NCMS Morning Rounds: Friday, Jan. 18, 2019

Happy Friday! In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, the NCMS office will be closed and Morning Rounds will not be published that day. Wishing you a peaceful and meaningful observance of this holiday.

Busy Weekend At NCMS Headquarters Starting Tomorrow

This weekend the NCMS Center for Leadership in Medicine will be hopping! First thing Saturday morning about 70 representatives from county and specialty medical societies across the state will converge at the headquarters for a summit meeting to discuss the pressing health care policy issues facing each organization. The goal is to share information and find common ground to more effectively address challenges and concerns as we all seek to improve health in the state.

Next up, the NCMS Board of Directors will convene for its regularly scheduled meeting in the afternoon. Watch next week’s Morning Rounds for reports out of that meeting.

Also on Saturday, a subcommittee of the NCMS Foundation Board of Trustees will meet to review applications received thus far for NCMS Disaster Relief funds. The NCMS Foundation’s Disaster Relief program is still accepting applications, especially for those practices still recovering from Hurricane Florence.

Thanks to generous support from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina; The Physicians Foundation and Carolina Complete Health, as well as many individual donors to the fund, the financial help available is significant. If you are wondering if you qualify for the funds, read the guidelines. If you qualify, you may submit an application here.

If you would like to contribute to the valuable work of the NCMS to advocate on your behalf and to be there to support you and your patients when disaster strikes, please consider making a gift to our Foundation or our PAC.

Contribute to the Foundation.  Contribute to our PAC.

NCMS Staff On Statewide ACO Tour

NCMS Senior Vice President for Health System Innovation Melanie Phelps, JD, and NCMS Director of Value-Based Health Care Kristen Spaduzzi visited the Physician Quality Partners ACO in Wilmington this week as part of their ongoing tour of ACOs throughout the state. The goal of the tour is to meet with ACOs one-on-one to talk about their successes, challenges and concerns and how the NCMS can better assist them.

At Physician Quality Partners they met with Lydia Newman and Amy Messier, MD and gained some valuable information about some of the challenges facing ACOs in 2019, such as the accelerated move to risk in light of CMS’ “Pathways to Success” final rule.  They also discussed Physician Quality Partner’s success in leading North Carolina in the Medicare Shared Savings Program quality metrics with a score of 99.3 percent for performance year 2017.  They accomplished this by developing tools and templates through their EMR in conjunction with structured patient workflows that allowed for more efficient and effective data capture.

[Be sure to see today’s Learning Opportunity for information about a webinar to help you better understand ‘Pathways to Success.’]

BCBS Announces Another Move Toward Value-Based Health Care Arrangments

This week, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) announced that it is partnering with five North Carolina health systems and their Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) in a new value-based model of care. In the new program, Blue Premier, BCBSNC and the health systems will be jointly responsible for improved health, better patient experiences and lower costs.

As part of Blue Premier, Cone Health, Duke University Health System, UNC Health Care, Wake Forest Baptist Health and WakeMed Health and Hospitals, will have their total payments based on the system’s ability to manage the total cost of care and their overall performance as measured by industry quality standards. Through a ‘shared risk’ financial model, the health systems will share cost savings if they meet goals to improve patient health and share losses if they fall short.

“We support the effort by Blue Cross Blue Shield to move to value-based arrangements. The announcement of Blue Premier as well as the earlier news about the partnership with Aledade to help independent primary care physicians show Blue Cross’ commitment to moving to value-based care arrangements, something the NCMS has long supported,” said Melanie Phelps, JD, NCMS’ Senior Vice President, Health System Innovation. “This aligns well with the hard work these health systems have undertaken to implement their ACOs. We hope the new partnerships with Blue Cross are successful and that their efforts in this direction continue.”

Read BCBSNC’s announcement of Blue Premier.

Also, read what the media has been saying about the new partnership.

BCBSNC, Major Hospitals Say They’re Coordinating to Provide More Value-based Care, NC Health News, 1-16-19

Blue Cross and 5 NC Hospitals Will Now Share Patients’ Medical Data to Slow Cost Increases, Raleigh News & Observer, 1-16-19

In the News

This updated guide to ethics for physicians addresses timely ethical issues around genetic testing, telemedicine, social media, electronic health records and end-of-life care.

ACP Updates Physicians Guide to Ethics, NEJM Journal Watch, 1-15-19

Learning Opportunity

Don’t forget to register for Tuesday’s webinar to help you sort through the changes brought about by CMS’ new rule for the Quality Payment Program, ‘Pathways to Success.’ Smith Anderson’s value-based health care team will offer the webinar on Tuesday, Jan. 22 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Learn more about this webinar and register.

Remember to renew your 2019 NCMS membership to continue to receive this newsletter as well as all the other benefits of NCMS membership.

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