In this issue:
by Wanda Hancock,MHSA, PA-C
Is it hot enough out there for you? We’re feeling the heat at NCAPA, that’s for sure! Staff and committees are preparing for the August board meeting and the BEST Summer Conference ever. We’re only three weeks away! We have more members signed up for conference than last year and there’s plenty of “hot fun in the summertime” to be had at the beach, so be sure to make your plans to join us.
NCAPA has completed all the technology upgrades at the Stead Center, including increasing our Wifi capabilities and installing a new projector and camera in our conference room. These changes will contribute to making our own meetings more accessible through Zoom or Skype and our conference space more desirable, resulting in potential non-dues revenue from other organizations in need of meeting space.
The PA History Society’s plans to renovate the Veteran’s Memorial Garden are well underway and they are currently selling pavers to provide a memorial for individual veterans. When I began my career as a PA, one of my mentors had been a corpsman; he contributed so much to our country and my own career that I plan to purchase a paver with his name, as he truly deserves to be recognized for his service. If you know of a veteran who you would like to honor with a spot in the Garden, please consider purchasing one as well. (Information regarding the pavers is included in this edition of The Pulse).
The NCAPA Health Committee is working to set guidelines for the Kober Grant to support our fellow PAs who are struggling with addiction. They have also once again arranged for 12-step meetings at Summer Conference. We are always grateful for those in recovery who can offer mentorship and support.
NCAPA is hoping to embark on a digital marketing campaign this Fall to help strengthen our membership numbers. With the many issues facing PAs today such as reimbursement, recertification, insurance, career development, etc., it is more important than ever to get the word out and support NCAPA as we expand our efforts to put PAs at the forefront of healthcare.
On the legislative front, for the first time in many years, the Government Affairs committee planned and coordinated a day at the NC Legislature. Thanks to Sarah Wolfe and all of our staff and volunteers, the day was a huge success. We met with our senators and representatives, not with any particular “ask for help issues” but with a goal of introducing ourselves and sharing some information about the PA profession. Throughout 2017, in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the profession, there are plans for meetings with legislators in the various districts around the entire state in an effort to celebrate our past and prepare for our future.
So, although the tendency might be to sit back in the shade under an umbrella with a fan during this hotter than ever summer, the staff and members of NCAPA are doing everything but that. I truly thank you all for the opportunity to be at the helm during this wonderful time of growth and development for NCAPA. If you find yourself tired of this heat, consider jumping on the bus with a refreshing type of warmth and progress. Sign up for a committee and start to add value to our next 50 years.
Wanda Hancock, MHSA, PA-C
by Marc Katz, PA-C
The first NCAPA Legislative Day was held on Wednesday, June 15, 2016. Twenty-one PAs came to Raleigh to meet with their elected officials. As someone with experience lobbying in Congress, I can say our state effort was a phenomenal success.
Physician Assistants visited with 17 elected members of the House of Representatives and 10 elected members of the Senate to educate them on the role of PAs in healthcare in North Carolina. Though there are no current bills pending that deal with PA practice, we wanted to lay the groundwork for any future legislative efforts. We were also able to do some preliminary networking with other members of the Legislature with an eye towards having our elected officials visit PA programs and practice sites throughout the state in 2017 in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the PA profession.
I would like to thank Sarah Wolfe who worked to put this event together as well as the rest of the NCAPA staff who helped to make the event a huge success. For anyone who has not done this type of advocacy in the past, I strongly recommend joining us next year. It is great way to see how our government works and to show great pride in the profession which you have chosen to pursue.
by Sarah Wolfe, Assistant Vice-President, McGuire Woods Consulting
After convening for the legislative short session on April 25, lawmakers worked expeditiously in order to adjourn for the year by the July 4 holiday weekend. After pulling several late nights and a couple of rare Friday sessions, lawmakers were able to adjourn by their self-imposed deadline, adjourning just minutes before midnight on Friday, July 1.
During the approximately two months that the North Carolina General Assembly was in session, the following healthcare-related bills made it to the Governor’s desk for final signature into law.
Among its provisions, H728: Amend Various Licensing Board Laws/Fees makes several changes to laws pertaining to the NC Medical Board, including:
- Limits members of the NCMB to two complete three-year terms in a lifetime (previously the law did not limit to a lifetime).
- States that the NCMB cannot deny an application for licensure solely on the applicant’s failure to become board certified.
- Raises physician fees—license to practice medicine and surgery from $350 to $400, and license to practice medicine registration fee from $175 to $250.
- Codifies the Physicians Health Program (PHP) and increases access to PHP assessments.
H842: Medicaid Waiver Protections/Military Families ensures that the eligibility criteria for Medicaid home and community based Medicaid waivers allow a dependent of a member of the Armed Forces to maintain their waiver status when the service member is transferred to an assignment outside of North Carolina, as long as the service member maintains NC as their legal residence and plan to return upon complement of military service. This law will become effective January 1, 2017.
The budget bill, H1030: Appropriations Act of 2016, contained several provisions of interest to the provider community:
- Includes funds to upgrade the Controlled Substances Reporting System (CSRS) database to include the ability for the system to connect with surrounding states and the NC health information exchange network.
- Requires all licensed providers authorized to prescribe controlled substances to register for access to the CSRS. A violation of this requirement may constitute cause for the NCMB to suspend or revoke a provider’s license.
- Establishes a health insurance premium program within the NC AIDS Drug Assistance Program to provide eligible beneficiaries with premium and cost-sharing assistance for the purchase of private health insurance coverage.
- Provides funds to administer an evidence-based Diabetes Prevention Program, targeting minority populations.
- In response to the Zika virus, creates a vector surveillance program.
- Enacts a medication-assisted opioid use disorder treatment pilot program, to take place at up to five federally qualified health centers within the state. The goal of the program is to study the effectiveness of combining behavioral therapy with the use of a non-narcotic, non-addictive, extended-release, injectable formulation of opioid antagonist for the prevention of relapse to opioid dependence.
- Sets aside reserve dollars for the funding of the priorities set out in the Governor’s Task Force on Mental Health and Substance Use.
S734: Statewide Standing Order/Opioid Antagonist authorized the state health director to prescribe opioid antagonist through a statewide standing order. For the purposes of this law, the state health director is immune from civil and criminal liability.
Since this was the second year of the legislative biennium, any bills that did not make it to the Governor’s desk in either 2015 or 2016 are now officially “dead,” at least until 2017, when lawmakers can file new bills to be debated during the next biennium. Hotly-debated topics that never made it through both chambers includes a repeal of the certificate-of-need law, and a prohibition of health insurers from being able to require step therapy, which is when an insurer requires a patient to try cheaper alternative treatments first, before being prescribed a more expensive medication. Additionally, in response to the fatal case of an amoebic infection at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, a bill was proposed to regulate such water parks in the same way that swimming pools are regulated in the state. While the bill unanimously passed the House, it never made it out of the Senate before adjournment.
by Emily Adams, Executive Director
NCAPA is looking for members who would like to serve on one of our standing committees in 2017. Committees gather information, study issues, reach consensus, and make recommendations to the Board of Directors. Active committee involvement makes NCAPA a successful organization. (Click here to read committee descriptions.)
Based on individual interest, the President-Elect accepts and/or recommends people to serve as Committee Chairs and the Board of Directors votes on these appointments in September. Committee Chairs are notified of their appointments in early October so they can plan to attend the NCAPA Board meeting on November 5th. Once Committee Chairs are appointed, committee members will be selected. To move this process forward, we would like your application by August 29th.
If you currently Chair or serve on a committee and would like to continue to do so in 2017, please complete the renewal application. If you are new to NCAPA committees and would like to be considered for a position, please complete the form found here. All appointments are for one year terms and begin on January 1, 2017. Please contact NCAPA’s Executive Director, Emily Adams at email@example.com if you have any questions. We appreciate your interest and look forward to working with you!
Embassy Suites, Kingston Plantation
August 21-26, 2016
Myrtle Beach, SC
Join us for our 40th Annual NCAPA Summer Conference! NCAPA combines the best CME conference for PAs with a family-friendly beach vacation.
Our full agenda is announced and we are proud to present a variety of interesting topics. There is truly something for any provider-each lecture hour on the agenda will include case studies and clinical pearls that will be useful in YOUR clinical practice.
Annual Membership Meeting
Each year, the NCAPA President hosts an annual meeting for members during Summer Conference. This year’s meeting will be held on Monday, August 22nd at 8:00am in the Embassy Suites. All NCAPA members are invited to come, so be sure to join us if you can! The agenda for the 2017 Member Meeting includes:
- State of Academy
- Financial Review
- Committee Activities
- Strategic Plan Review
- Review Proposed Bylaws Changes
- PA of the Year Award
by Emily Adams, Executive Director
In January 2016, the NCAPA Board of Directors approved changes to the Bylaws. The document describing the proposed substantive changes can be found here and the full version of the proposed bylaws, with all the changes included, are here. NCAPA members will be asked to vote on the changes during our annual election for board members, held annually in September and done through an online voting system. The bylaws changes will be also be presented at the Annual Membership meeting on Monday, August 21 at 8am at Embassy Suites; all members are welcome to the meeting.
by Emily Adams, Executive Director
North Carolina has been apportioned an additional HOD delegate beginning in 2017 for a total of eight NC delegates. Due to the current make-up of the North Carolina delegation, NCAPA needs to identify two members to serve as back-up delegates (formerly called alternates).
Current NCAPA bylaws state that the President will serve as the Chief Delegate. In 2017, Truett Smith will be the President and was elected as a back-up delegate in 2016, he will move into the delegate position that Wanda Hancock will vacate at the end of her presidency. In addition, Linda Sekhon who is the other back-up delegate will move into the newly apportioned seat leaving NCAPA with no back-up delegates
Since this is a vacancy fill situation, the Board has identified an election process to fill the back-up delegate vacancies.
NCAPA will hold a special selection process to elect two, one-year back-up delegates for the AAPA House of Delegates. The process will include self-nominations received by August 10th and nominations from the floor for secret ballot vote at the August 20 board meeting. The two highest vote getters will serve as the back-up delegates at the 2017 HOD.
If you are interested in serving as a House of Delegates back-up and can attend the 2017 HOD meeting in Las Vegas, NV scheduled for May 15-18, 2017, please submit a statement of interest to the Board of Directors. You may direct the statement to Emily Adams, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, September 17, 2016
The Stead Center
1121 Slater Road, Durham, NC
Registration is now open for an Acute Care Medicine Self-Assessment workshop to be held at the Stead Center for Physician Assistants in Durham, NC. The Acute Care Medicine workshop is a Self-Assessment CME program designed to evaluate where you need to focus and take proactive steps for improvement in acute care medicine and EKG interpretation.
Presented by John Bielinski, PA, from CME4Life, LLC, this program utilizes the audience response system for immediate feedback to presented questions. There will be discussion, engagement and tools for learning presented. Seats are strictly limited due to the number of audience response units – a wait list will be available when seats are filled.
This Self-Assessment CME program has been reviewed and is approved for a maximum of 20 AAPA Category 1 Self-Assessment(SA) CME credits by the PA Review Panel. Physician Assistants should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. This program was planned in accordance with AAPA’s CME Standards.
The 2016 NCAPA Student Leadership Retreat will focus on clinical year students and providing them with information regarding what to expect in the initial years following PA school and how to be become a leader in the PA profession. The 2016 Student Leadership Retreat will be held on Saturday, October 8th and will begin at 9am with light breakfast and socializing and wrap up by 4:00pm. Lunch will be provided.
Final details are still being determined and an agenda will be provided as soon as it is finalized. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact Kat Nicholas at email@example.com.
from the Physician Assistant History Society
As most NCAPA members know by now, the PA History Society is raising funds for improvements to the John McElligott Veterans Memorial Garden located at the Stead Center. The garden honors the contributions made by former and current uniformed service PAs to the PA profession. The NCAPA Board of Directors voted to donate $5,000 to this garden in April. We hope that many of our members will choose to support and donate to this project honoring a valuable part of our PA history! The total cost of landscaping and construction is $72,000. The Society currently needs to raise an additional $30,000 to make the Veteran Garden a reflective, inspiring and peaceful place of remembrance. This is a terrific way to show our appreciation to those who have served and are serving their country and profession so well. Landscaping and construction is to begin in October 2016 with the re-dedication ceremony planned for April 2017.
There are two ways to donate to the Veterans Memorial Garden Project: A “general monetary” donation and/or by purchasing an “engraved brick paver”
Credit card payments for general donations (non-brick paver orders) are accepted via the PAHx website here. Please mark “Garden” next to your name. Checks should be mailed to: PA History Society, 12000 Findley Road, Suite 160, Johns Creek, Georgia 30097. Please mark “Garden” for a general monetary donation, or “Paver” on the memo line of your check. All donations are tax deductible, and can be made by credit card or check.
If you would like to honor a veteran PA or a PA on active duty in the uniformed services, you may want to take advantage of the PA History Society’s plans to upgrade the Veteran Memorial Garden into a “place of remembrance.” The Society is selling 9×9 inch engraved named brick pavers for $100 each. For those interested in purchasing more than one paver, they are offering a sliding scale: 1 for $100, 2 for $175, 3 for $250, 4 for $325 and 5 for $400. The engraved paver will include the appropriate uniformed service logo and 3 lines for name, branch and years of service. The pavers will be embedded in the wheelchair accessible walkway and in the patio area surrounding a life-size bronze combat medic statue, the centerpiece of the garden. This is a chance to honor yourself or any PA colleagues who have or are currently serving their country. Order now via the Society’s website at http://pahx.org/ to make sure that your paver is displayed prominently in the garden.
The NCAPA Endowment is currently seeking applicants for the Board of Trustees. The term is for three years and begins upon selection. Read about the Endowment here. If you are interested in applying for a position on the Board of Trustees, you can find the application form here.
- Metrolina Association of Physician Assistants (MAPA) will be holding a free, one day CME Conference on Saturday, October 1st with lectures beginning at 8:00am. There will be 6 hours of CME offered, 3 in Ophthalmology and 2 in Otolaryngology. The conference will be at the Charlotte Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat in Charlotte. For more information, please visit www.metrolinapa.org.
- Far West NC Physician Extender Associates (FWNCPEA) 3rd Annual Fall Conference will be on Saturday, October 8th from 8:00am to 4:00pm. The conference is FREE and includes continental breakfast and lunch. It will be held at the Balsam Mountain Inn, Balsam, NC. 6 hours of AAPA (approval pending) category 1 CME. Register at www.FWNCPEA.com.
- Piedmont Association of Physician Assistants (PAPA) will hold their 2016 Fall Seminar on Saturday, October 15th from 7:30am to 4:00pm. The conference is for PAs and NPs only and is FREE of charge. Breakfast and lunch included. 6 hours of AAPA (approval pending) category 1 CME. Visit their website for more information.
NCAPA has repeatedly heard from our members of the importance of networking opportunities. We began hosting social networking events in 2015 and, based on the positive feedback, have scheduled even more for 2016! Our first such event was held at the Stead Center, prior to our Recertification Exam Review Conference. But if you missed that one, we have more opportunities available to network, share ideas, and provide support with your fellow PA or PA student:
- Thursday, September 22nd we will host an event in Asheville at Pack’s Tavern from 7-9pm
- Friday, September 30th, an event will be held at Maggianos in South Park, Charlotte from 7-9pm
- Friday, October 14th, an event will be held at Noble’s Grille in Winston-Salem, from 7-9pm.
If you are interested in attending any of these events, please rsvp here. Hope to see you soon!
by Marc Katz, PA-C
The NC Medical Board is pursuing rule changes that would require physicians and PAs who prescribe controlled substances to complete continuing medical education (CME) hours on the subject of chronic pain management and related topics during each CME cycle. The proposed rule states:
Beginning on January 1, 2017, a physician assistant who prescribes controlled substances must complete at least two hours of CME, from the required 50 hours, designed specifically to address controlled substance prescribing practices. The controlled substance prescribing CME, shall include instruction on controlled substance prescribing, recognizing signs of the abuse or misuse of controlled substances, and controlled substance prescribing for chronic pain management.
The rule would take effect Jan. 1, 2017, if finally approved by the NC Rules Review Commission. NCMB held a public hearing to accept comment on the proposed rule changes on July 14 at 10 a.m. NCAPA was represented by our Executive Director, Emily Adams.
from AAPA Medical Watch
Over the past year, AAPA aggressively lobbied for PAs to be part of the solution to the nation’s opioid epidemic. As a result of our efforts, PAs will soon be eligible to become waivered to prescribe buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid addiction. On July 8, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly supported passage of the House-Senate Conference report to S. 524, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) of 2016 and the U.S. Senate followed suit on July 13. The legislation amends federal law (the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 or DATA 2000) to permit PAs to become waivered to prescribe buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid addiction. It will now be sent to the president for his expected signature.
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Welcome to our renewing and our brand new members!
The following members have joined or renewed their membership since our last issue. Thank you all for your support of NCAPA and all PAs in North Carolina!
Grace Albert, Springfield, MA
David Allgood, Jacksonville
Mark Belligan, Cary
Angela Bethea, Raleigh
Ethel Biehl, Winterville
James Blanton, Stanfield
Karen Brown, Kalamazoo, MI
Charles Bryant, Hendersonville
Whitney Buckland, Lexington, SC
Jennifer Burnette, Burlington
William Chamnin, Wilmington
Teresa Clayton, Durham
James Coll, Jr., Raleigh
Glen Combs, Winston Salem
Jennifer Coughenour, Laurinburg
Gregory Creel, New Bern
Caroline Dana, Charlotte
Brian Doss, High Point
Ryan Dunn, Burlington
Shawn Fitzgerald, Wilmington
Christa Fleming, Wilson
Elizabeth Goodrich, Euclid, OH
Sanders Guignard, Charlotte
Mark Harrell, Greenville
Madelon Haskin, Charlotte
Jennifer Hastings, Fayetteville
Krista Hewett, Whiteville
Sue High, Fayetteville
Jennifer Hull, Mooresville
Reza Jarrahizadeh, Charlotte
Tumanya Jones, Hillsboro, OH
Annika Kamberelis, Fort Mill, SC
Shaun Lynch, Cary
Lance Mayfield, Martinsburg, WV
Ryan McDonald, Lewisville
Amy McMillan, West Columbia, SC
Christina McOwen, Trent Woods
Renee Miles, Blythewood, SC
Rachel Moor, Charlotte
Sarah Nelson, High Point
Frederick Parker, Columbia, SC
Hanna Patel-Mills, Greensboro
Dena Pozeg, North Myrtle Beach, SC
Henry Ramirez, Seneca, SC
Edward Reynolds, Sumter, SC
Jessica Rook, Charlotte
BethAnne Seawell, Raleigh
Rebecca Staskelunas, Winterville
Renisse Trillana, Matthews
Roy Waronsky, Charlotte
Jessica Weathersbee, Waxhaw
Tamara Wellman, Ashland, KY
Erin Wetherill, Raleigh
Ann Whitaker, Raleigh
Sarah Wildrick, East Stroudsburg, PA
Nancy Winebarger, Alexander
Danny Winn, Faison