Report from July NCMS Board Meeting

Your North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) Board of Directors met at NCMS headquarters in Raleigh on Saturday, July 14. Here is a summary of some of what was discussed at that meeting.

PAI and The Physicians Foundation as Valuable Resources

The Board welcomed Kelly Kenney, Executive Vice President and CEO of the Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI). PAI was established in 2006 as a result of class action settlements against major national for-profit health insurers. The PAI’s primary mission is two-fold: to guarantee compliance with the settlements by these health insurers; and to develop projects and tools for the future that guarantee the viability of physicians’ medical practices and the ability of physicians to deliver quality patient care.  NCMS CEO Robert W. Seligson is the president of PAI.

Kenney outlined the three areas of PAI’s work: advocacy, research and education. Some highlights include the comprehensive educational resources available to practices on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality Payment Program (access these resources on the NCMS website) and research into the trends around physician employment, which was heavily quoted in the national media. Learn more about what PAI does for physicians at its website.

Seligson also reviewed the work of The Physicians Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization that also was formed as a result of the class action settlements. The Foundation offers education, research on trends affecting physicians and makes grants. Seligson, who serves on The Physicians Foundation board, estimated that the NCMS has received $5 million in hard dollars as well as access to valuable resources. Learn more about The Physicians Foundation. Also, consider subscribing to The Foundation’s newsletter. Here is the latest edition.

Discussion of Statement on Parent/Child Separation

The NCMS Ethics and Judicial Affairs Committee at their last meeting had asked the Board of Directors to consider a statement on the health impact of separating children from their parents as the result of a government policy. The AMA and several national medical specialty societies had issued media statements in response to recent actions at the southern US border. Read the AMA statement.

The Board discussed the committee’s recommendation first on a conference call shortly after the implementation of the recent government policy on immigration and decided to more fully discuss it in person at the July Board meeting. Board members referred the matter to a subcommittee to craft an appropriate statement.

Other reports to the Board:

  • At-large Board member, Palmer Edwards, MD, DFAPA, as a representative to the Physicians Health Program (PHP) board, reported statistics on use of the program as well as that PHP’s Medical Director Clark Gaither, MD, has been instrumental in PHP offering free burnout consultations to help determine if a practice’s culture fosters burnout.

[Listen to an NCMS Bedside Manners podcast featuring Dr. Gaither discussing the causes, symptoms and solutions to physician burnout.]

If you are interested in serving on the PHP Board, learn more about the current vacancy in this issue of the Bulletin.

  • Staff updated the Board on the planning for October’s LEAD Health Care Conference in Raleigh [see article in this issue of your Bulletin]. Board members discussed session topics as well as social and entertainment offerings that might draw record-setting attendance at this year’s conference.

Just prior to the beginning of the LEAD conference an invitation only Summit on Physician Wellness will convene with thought-leaders and health care decision makers from across North Carolina coming together to address issues around wellness and burnout.

  • Region two Board representative Jeffrey Runge, MD, FACEP, who serves as CEO and President of Carolina Complete Health Network (CCHN), the NCMS’ joint effort with the North Carolina Community Health Center Association and Centene Corporation to provide health care to the state’s Medicaid recipients. Learn more about CCHN.

[To learn more about the state’s Medicaid transformation and where we are in the process, see the overview written by the NCMS’ Vice President for Legal and Regulatory Affairs and Associate General Counsel Conor Brockett, in this issue of the Bulletin.]


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