anticompetitive merger.

CON reform is closer today than ever thanks to the support of key leaders in the N.C. Senate who want CON to be addressed along with Medicaid. CON is now intertwined with the budget/Medicaid debate because the Senate included language in its budget proposal that will phase out CON.  The Senate’s action on CON is an important milestone, but there is still so much work to be done.

This is a critical time for CON and Medicaid reform, which will take center stage over the next few weeks as lawmakers negotiate the biennial 2015-2017 budget. Conferees will be tasked with hammering out differences between the House and Senate’s proposed Medicaid reform plans and making decisions about the state’s CON laws.

Your support and participation can have a BIG impact on the outcome of their negotiations. Will you commit a morning (up to the lunch hour) on any of the following dates for meetings with legislators in Raleigh?

  • Tuesday, July 28
  • Wednesday, July 29
  • Thursday, July 30
  • Tuesday, August 4
  • Wednesday, August 5
  • Thursday, August 6

To participate, send an email to dsuko@ncmedsoc.org.

Raynor Woodward Leinbach
NCSOHNS President Dr. Eileen Raynor and President-Elect Dr. Ric Leinbach met with legislators on March 25, 2015. Will you help?

For a complete review of the Medicaid reform discussion, see the North Carolina Medical Society’s June 24 Medicaid Reform Update and this comparison table which outlines and compares major aspects of each Medicaid reform proposal and notes the NCMS’s position in each of these key areas.

Please check your schedule and let us know at your earliest convenience if you can participate in meetings with legislators in the coming weeks. Email dsuko@ncmedsoc.org.

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2015 NC/SC Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery Assembly

July 23-26, 2015 @ Myrtle Beach Marriott Resort at Grande Dunes
8.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM

Go on... mix business with pleasure! It's not too late to register for the premier educational and networking activity for ENT physicians in the Carolinas. We're heading to the lovely & luxurious Myrtle Beach Marriott Resort and Spa at Grande Dunes, July 23-26, for the 2015 Annual Meeting of the North Carolina and South Carolina Societies of Otolaryngology. This year's program features the best educators in the state with faculty from each of NC's three otolaryngology academic departments!



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BCBSNC to Cut Blue Medicare Payments by 2%

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) recently announced that a new round of Medicare payment cuts would be implemented on Aug. 1, 2015. According to a BCBSNC notice, “[We] have determined that this alignment is necessary for providing our members continued access to high quality health care at an affordable price.” A payment cut of 2 percent will be applied to all covered services in the BCBSNC Medicare Advantage (Blue Medicare) plan. Read the notice here.

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Make Way for ICD-10

Ready or not, here it comes. Although CMS recently announced contingency plans for the transition to ICD-10, including guidance that allows for flexibility in the claims auditing and quality reporting process during the transition, we are urging providers to do your part to prepare for ICD-10 by the October 1, 2015, compliance date. CMS recently released a new ICD-10 Quick Start Guide to help providers on their way to ICD-10 implementation. This guide outlines 5 steps health care professionals should take to prepare for ICD-10 by October 1 compliance date. You can complete parts of different steps at the same time if that works best for your practice.

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New MACRA Resource from NCMS

The NC Medical Society has developed a new resource for physicians going forward in the post-SGR world. The new webpage on the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA, aka the SGR repeal legislation) is now up and running. This page explains what physicians need to know about quality reporting going forward. More information will be added as details are made available from CMS closer to implementation. Go to the NCMS’s MACRA webpage.

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Apply Today for NCMS Leadership College Program

The NCMS Leadership College Class of 2015 spent a day meeting with lawmakers and observing what goes on at the North Carolina General Assembly as part of White Coat Wednesday on June 3. The NCMS Leadership College Program builds and enhances physician and PA leadership skills. The program equips graduates to become effective leaders in their workplace as well as more influential in motivating and inspiring their peers to be leaders in their medical settings and communities.

Nine otolaryngologists have participated in this innovative leadership development course since it was started in 2003:

  • Eileen M. Raynor, MD (Durham) – Class of 2013
  • Pankaj Gupta, MD, FACS (Cary) – Class of 2011
  • Shannon E. Hunter, MD (Clyde) – Class of 2009
  • Merritt J. Seshul, MD, FACS, FAAOA (Hickory) – Class of 2009
  • Liana Puscas, MD (Surham) – Class of 2008
  • Barry R. Pate, Jr., MD (Asheville) – Class of 2007
  • Mark K. LaVigne, MD (Laurinburg) – Class of 2006
  • Frank M. Melvin, MD (Asheville) – Class of 2006
  • Douglas K. Holmes, MD (Raleigh) – Class of 2004

Applications for the 2016 Leadership College class are being accepted now.
For more information, visit the NCMS website.

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Sunshine Act Payments Data for 2014 Now Available

The 11.4 million financial transactions reported to CMS as required by the Sunshine Act totaled a whopping $6 billion. The Open Payments data was published by CMS on June 30. This is the second year of Open Payments data that is now available online. The first year’s data, 2013, was published in September 2014. We encourage all physicians to review the site and to ensure the accuracy of payments associated with them. Visit the Open Payments site.

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NCSOHNS' Alan Skipper Inaugurated as AENC President

NCSOHNS Executive Director Alan Skipper, CAE was inaugurated as President of the Association Executives of North Carolina (AENC) on July 13. The organization provides professional development and networking opportunities to those in the association management profession, including CEOs and the staff of associations across North Carolina. AENC celebrates its 60th anniversary this year.

Alan was honored as part of the AENC’s Awards Breakfast and Annual Business Session at the Durham Convention Center.

Congratulations, Alan!

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