WCMS Participates in NCMS’ White Coat Wednesday
June 22, 2020
Last Wednesday, June 17, 2020, WCMS Board Members, Dr. Mark McNeill, Dr. Sarah Cash, and Dr. Rick Bunio along with Physician Member, Dr. Constance Sewell, WCMS CEO, Miriam Schwarz, and WCMS Association Program Director, Nadia Z. Mazza, attended a meeting with Director of Legislative Relations of NCMS, Sue Ann Forest, to discuss recent developments in legislation as they pertain to healthcare.
We discussed the “No Patient Left Alone” bill (SB730) that proposes hospital visitation rights continue during declared disasters and public health emergencies. The bill states that a hospital would provide the opportunity for at least one visitor per patient subject to the guidelines, conditions and limitations of the normal visitation policy. The bill is currently being considered by the House. We discussed the “Medicaid Funding Act” (SB808) which is also in the House for consideration for the state’s move to Medicaid managed care. The COVID/Supplementary GREAT Grant Period is one of several broadband proposals under consideration this session as well, given the importance of telemedicine, particularly during this pandemic. We also talked about the need for legislation establishing permanent reimbursement parity in telehealth, as telehealth will replace many traditional in-person visits in the future. Physicians can help by sharing with your legislators or with WCMS stories of why your patients might prefer telehealth moving forward, and how reimbursement parity can help keep your doors open.
NCMS is carefully tracking these bills and WCMS is following their lead by scheduling virtual meetings with key legislators to share the expertise of our Physician members with them in hopes of ensuring favorable decision making on policies that support improvements in healthcare. If you are interested in our legislative advocacy work, contact Nadia Z. Mazza for more information and to be included in future meetings with our WNC representatives.
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