North Carolina Obstetrical & Gynecological Society
October 1, 2015

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In this edition:

New Dates Announced for NC Ob/Gyn Society Annual Meeting, April 8-10

The NC Ob/Gyn Society and NC Section of ACOG today announced a new location and dates for the 2016 Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting will be held April 8-10, 2016 at the Grandover Resort and Conference Center in Greensboro, N.C. Please note this updated information on your calendar. For room reservations, call the Grandover Resort at (800) 472-6301.

To help meet your professional education needs, Annual Meeting Program Chair Dr. Kellett Letson (Asheville) is hard at work to bring you the latest research and clinical updates. The success of this meeting depends on your participation and the support of our partners. Please share the Exhibitor Prospectus with the product and service representatives that call on your practice.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Legislation Bans Sale of Fetal Tissue, Cuts Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs

In the final days of session, the General Assembly approved a bill, HB 297, that bans the sale of fetal tissue from abortions and prohibits the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) from contracting for teen pregnancy prevention initiatives and programs with organizations that provide abortions. This new legislation comes in response to media attention surrounding tissue donation practices at Planned Parenthood.

HB 297 was originally filed as the “DHHS Child Support Recommendations” which sought to make child support collection and payment more efficient, and it was passed by the N.C. House in March. Then, on September 23, the Senate Rules Committee replaced the original language in its entirety with the new content and title, “End Marketing/Sale Unborn Children Body Parts.” Following quick committee approval, the Senate passed the bill on September 24, and the House voted on September 28 to concur with the new language. The bill awaits the Governor’s signature.

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Governor Signs Medicaid Reform Package

Governor Pat McCrory has signed into law a Medicaid reform plan that allows the state to contract with three statewide managed care companies and up to 10 regional “provider-led entities” (PLEs) comprised of health systems, hospitals and physicians. The new law provides a general framework for the future of the state’s Medicaid program, and physicians will work to help shape the specific details as the administrative rules and additional legislation evolve over the next few years.

The NC Ob/Gyn Society opposed the expansion of private, for-profit managed care into the Medicaid program and advocated for the preservation of Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC) and its Pregnancy Medical Home (PMH) program. CCNC faced an uncertain future right up until the final conference report was released. Ultimately, CCNC and PMH were spared - at least in the short term - and the state’s relationship with CCNC will continue. CCNC still faces mandatory renegotiation of its contract with the state, to include quality measurements and quantifiable outcomes.

The new Medicaid plan follows several years of debate and effort by legislators and the health care community to address cost-unpredictability in Medicaid. It is designed to give physicians who participate in the new PLEs greater flexibility to manage their patients’ health care delivery and costs. In place of the conventional fee-for-service model, Medicaid providers will receive up-front, per-patient payments and will be responsible for cost overruns.

“This reform brings innovation to our healthcare system and builds upon what has already proven to work in North Carolina,” said Gov. McCrory at the bill signing ceremony.

A State Plan Amendment must be approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) prior to implementation, and this process may take 6-18 months. Federal funds account for two-thirds of NC Medicaid’s annual spend.

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State Budget Funds Investment in Health Information Exchange, Takes Aim at Prescription Drug Abuse

Nearly three months past due, the state’s biennial budget was finally signed into law by Governor McCrory on September 18. The budget sets spending for FY 2015-16 and FY 2016-17. The budget contains several health care provisions. Most notably, it includes $8 million in state funds – plus a federal match of $8 million – to establish a successor HIE Network and a state-controlled HIE Authority to administer and oversee the HIE Network.

Several provisions take aim at the growing problem of prescription drug abuse, including mandating a new CME requirement for providers who prescribe controlled substances, calling for improvements in the Controlled Substances Reporting System (CSRS), and establishing a new Prescription Drug Abuse Advisory Committee. It also includes funds to implement the state’s new Medicaid plan. For a complete breakdown of all health care related matters, check out the NCMS Summary of Key Issues in 2015-17 State Budget.

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Webinar Series on Maternal Safety Bundles to Reduce Preventable Maternal Deaths

The North Carolina Quality Center has announced a series of webinars to promote greater implementation of new care bundles aimed at reducing the incidence of severe maternal morbidity and mortality. The care bundles provide evaluation and management protocols for the most common preventable causes of several maternal morbidity and mortality: obstetric hemorrhage, severe hypertension, and venous thromboembolism. Up to one hour of CME is available with each event.

The NC Quality Center, the NC Ob/Gyn Society, the NC Section of ACOG and others have joined together in the NC Partnership for Maternal Safety to support implementation of the bundles at every maternity hospital in North Carolina. Please contact Denna Suko to learn more about the NC Partnership and opportunities for your involvement.

Webinar 1: Maternal Safety Bundles Overview (July 29 2015)

Webinar 2: Maternal Safety Bundles: Hypertension Bundle

  • Date: October 26, 2015
  • Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • Register
  • Event Password: quality

Webinar 3: Maternal Safety Bundle: Obstetric Hemorrhage

  • Date: February 24, 2016
  • Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • Register 
  • Event Password: quality

Webinar 4: Maternal Safety Bundle: Venous Thromboembolism

  • Date: June 27 2016
  • Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • Register 
  • Event Password: quality

Credit Statement: The Wake Forest School of Medicine designates each live activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

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Webinar Series on Screening for Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD)

The Perinatal Quality Collaborative of North Carolina (PQCNC) is hosting a series of webinars to answer your questions regarding screening for critical congenital heart disease (CCHD). All newborns in North Carolina are required to be screened with pulse oximetry to identify cases of CCHD, and the results of this screening must be reported to the state health department. These upcoming webinars provide practical guidance to help you efficiently and effectively provide this required service.

  • October 13th, 12:00 - 1:00 --> Register
  • November 10th, 12:00 - 1:00 --> Register

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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BCBS Policy Change Applies to Asst. Surgeons, Physician Assts., Nurse Practitioners, and Nurse Midwives

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) has developed a new reimbursement policy for assistant surgeons, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurse midwives that will be effective October 1, 2015.

  • The assistant surgeon benefit for a covered procedure will be 16 percent of the maximum amount allowed for the procedure.
  • The physician assistant, nurse practitioner, and nurse midwife benefit for a covered procedure will be 13.6 percent of the maximum amount allowed for the procedure.

Information specific to this policy change can be found in BCBSNC’s Corporate Medical Policy, Co-Surgeon, Assistant Surgeon, Team Surgeon and Assistant-at-Surgery Guidelines.

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NCMS Annual Meeting, Oct. 23-24

Registration is now open for the 2015 North Carolina Medical Society Annual Meeting. With a new and exciting format for broad physician appeal, this year's meeting theme, "Resilience in Challenging Times," hints at the program's focus on introducing physicians to basic approaches for developing greater fulfillment and resilience in practicing medicine. The meeting will be held October 23-24 at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro. Pop on over to the NCMS website for complete program details and secure online registration.

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Bonus of $75,000 and up to $250,000 in Student Loan Repayments

The Army Reserve Medical Corps is seeking obstetrician-gynecologists. Please consider the following request and this informational flyer from Sgt. Bradley Cooper, US Army.

Dear Doctor,

America’s Army is calling. Will you answer the call?

Eligible physicians in your specialty can qualify for special pay of $75,000 and up to $250,000 in student loan repayments. Becoming a member of the Army Reserve Medical Corps as an officer and clinician, you would be joining a dynamic organization at a momentous time in our nation’s history. Our facilities and medical acumen are cutting edge, providing an environment that encourages constant growth, defying even your greatest accomplishments. Our patients are the finest individuals this country can muster; you will not find a more worthwhile and appreciated organization than the United States Army Medical Corps with which to contribute your clinical expertise. Your commitment to be a part of this effort was best described over fifty years ago by General James E. Doolittle when he posed that “….there is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer.”

Will you share your time-honed skills, education and other gifts of freedom? Can you share one weekend a month and two weeks a year, giving back to the men and women who serve our country? You’re never too old to use your skills with the Army Reserves.

Will you exemplify the fact that there really is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer? We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Warm regards,

Bradley S. Cooper
SGT, U.S. Army
Raleigh Medical Recruiting Center
Cell (404) 808-3586

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PO Box 27167, Raleigh, NC  27611 | 919-833-3836 |
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