Newsroom

Message From Association President Dr. MaryShell Zaffino

October 11, 2017

I am writing from my desk in Hendersonville, NC.

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Joint Statement on the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson legislation.

September 26, 2017

Over the weekend and earlier today, changes were made to the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson health system reform legislation.  These changes would primarily benefit a handful of states where Republican Senators have threatened to vote against the legislation on the floor.  In addition, changes were made that seem intended to address Senator Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) interest in providing still more flexibility to states under the proposed new block grant system.  Highlights of the recent changes include the following:

 

  • Directs more federal funding to key states, including Alaska, Arizona, Kentucky, and Maine:

 

  • Tightens language regarding pre-existing conditions:  states would have to describe how their health plans "shall maintain access to adequate and affordable health insurance coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions." The original language said each state had to show how it "intends" to have adequate and affordable access to coverage.

 

  • States are given broad new authority to allow insurance companies to design new insurance rules for individuals and insurers that receive money through the block grant program.   Under the new version, states would no longer be required to apply for waivers from many of the ACA’s patient protections; instead, states could let insurers impose deductibles that are higher than the limits set by the ACA, or remove the health law’s limits on the costs that an individual family can incur in a year entirely. They could also offer coverage that lacks some of the ACA’s essential health benefits, such as maternity care, prescription drugs or mental health. Plus, states could let insurers widen the gap between how much older people and young people are charged. And states could remove requirements that insurers cover preventive-health treatments and immunizations. This could result in insurers offering bare-bones insurance policies that feature cheaper premiums but higher out-of-pocket costs, thereby pricing out individuals with pre-existing conditions.

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The AMA Strongly Opposes the Senate’s Health-reform Proposal

June 27, 2017

A lot of big numbers have been tossed around in the days since Senate leaders unveiled a “discussion draft” of legislation—dubbed the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA)—that would dramatically reshape how our country’s health system is financed.

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From National Rural Health Association: Senate Releases Health Care Reform Bill

June 22, 2017

The Senate released their version of the House passed American Health Care Act entitled the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.

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US House Of Representatives Pass Revised American Health Care Act

May 5, 2017

Today the US House of Representatives passed a revised version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) on a party line vote of 217-213.

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Tell Your Legislator That You Oppose S629 – Health Care Services Billing Transparency

May 4, 2017

The NCMS is strongly opposed to SB 629

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Grassroots Advocacy Forum : Tell Congress to vote NO on AHCA

April 28, 2017

Call your members of Congress and tell them to no on the American Health Care Act (AHCA).

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WCMS Issues Action Alert on SB 629

April 26, 2017

On Tuesday, 4/25/17, WCMS issued an action alert to all WNC physicians on SB 629.

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WCMS Executive Committee of the Board Votes to Support HB 662

April 25, 2017

Carolina Cares Letter of Support

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WCMS Physician Dream Team Goes to Raleigh for White Coat Wednesday

March 24, 2017

On March 22nd, CEO Miriam Schwarz and five politically fired-up WCMS physicians (L-R in picture: Drs. Samantha Read-Smith and Mark McNeill, Sen. Chuck Edwards, CEO Miriam Schwarz, Drs. Scott Langford, MaryShell Zaffino, and Mike Parmer,) traveled to Raleigh to meet with WNC legislators.

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WCMS supports the Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention (STOP)Act, with important modifications

March 23, 2017

WCMS supports the  Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention (STOP) Act, with important modifications, such as (but not limited to):

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WCMS Issues Statement on Gun Violence

July 4, 2016

On 7/4/16, the WCMS Association's Executive Committee of the Board issued a statement regarding gun violence.

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Letter to Legislators Protesting the Sunsetting of NC Licensures for ASL Interpreters

June 8, 2016

It is my understanding that your committee is considering the sunsetting of the NCITLB – the licensing board which guarantees minimum standards of those who  provide interpreter services for the deaf under the federally required ADA law. As both a sign language interpreter and a program administrator who coordinates interpreter services in the medical field, I can attest to the fact that when a patient is not given a qualified interpreter, their health and safety are in jeopardy.

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North Carolina Medicaid Waiver Proposal: Talking Points for Physicians

March 28, 2016

The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) urges the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to use the regulatory process to define which Chapter 58 insurance protections will be made available under the reformed Medicaid program. Relying on the individual plan contracting processes to accomplish this goal will result in harm to patients, unfair competition, the inability to compare plans with objective metrics as plans will not be playing by the same rules and a lack of transparency. These protections are in place to protect patients and were put into law because the contracts in use at the time were deficient. The Department must ensure these protections will be provided in an open, transparent and consistent manner.

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NCMS Summarizes Medicaid Reform Draft Waiver

March 10, 2016

To highlight the important points contained in the state’s draft Medicaid reform waiver application presented last week by the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Medicaid and NC Health Choice, North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) staff has thoroughly reviewed the document and written this summary. The draft application must be approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in order to implement the Medicaid reforms adopted by the NC General Assembly last fall.

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