NCMGMA News Sponsor

Twice monthly, NCMGMA News will feature a sponsor on our site. Our sponsors are a vital part of our organization, enabling us to provide the high-level of products and services our members have come to enjoy from NCMGMA.

Our sponsor this period is United Healthcare.

Learn more about United Healthcare by viewing their ad on NCMGMA News and on our website. You can also visit their website here.

Five Myths Your Landlord Wants You to Believe

By Stephanie Daniels, CARR

2021 Alliance Sponsor feature article courtesy of CARR

It can be difficult to discern fact from fiction when dealing with landlords. A misunderstanding of these key issues can have serious consequences for your practice. The following information should help dispel some common myths and prevent costly mistakes in your next lease negotiation.

Myth #1: The landlord is on your side

Many landlords attempt to befriend their tenants, making it difficult for tenants to remember the landlord’s primary goal is financial gain. They are seeking to secure a lease with the tenant paying as much as possible. Even the friendliest landlord wants to make the maximum profit on his space, just like the nicest tenant seeks the lowest possible lease rate so his business can thrive. Financial burdens quickly arise for tenants who place undue trust in their landlord and fail to properly negotiate their lease. By having representation, you can learn how your lease compares to the market and ensure you are getting the best possible terms.

Myth #2: You are not entitled to representation

Some landlords employ intimidation, instead of friendliness, to achieve their goal. The intimidation tactics may include telling tenants they are not allowed to have representation. This is not true. Lease negotiations are different than negotiating the price of a car or trying to haggle for a better price at a flea market. They are complex transactions, layered with hidden opportunities for landlords to take advantage of anyone not represented by an expert. Landlords are professionals who are aware of these complexities. If a landlord says you are not allowed to have representation, that is a clear signal they do not respect your desire to be treated fairly.

Myth #3: You are already getting the best possible rate for your space

There are many conditions that factor into lease rates for a commercial space. Things such as current building vacancy, length of the lease, amount of tenant improvement allowance, building condition and many other considerations impact the appropriate rate for a particular space. Several of these considerations are specific to spaces for healthcare tenants, highlighting the need for a real estate professional who has expertise in healthcare. Healthcare practices are often told they are getting the best possible rate for their space, yet they can receive a much better offer from the landlord when an expert assesses these mitigating factors.

Myth #4: Your renewal is not negotiable

Most leases provide an option for the tenant to renew their lease when it expires, and may even detail the exact terms of the renewal. However, it is important to understand that your renewal is negotiable, even if you have renewal terms specified in your current lease. A landlord who says you cannot renegotiate the terms for your renewal is usually doing so because they can get you to pay more by exercising the option to renew instead of negotiating new terms. The only way to be certain you have the best possible terms for your renewal is to compare those terms with current market rates in the area, a vital step often missed by healthcare professionals entering this process alone.

Myth #5: You have no other options; the landlord has many

This common myth might be the most important to address, because it is fundamental to how landlords operate. The landlord wants you to believe that his property is the only suitable location for your practice. The truth is there are likely several other properties that would fit the needs of your practice, and the landlord should be competing to keep you in his building.

The landlord also wants you to believe he has several potential tenants ready to occupy your space if you don’t take it. This position is used to force a tenant to rush into signing an unfavorable lease, when, in fact, it usually takes months or years to fill a commercial space. Each leasing situation is unique, and a healthcare real estate professional who knows your strengths as a tenant can help you understand what type of leverage you have.

This information represents a few of the many misconceptions involving landlords in healthcare real estate transactions. Using a real estate professional with expertise in healthcare will help protect you from falling victim to these and other common landlord myths.

CARR is the nation’s leading provider of commercial real estate services for healthcare tenants and buyers. Every year, thousands of healthcare practices trust CARR to achieve the most favorable terms on their lease and purchase negotiations. CARR’s team of experts assist with start-ups, lease renewals, expansions, relocations, additional offices, purchases, and practice transitions. Healthcare practices choose CARR to save them a substantial amount of time and money; while ensuring their interests are always first.

Visit CARR.US to learn more and find an expert agent representing healthcare practices in your area.

Advocacy Committee COVID-19 Update with Dr. Christopher Ohl

Advocacy Committee COVID-19 Update
Video interview with Dr. Christopher Ohl

The NCMGMA Advocacy Committee recently hosted a video conversation with Dr. Christopher Ohl of Wake Forest Baptist Health. Melissa White, NCMGMA Advocacy Committee Co-chair, sat down with Dr. Ohl to discuss all things COVID-19 within North Carolina. Please click on the button to hear what Dr. Ohl had to say.

2021 Advocacy Days

NCMGMA is planning to meet in-person June 15th for our annual Advocacy Days in Raleigh. Watch your email and the NCMGMA website for updates coming soon.

Meet Our Annual Conference Speakers

Meet Our Annual Conference Speakers
See the sessions they will be leading for you!

General Information | Schedule of Events | Accommodations | Registration

Annual Conference Registration is now open so sign up today.
Participation is limited to the first 100 registrants.

Speakers and Sessions

Becky Ayers, DHA, MHA, MBA, FACMPE
Orthopedic Center of Florida

Marketing a Medical Office
May 20th | 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Physician Recruitment
May 21st | 11:15 AM – 12:15 PM

Dr. Becky Ayers has 40 years of healthcare experience, from the US Army to inpatient hospital to and outpatient clinic operations. She is the Chief Administrator of the Orthopedic Center of Florida, the Adjunct Professor at Florida Southwestern College, and performs healthcare consulting.

Jason Deshayes, CPA, CGMA
Cook Wealth Management

Understanding Physician Profitability
and Driving Better Results
May 19th | 4:30 PM – 5:15 PM

Jason Deshayes is a seasoned Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) with more than 17 years of experience providing tax accounting and consulting services to individuals, dental and medical practices, and closely-held businesses.

Matt Devino, MPH
MGMA Government Affairs

MGMA Washington Update: Political Hot Topic
May 21st | 10:15 AM – 11:00 AM

Matt Devino, in his primary role as a government affairs member liaison, works to inform membership of the federal rules and regulations impacting medical group practices around the country.

Sharon Jones, Ph.D.
thedot. Consulting

10 Functions Every Excel User Should Know
May 19th | 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Arrive early to the conference as Dr. Sharon Jones will bring clarity to Microsoft Excel functions and highlight 10 functions every Excel user should know and master.
Separate registration required

Paul Long
Motivational Speaker & Author

Connecting the Workplace and Life through F.U.N.
May 20th | 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
The Sincerity of Service
May 20th | 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Paul Long is a speaker, author, podcaster, and master of shenanigans. He has developed a concept called Fundamism, simply defined as the FUNdamentals of a F.U.N. and optimistic lifestyle.

Amanda McKinney, MBA
A Woman’s View & NCMGMA 2021 President

Annual Business Meeting & Closing Remarks
May 21st | 12:15 PM – 12:30 PM

Amanda is the Practice Administrator for A Woman’s View. Amanda received her MBA from Gardner-Webb University in 2016 and has served on the NCMGMA Board of Directors since 2017 and is currently serving as President.

Steve Parker
Curi & NCMGMA Immediate Past President

2020: A Retrospective View
May 19th | 4:00 PM – 4:30 PM

Steve has served as an advocate for physicians, physician practices and practice administrators in a variety of roles over his 27-year career with Curi (formerly Medical Mutual).

Kristine Sims
Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete

HR Update
May 20th | 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

During Kristine Sims’ two decades of practicing exclusively in the management or defense side of employment law, Kristine has been involved in advising clients in every aspect of the employment relationship.

Michelle Wallace
NCMGMA ACMPE Liaison

ACMPE Certification and Fellowship
May 21st | 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

Michelle is the Practice Administrator at Gastroenterology Associates of the Piedmont in Winston-Salem. As the ACMPE Liaison, Michelle mentors and supports members who are working on their board certification through the American College of Medical Practice Executives and/or seeking Fellowship.

Monica Wofford, CSP
Contagious Companies

We Didn’t Mean Forever…™: How We Now
View Difficult People
May 20th | 8:00 AM – 9:30 AM
It Works if You Work It™: The Power of Application
May 20th | 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Author of Make Difficult People Disappear™, Monica Wofford, CSP, is a 30-year veteran of the speaking and consulting industry.

Follow this link to see all the 2021 NCMGMA
Annual Conference has to offer!

Register Today!

Registration is open so sign up for the Annual Conference today. Full registration costs start at $325. To register, click on the button below and follow the instructions.

NCMGMA continues to monitor the pandemic and best practices for meeting in-person. We are excited to offer an opportunity to meet in-person in 2021 and plan to do this as safely as possible. Attendees & Exhibitors will be asked to adhere to NCMGMA requirements prior to completing registrations and also onsite prior to receiving a conference badge. We look forward to seeing as many who are willing and able in May! If you have questions, please email us at info@ncmgm.org.

Questions

If you have any questions about the 2021 NCMGMA Annual Conference, please contact the NCMGMA offices at info@ncmgm.org.

Five Predictions for the 2021 Supply Chain

Originally published on Premier’s blog

2021 Alliance Sponsor feature article courtesy of stockd, Premier’s e-commerce platform

It’s no secret that 2020 was a tough year for the healthcare supply chain. But in 2021, we’re bringing forward both reflection and new strength – and as several great scholars have noted: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

Premier and our members are doing just that. Even as COVID-19 exposed supply chain flaws and transformed the healthcare landscape, together we’re showing up and leveling up to address the biggest challenges as a result of COVID-19 and drive healthcare innovation for the future.

And we’re not yet done bringing the supply chain back to health.

Follow this link to view the complete article.

Cyber Security for Medical Devices and Hospital Networks

2021 Alliance sponsor feature article courtesy of the Sentinel Risk Advisors

Many medical devices contain configurable embedded computer systems that can be vulnerable to cyber-security breaches. In addition, as medical devices are increasingly interconnected via the Internet, hospital networks, other medical devices or smartphones, there is an increased risk of cyber-security breaches, which could affect how a medical device operates.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently become aware of cyber-security vulnerabilities and incidents that could directly impact medical devices or hospital network operations, such as the following:

  • Network-connected/configured medical devices infected or disabled by malware.
  • The presence of malware on hospital computers, smartphones and tablets, targeting mobile devices using wireless technology to access patient data, monitoring systems and implanted patient devices.
  • Uncontrolled distribution of passwords, disabled passwords, hard-coded passwords for software intended for privileged device access (e.g., to administrative, technical and maintenance personnel).
  • Failure to provide timely security software updates and patches to medical devices and networks and to address related vulnerabilities in older medical device models (legacy devices).
  • Security vulnerabilities in off-the-shelf software designed to prevent unauthorized device or network access, such as plain-text or no authentication, hard-coded passwords, documented service accounts in service manuals and poor coding/SQL injection.

The FDA has been working closely with other federal agencies and manufacturers to identify, communicate and mitigate vulnerabilities and incidents as they are identified.

FDA Recommendations/Actions

The FDA has a number of recommendations to mitigate the risks that technology may pose to health care organizations.

For all device manufacturers:

Manufacturers are responsible for remaining vigilant about identifying risks and hazards associated with their medical devices, including risks related to cyber security, and are responsible for putting appropriate mitigations in place to address patient safety and ensure proper device performance.

The FDA expects medical device manufacturers to take appropriate steps to limit the opportunities for unauthorized access to medical devices. Specifically, it is recommended that manufacturers review their cyber-security practices and policies to ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place to prevent unauthorized access or modification to their medical devices or compromise the security of the hospital network that may be connected to the device. The extent to which security controls are needed will depend on the medical device, its environment of use, the type and probability of the risks to which it is exposed, and the probable risks to patients from a security breach.

In evaluating your device, consider doing the following:

  • Take steps to limit unauthorized device access to trusted users only, particularly for those devices that are life-sustaining or could be directly connected to hospital networks.
  • Appropriate security controls may include user authentication, such as user ID and password, smartcard, or biometrics; strengthening password protection by avoiding hard-coded passwords and limiting public access to passwords used for technical device access; physical locks; card readers; and guards.
  • Protect individual components from exploitation and develop strategies for active security protection appropriate for the device’s use environment. Such strategies should include timely deployment of routine, validated security patches and methods to restrict software or firmware updates to authenticated code. The FDA typically does not need to review or approve medical device software changes made solely to strengthen cyber security.
  • Use design approaches that maintain a device’s critical functionality, even when security has been compromised, known as “fail-safe modes.”
  • Provide methods for retention and recovery after an incident where security has been compromised.
  • Cyber-security incidents are increasingly likely and manufacturers should consider incident response plans that address the possibility of degraded operation and efficient restoration and recovery.

For health care facilities:

The FDA recommends that you take steps to evaluate your network security and protect your hospital system. In evaluating network security, hospitals and health care facilities should consider doing the following:

  • Restricting unauthorized access to the network and networked medical devices.
  • Making certain that appropriate antivirus software and firewalls are up to date.
  • Monitoring network activity for unauthorized use.
  • Protecting individual network components through routine and periodic evaluation, including updating security patches and disabling all unnecessary ports and services.
  • Contacting the specific device manufacturer if you think you may have a cyber-security problem related to a medical device.
  • If you are unable to determine the manufacturer or cannot contact the manufacturer, the FDA may be able to assist in vulnerability reporting and resolution.
  • Developing and evaluating strategies to maintain critical functionality during adverse conditions

Reporting Problems to the FDA

Prompt reporting of adverse events can help the FDA identify and better understand the risks associated with medical devices. If you suspect that a cyber-security event has impacted the performance of a medical device or has impacted a hospital network system, file a voluntary report through MedWatch, the FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting program.

Health care personnel employed by facilities that are subject to the FDA’s user facility reporting requirements should follow the reporting procedures established by their facilities. Device manufacturers must comply with the Medical Device Reporting (MDR) regulations.

For guidance on how to keep your healthcare facility safe and secure from cyber threats, contact Amelia Bernstein, Senior Director of Specialty Lines at Sentinel Risk Advisors.

Amelia Bernstein’s legal background allows her to provide clients with complex needs with specialty lines of coverage. As the Senior Director of Specialty Lines and a Partner in the firm, Amelia oversees a broad range of client accounts, including all of Sentinel’s professional, executive and cyber liability insurance clients. She has a proven background of providing clients with risk management solutions they were once told were impossible to achieve.

Welcome New Members

Our membership continues to grow! Take a look at the list of healthcare professionals who have recently joined NCMGMA (February 24, 2021, through March 30, 2021):

Active

  • Shirley Cress Dudley, SCD Consulting Services, Charlotte, NC
  • Trent Hellwartb, Aurora Diagnostics, Greensboro, NC
  • Joanna Herath, Univ of North Carolina, Pittsboro, NC
  • Kathryn Inman, J Arthur Dosher Memorial Hospital, Shallotte, NC
  • April Johnson, Physicians East PA, Greenville, NC
  • Keith Kellam, Charlotte Gastro, Huntersville, NC
  • Beverly Marsh, Boone Dermatology Clinic PA, Boone, NC
  • Dana Moody, Piedmont Community Physicians/Vein Clinic of North Carolina, Winston-Salem, NC
  • Christy Ransom, Charlotte Eye Ear Nose and Throat Associates, Charlotte, NC
  • Jennifer Robbins, Eagle at Village/Eagle Physicians, Greensboro, NC
  • Jaime Summers, Cary Cardiology, Cary, NC
  • Chris White, WFBH-Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Winston-Salem, NC
  • Nathan White, Carolina Oncology Specialists PA, Hickory, NC

Affiliate

  • Elaine Boyle, Flagship Healthcare Properties, Charlotte, NC
  • Todd Davis, InSync Healthcare Solutions, Tampa, FL
  • Bill Fivek, Total Medical Compliance, Indian Trail, NC
  • Joe Johnson, Builder Services Inc of NC, Creedmoor, NC

Urgent Practice Data Survey: March COVID-19 Vaccine Survey Results

Results of Practice Survey on COVID-19 Vaccine

NCMGMA, NCMS and Curi continue working together to gather essential practice information from administrators and clinicians across North Carolina relative to the current COVID-19 crisis. The week of March 15, 2021, our practice survey included questions on the COVID-19 vaccination process. The following is a summary of those results.

We will continue to send the survey to identify trends among North Carolina practices as the state continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and its various impacts.

Please follow the button link to view our March Vaccine Summary report.

About the Urgent Practice Data Survey
The information and data collected has been compiled and used anonymously to better understand the most acute and immediate needs and to establish any trends to inform our policymakers on behalf of the physicians, PAs, practice administrators and the patients of North Carolina. Thank you to all of our members and practices who have contributed to these report-out results.

The Annual Conference Exhibit Hall Experience is Back! See Who’s Joining us in Myrtle Beach.

Practice Management’s Best Products and Services
The Annual Conference Exhibit Hall Experience is Back!

General Information | Schedule of Events | Accommodations | Registration

Annual Conference Exhibitors
List of exhibitors as of 3/15/21

Apex Technology
Appalachian State University, MHA Program
Bernard Robinson & Company LLP (BRC)
CARR
Casey Creative LLC
ComTech
Curi
First Citizens Bank
HandCraft Services
ImageFIRST Healthcare Laundry Specialist
InSync Healthcare Solutions
LabCorp
MagMutual
MDcentric Technologies
MedHelp, Inc.
MedPro Group
NC Medical Society

ONLINE Information Services
PEAKE Technology Partners
Physicians Wear Medical Linen Service
Prince Parker & Associates
Receivable Management Corporation
Rockingham Revenue Services, LLC
Sentinel Risk Advisors LLC
Social Joey
Stanley Benefit Services, Inc.
Stern Recovery Services
Stockd. A Premier Marketplace
Strategic Solutions
Summit Credit Union
Technology Associates
Total Medical Compliance
TriMed Technologies Corp.

Annual Conference exhibitors are 2021 NCMGMA Alliance sponsors, though not all of them will be joining us in May, like NCHA Strategic Partners. Visit the sponsor page of our website to see our complete list of 2021 Alliance sponsors.

Pre-conference Session

Sharon Jones, Ph.D., thedot. Consulting

Pre-Conference Session
10 Functions Every Excel User Should Know
Wednesday, May 19th | 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Arrive early to the conference as Dr. Sharon Jones will bring clarity to Microsoft Excel functions and highlight 10 functions every Excel user should know and master. Click on the video image to watch a preview of Dr. Jones’ session!
Separate registration required

Annual Conference Registration is now open so sign up today.
Participation is limited to the first 100 registrants.

Thursday General Sessions

Monica Wofford, CSP, Contagious Companies

We Didn’t Mean Forever…™: How We Now View Difficult People
Thursday, May 20th | 8:00 AM – 9:30 AM

This is a powerful session with skill-building and interaction. You’ll learn about yourself, how to work better with others and gain quick tips on stress coping and longer-term solutions for eliminating it altogether.

It Works if You Work It™: The Power of Application
Thursday, May 20th | 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

What if as your stress went down, conflict came up less, and drama became not the norm, but the exception? New skills work if you work them and in this session, you’ll gain guidance on how to apply insights from Monica’s morning presentation, as well as from your entire conference.

Paul Long, Motivational Speaker & Author

Connecting the Workplace and Life through F.U.N.
Thursday, May 20th | 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Through his concept of Fundamism, Paul Long discusses the impact created when the customer has no doubt that your staff is genuine in their desire to help. Click on Paul’s picture for a preview video!

The Sincerity of Service
Thursday, May 20th | 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

“The Sincerity in Service” is designed to enhance your employee’s customer interactions while revealing additional opportunities to make a difference in all walks of life. Click on Paul’s picture for a preview video!

Annual Conference Highlights

  • Continuing Education
    Earn the CEUs that not only meet your requirements but provide the essential tools you need to enhance your management skills and improve your practice’s performance.
  • In Person Networking
    From evening receptions to education breaks to exhibit hall hours, there’s plenty of time to catch up with old friends and make the connections that matter to you and your practice.
  • Oceanfront Location
    Discover an oceanfront oasis at Marriott Myrtle Beach Resort & Spa at Grande Dunes. The AAA-rated Four-Diamond resort is optimally situated on the north end of Myrtle Beach.

Follow this link to see all the 2021 NCMGMA
Annual Conference has to offer!

Register Today!

Registration is open so sign up for the Annual Conference today. Full registration costs start at $325. To register, click on the button below and follow the instructions.

NCMGMA continues to monitor the pandemic and best practices for meeting in-person. We are excited to offer an opportunity to meet in-person in 2021 and plan to do this as safely as possible. Attendees & Exhibitors will be asked to adhere to NCMGMA requirements prior to completing registrations and also onsite prior to receiving a conference badge. We look forward to seeing as many who are willing and able in May! If you have questions, please email us at info@ncmgm.org.

Questions

If you have any questions about the 2021 NCMGMA Annual Conference, please contact the NCMGMA offices at info@ncmgm.org.

March 23rd Lunch & Learn Webinar: COVID Vaccine Planning & Resources

March Lunch & Learn Webinar
Arm Yourself: COVID Vaccine Planning & Resources

Tuesday, March 23rd | 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT

This program will provide an overview of key considerations in planning a COVID-19 vaccine administration program in a medical practice and will touch on some available resources that can be accessed to prepare. Topics covered will include:

  • Planning and organizing the effort
  • Selecting and training staff to administer vaccine
  • Administration of the vaccine and documenting immunizations
  • Planning for contingencies
  • Addressing HIPAA compliance issues

Webinar Speaker

Bill Shenton
Partner, Poyner Spruill

Bill Shenton is a partner in the Raleigh office of Poyner Spruill. During the course of his law practice, he has represented the NC DHHS for over forty years; and in private practice, has represented and advised health care providers and organizations in civil and administrative litigation, and on various regulatory compliance issues.

Registration

This webinar is free but you must be registered to attend. Space is limited so register early! After you register, you will receive an email confirmation and an email reminder with webinar login instructions.

Continuing education credit may be granted through your professional organization (MGMA, PAHCOM, AHIMA, etc.). Please self-submit for these organizations.

Questions

For questions or more information please contact the NC Medical Society offices at ncmsfoundation@ncmedsoc.org.

NCMS External Affairs Team Focuses on Solutions for You

2021 Alliance sponsor feature article courtesy of the NC Medical Society

The NC Medical Society staff has a laser focus on finding solutions to issues and challenges health care practices throughout North Carolina face. The NCMS team has decades of expertise and long-standing connections in a variety of regulatory agencies, with public and private payers and at the NC General Assembly. It is our job to work on your behalf so you and your physicians and PAs can continue to provide the highest quality service and care to your patients.

Please meet some of our team members who are going to bat for you each day.

Sue Ann Forrest, MPA, is our lead lobbyist and NCMS Director of Legislative Relations. During the legislative session, Sue Ann provides a weekly video update, NCMS Political Pulse, offering the latest on legislative actions that could impact your practice. Emailed to you directly, this keeps you in-the-know as we lobby for positive change and work to head off legislation that could have a negative impact. She also leads weekly meetings with her fellow lobbyists representing state specialty societies, seeking to coordinate efforts and leverage collaboration wherever possible. Sue Ann also can arrange meetings with your legislators through our White Coat Wednesday program (held virtually during the pandemic). She and her team also maintain the NCMS legislative blog, updated regularly during the session, with summaries of all the bills we are tracking. Sue Ann also will let you know through our quick and easy email Action Alerts when we need grassroots support. The Action Alert allows you to reach out to your legislators at just the right moment so they know where you stand on important issues.

Alan Skipper, CAE, CMP, brings a deep knowledge of the issues and players to his decades of health care advocacy at the state and federal level on behalf of the NCMS and its NCMS-managed specialty societies. His perspective is invaluable as we seek legislative solutions at the NC General Assembly and on Capitol Hill, and also as we engage in regulatory and payer issues. In all he does, Alan has built a broad network and continually collaborates with state and national partner organizations, state and national specialty societies and the AMA.

Ashley Rodriguez, JD, monitors the work of a variety of regulatory agencies on your behalf, bringing her knowledge as an attorney and her understanding of the health care space to her job. She serves as your eyes and ears with the NC Medical Board, for instance. She also keeps tabs on the Medical Care Commission, the Industrial Commission and the rulemaking process in areas that could affect your practice. She is engaged with various public health agencies and the NC Institute of Medicine, particularly around its maternal and infant health initiatives. While the NCMS is prohibited from offering any kind of legal advice, Ashley is familiar with our Business Alliance partner law firms and can make informed referrals, if you have a legal issue. She is lead staff person on the NCMS Ethical and Judicial Affairs Committee, which addresses timely ethical questions facing members.

Kristen Spaduzzi, MS, a former practice administrator, understands your day-to-day challenges. In addition to working as the lead staff person for the NCMS Policy Committee, Kristen is your source for information regarding public and private payers. She has great contacts and can help when you have exhausted all other options when faced with a payer issue. She also serves as the chair of the NC Medical Group Management Association’s Medicare Committee.

NCMS staff also works with the NCMGMA to host monthly webinars on topics of interest to both NCMS and NCMGMA members. The NCMS also is a convener of the NC Population Health Collaborative and the ACO Council, both of which bring together a variety of voices to work toward successful new models of health care.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the NCMS, along with the NCMGMA and Curi, have regularly surveyed our members to better understand the challenges facing your practice during this difficult time. We have used the data from that survey to help inform our advocacy and resource development to help you.

Recently, the NC General Assembly allocated a total of $30 million to the NCMS for PPE purchase and distribution as well as financial relief funds to give to independent practices in the state struggling financially due to the pandemic. That legislators called on the NCMS to serve medical practices, is a testament to just how effective and trusted the NCMS is.

The NCMS is your premier practice resource. Please encourage your physicians and PAs to become members if they are not already. NCMS membership means we are watching out for you on many fronts, so you can focus on running a successful practice to serve your community.