Visits to the Stead Center are by appointment only. Please call the NCAPA office for more information. Read More »

Visits to the Stead Center are by appointment only. Please call the NCAPA office for more information. Read More »

The Pulse | March 2014

In this issue:
President’s Message
Immediate Leadership Opportunity!
38th Annual NCAPA Summer Conference
Commercial Driver Medical Examiner Training
Helping Patients Understand the Affordable Care Act
From the Nominating Committee
Notes from the Office
Tell Your Colleagues the Truth!
Endorsing Jeff Katz
Advocating on Capitol Hill
Bolivia: A Life-Changing Journey
No More “Just a Day at the Office”
Compliance Review Visits
PA Student Medical Challenge Bowl
NCTracks Provider Help Center: April 22 in Hickory
Claims for Enhanced Payments
NCTracks Provider Portal


President’s Message

By Charlene M. Morris, DFAAPA, MPAS, PA-C

March has indeed come in like a lion!

NCAPA’s Winter Conference was a success, and I had the genuine pleasure of meeting many of the attendees and addressing the filled hall on February 26. As always, the Conference Planning Committee and NCAPA staff did a spectacular job of lining up powerful speakers and preparing for the Commercial Driver Medical Examiner Training (DOT/CDL) class, which added seats for its premiere class on Friday, February 28. (There are two additional DOT/CDL courses in March.) Kudos to the proactive efforts of NCAPA’s own to provide this valuable service to us all!

I attended the AAPA leadership meeting in Arlington, VA, February 27 – March 1. Several PAs from NCAPA trekked to Capitol Hill in the bitter and biting -1 degree wind chill to lobby for hospice care legislation and related repairs on the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. The SGR can effectively be replaced and remove the suboptimal reimbursement schedule that is currently in place and instead pay on RESULTS, such as diabetes and COPD care effectiveness. Past due, the bipartisan SGR is potentially huge for PAs, as comprehensive care is what we do!

To my three legislators, I related the recent tale of my 92-year-old patient, Ms. Elsie, who requested hospice that I was unable to provide for her, due to the 1965 legislation passed before PAs existed. I wrapped her shawl around me as we made our way from office to office. The aides with whom we met touched the soft and warm  fabric and were also introduced to Ms. Elsie’s life and story. Let me take care of my patients at the end of their lives. As I related to my legislators: there is no place like home.

The AAPA meeting itself was inspiring and varied. We heard wonderful affirmations regarding PA collaboration, the fact that we practice medicine, and that we number close to 100,000 PAs today. All of these confirm that we have progressed, and they accurately reflect what we do and who we are as PAs.

Invited by Ann Davis at AAPA, I participated on March 7 in a prestigious national meeting to discuss COPD and hospital readmission issues. A PA will sit at the table with thought leaders from across the U.S. and it is another place PAs are indeed involved…Read more

There have been news items citing PAs positively in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and (on the day of our journey to DC) in USA Today. Medpage Today interviewed AAPA president Larry Herman, which resulted in an incredibly powerful piece.

There have been conciliatory conversations among ourselves and physician groups at what was called “warp speed” by AAPA President Herman. PAs are moving forward with clout in the medical community, and indeed we should.

I think we all are anticipating spring in a few short days. I like to think we are tired of snow storms and ready for snow peas in our gardens.

Watch PAs and NCAPA GROW!


Immediate Leadership Opportunity!

Sadly, NCAPA will bid farewell to Billy Collins on May 1, when he transfers to a new location. Billy has been an active presence in our professional organization for the past nine years. We wish him the best and remind him he will always be welcomed in North Carolina.

Billy is currently serving on the NCAPA Board of Directors, with his term ending December 31, 2014. The bylaws call for the Board of Directors to fill Billy’s vacant seat, which they plan to do in May. The vacancy will provide an excellent opportunity for someone interested in joining the leadership of our professional organization.

The Executive leadership of the NCAPA and the Nominating Committee extend to Fellow or Associate members of the NCAPA the opportunity to nominate yourself or to nominate another consenting eligible member for this open position. Please thoughtfully consider taking a more active role in the leadership of your professional organization.

Please notify the Nominating Committee and/or NCAPA central office of your interest and intent by April 18, 2014. Per the bylaws, this will allow time for certification of credentials and ballot readiness for the Board of Directors meeting on May 3, 2014. If you have questions or need additional information please contact Sandy Pierce, Nominating Committee Chair, or Cathie Feild, NCAPA Executive Director.


Registration Now Open!

38th Annual NCAPA Summer Conference
Embassy Suites, Kingston Plantation
Myrtle Beach SC
August 17-22, 2014

Join NCAPA for CME at the beach!  No one does it better!  Sessions start early and they end early so you can get out there and enjoy Myrtle Beach!

Click here for conference information and registration
Click here for hotel information and reservations


Commercial Driver Medical Examiner Training

Ready to get certified? The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires all medical examiners who wish to provide DOT/CDL exams to be trained and certified by May 21, 2014. The NCAPA training course is designed to follow FMCSA training guidelines and will prepare the medical examiner to pass the national certification exam. This course is approved for 6 hours of Category I CME*.

*This program has been reviewed and is approved for a maximum of 6.00 hours of AAPA Category I CME credit by the Physician Assistant Review Panel.  Physician assistants should claim only those hours actually spent participating in the CME activity.

Sunday, March 23, 2014
Eugene Stead Center for Physician Assistants, Durham NC
Click here for conference information and registration

Saturday, April 5, 2014
Registration Opens Soon–location in North Carolina to be announced!


Helping Patients Understand the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has created enormous change in the way patients can purchase health care insurance. The current enrollment period ends March 31, 2014, and many individuals may need help in understanding the enrollment process.

In response, the PA section of the North Carolina Medical Society and the North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants collaborated to create a simple-to-use resource that explains the enrollment process. All of the contact information and the enrollment processes are concisely and clearly listed.

We hope all providers will make this resource available to their patients. Please download the document and share with your patients today.

English version

Spanish version


From the Nominating Committee

Greetings from the Nominating Committee! Hints of spring are in the air, which means the time is ripe for becoming active in leadership in your state professional academy in the coming year. If you have not been personally involved in Academy leadership on the state level, NCAPA provides a wonderful environment for developing individual leadership skills while making an impact on the growth and presence of your chosen profession.  We encourage you to personally consider this level of involvement.

Also, please contact us with names of others in your area that may have an interest in our Academy’s governance. Positions open for nominations in 2014 (terms beginning January 1, 2015) are: President-Elect, Vice-President, Secretary, Director-at-Large (two positions) and Nominating Committee (one position). Please contact any of the members of the Nominating Committee or the NCAPA central office for additional information, questions, or to provide written nomination of candidates (must have nominee’s consent). Written nominations must be received by June 1, 2014. Download the Nomination Form

We appreciate your involvement and support in making the PA profession vibrant and strong in North Carolina.


Notes from the Office

By Cathie Feild, NCAPA Executive Director

NCAPA announces the upcoming retirement of one of our employees, Lee Busselman. Lee joined the staff of NCAPA in July of 2012 as Member Services Coordinator. In January of this year, Lee was promoted to Director of Membership and Marketing. He has made significant contributions to the Academy over the past two years in his multi-faceted and ever-expanding role. Lee oversaw the development of NCAPA’s current web site and serves as our webmaster. He used his design skills to improve the look of our membership marketing materials and create eye-catching graphics for our web site. He has promoted NCAPA at conferences such as the PAPA Fall Seminar, the NCMS conference, and by visiting every PA program in the state twice each year to talk to incoming and graduating students about NCAPA. Lee works more closely with NCAPA student members than anyone on staff, organizing the Student Medical Challenge Bowl, helping them plan the Student Leadership Retreat, and working with the Endowment to coordinate the student scholarship program. He also oversaw the return of NCAPA’s PA of the Year Award and is responsible for putting together this newsletter every month. Lee is a team player, always willing to help fellow staff members and pitching in on projects such as organizing events at the ECC and being a “jack of all trades” at NCAPA conferences. Lee’s last day at NCAPA will be March 31. I know staff, Board, and Committee members will miss his good nature and cooperative spirit. We wish Lee many years of happiness and fulfillment in retirement.


Tell Your Colleagues the Truth!

By Sandy Pierce, MHSA, PA-C

Membership Committee Member

At work the other day, I was talking with a new PA when the topic of the state Academy came up.  “Have you gotten involved in the Academy yet?” I asked. I was stunned to hear the answer. “No,” she said, “I was encouraged to get involved by a friend but there’s nothing really to do. It seems like the ‘older’ PAs in the profession have done all the work and all we need to do is reap the benefits.”

NCAPA needs your help to dispel this impression! PAs who are not yet part of the Academy need to hear from its members how much is left undone, and how much their membership in NCAPA can make a difference.

It is true that the PAs from the ‘70s and ‘80s laid much of the ground work for the profession. The very first class of PAs were boycotted by the nurses at Duke when Life Magazine referred to PAs as “being between nurses and doctors.” Long hours were spent working to pass legislation that defined the profession in such a way that North Carolina became a model for the nation. There is a long list of other accomplishments that the “older” PAs accomplished, but it is just a starting point, not an end.

As healthcare enters a new era under the Affordable Care Act,  more and more healthcare professions will be looking for ways to have a piece of the shrinking pie. Think about what you’ve seen in recent years – pharmacists have become Pharm Ds with prescription privileges, nurse practitioners have fought for independent practice abilities. Physical therapists are now becoming RTDs and you can bet they will be pushing for the ability to determine treatment plans and the right to bill independently.

The North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants is the guardian of our profession. Members and staff serve as legislative watchdogs. Members fill spots as liaisons with other professional organizations such as the North Carolina Medical Board and the North Carolina Board of Pharmacy. Most of all, the Academy serves as the face of our profession. When everyone comes to the healthcare table, you can be sure that the NCAPA will be there to represent us. And protect us.

To accomplish all this important work, the Academy needs two things: members and leaders. As a member, PAs have access to a variety of professional services and training, and their membership dues support the important advocacy and legislative work that takes place.

The next time you visit with a PA who is not a current member of NCAPA, emphasize that by becoming a member of NCAPA, he/she will be adding an important voice to the direction and future of our profession. The support of as many North Carolina PAs as possible is vital to the ongoing work of the Academy! We can’t afford to wait until our profession is in crisis before recruiting our colleagues to join the effort. Encourage your fellow NC PAs to join now, so we can be sure that PAs are the first ones at the table when far-reaching decisions are made.


Endorsing Jeff Katz

The NCAPA Board of Directors is pleased to endorse the candidacy of Jeffrey Katz for President-Elect of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA). Jeff has contributed to NCAPA and AAPA in numerous leadership positions over the years. We believe he is an excellent choice to lead the profession nationally as President-Elect and, ultimately, as President of AAPA. The election will take place in April. If you are an AAPA member, we urge you to consider Jeff Katz when you cast your vote!


Advocating on Capitol Hill

By Alisha DeTroye, PA-C

I was able to attend the AAPA Leadership and Advocacy Summit February 27 – March 1, 2014. This was a great experience advocating for PAs on Capitol Hill, expanding leadership development and networking with PAs from across the U.S. as well as bonding with fellow NC PAs and PA students. The conference began with a workshop to prepare for conversations on the Hill. Prior to the event I was asked by AAPA Director of Grass Roots Advocacy Kristen Butterfield to share my testimony, as she knew I was an advocate for PA legislation on hospice care. It was an honor to share the following story with the 150 conference attendees and later with both Senate and Congress representatives. (Patient names have been changed to respect privacy). I encourage all of you to think about your stories which could make a difference in advocating for our profession.  

“My name is Alisha DeTroye and I am a physician assistant who spent nine years working in oncology. I want to share my patient Robin’s story with you so you can see the impact of physician assistants being prohibited from providing hospice care.

I met Robin in 2004 when I first started working at Wake Forest Cancer Center in Winston-Salem, NC. She was a young woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer in her early 40s. She moved from Georgia to NC and established care at our clinic. She was seen routinely for follow up every three to six months. After two years of care, she developed bone pain and shortness of breath. Further tests confirmed metastatic breast cancer.  After processing this devastating news, we established her treatment plan. For the next six years, I saw Robin and her husband Mike monthly. I prescribed chemotherapy, educated her on potentially life-threatening complications, managed her side effects of decreased appetite, nausea and vomiting, and treated her chronic bone pain with narcotic medications. I rejoiced with her when scans showed improvement in her disease and consoled her when the response was not what we planned. We worked together to manage her symptoms and improve her quality of life for important life events such as the birth of her first grandchild. Slowly over time her disease progressed and our options for treatment lessened. I led many end-of-life discussions about her goals of care. In 2012, Robin with the support of her family decided to transition from active treatment to hospice care. She still returned to our clinic for palliative treatments.

I remember one Friday afternoon vividly. Robin was in clinic to receive fluids when the nurses called me to evaluate her, as she was in excruciating pain. Her normal pain regimen was no longer working. Under normal circumstances I would have made immediate changes to her medications and provided acute treatment. However, she was on hospice and I am a PA, so I could not provide orders. Her care was further compromised because my supervising physician and several physician colleagues happened to be in Chicago for the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting. I had to take time to locate the on-call physician, who was unfamiliar with Robin’s case. I also had to contact the local rural hospice facility to update the physician’s recommendations, only to learn due to staffing limitations they would not see Robin until Monday. I was frustrated and empathized with Robin as I watched her writhe in pain, constantly changing positions to try to find relief. After an hour of unnecessary phone calls and tracking down of orders, Robin finally was given treatment for her pain. In the midst of her crisis, I was taken by surprise when she paused to say “Alisha, I need to see pictures of Gavin!” I had just returned from maternity leave and she was anxious to celebrate the birth of Gavin, my newborn son. It was in this moment that I was acutely aware that the system had failed to provide the continuity of care of Robin’s medical home at the end of her life. I was her long-time provider and Robin needed me, her PA, at her most vulnerable time to provide the care she deserved. I knew this had to change. That’s why I was so excited to learn that there is legislation in Congress to change this. The bill would remove a significant practice barrier for PAs and increase access to quality health care for those relying on Medicare. No longer will a patient’s care be disrupted at such an important time, forcing families to find alternative healthcare providers. Congress can make a difference in the lives of millions of Americans just like Robin and her family. Please honor Robin’s memory and support physician assistants providing hospice care.”

AAPA action center area for hospice care:


Bolivia: A Life-Changing Journey

By Samantha Rogers, PA-C, MMS

“Look at these mountains!”  If I said it once, I said it a thousand times. But when you are talking about the Andes, the observation, no matter how frequent, seems reasonable.

The PA studies department at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center began looking for a willing faculty member to travel to Bolivia almost a year ago. The purpose of the trip would be to evaluate a clinical site and practice medicine. I had the honor and privilege to embark upon a life-changing journey with two of my clinical year PA students in January 2014.

After approximately 4000 miles of travel and many hours in airports and airplanes, we arrived in a small town outside of Cochabamba, not knowing what we may have gotten ourselves into. The coming days and weeks opened our eyes, our minds, and our hearts to the people of Bolivia and the care needs they experience every day.

We were confronted with all that we take for granted in many parts of the United States. For example, I can safely say that the possibility of running out of sterile gauze is not something that I give a thought to in my work, and yet this was an obstacle we faced in Bolivia after a terrible mass casualty incident.  I will never forget working together to clean extensive facial and scalp lacerations on a young male patient in the hallway of the hospital. This put our innovation to the test, as what we knew to do at home quickly became unrealistic. We worked for two hours to clean this man’s wounds with hydrogen peroxide, normal saline, and some gauze we managed to acquire. We were deeply humbled by the feeble yet clear words of gratitude uttered by this patient before he went into surgery.

In addition to this very dramatic encounter, our experience was especially enriched by a clinic that the students organized and led in a rural community in the Andes. This community was not only underserved, but likely not served by health care professionals at all. We spent time with the children of that village, teaching them how to brush their teeth and its importance. We gave out pain meds, vitamins, and antibiotics.  We gave what most health care professionals in the U.S. would deem as routine and basic care. And while our patients expressed their appreciation for the medicines etc., perhaps our time, effort, and care meant the very most.

I am thankful for the opportunity to travel to Bolivia, to meet some of its people, and for the perspective on my own life that was gained by leaving my usual comforts and life conveniences.

Statements from students Courtney Wharton and Sallie Gurganus:

“I enjoyed our time with Hospitals of Hope not only because it allowed us to help bring care to people who may have a more difficult time obtaining it, but because it forced me to work out of my comfort zone. As PAs, we will be met with barriers–cultural, language, social, etc. There is a tendency to view “our way” as the best simply because it is familiar. The more adept we become at navigating those types of encounters and establishing a working relationship with our patients (rather than one in which we are the sole contributors), the better.”–Courtney Wharton, PA-S2 Class of 2014

“I am so grateful for the opportunity to travel to Bolivia to serve the people there and learn about international medicine. I was able to gain appreciation for the seemingly unlimited resources that we have in the States after having to resort to cleaning severe wounds with rags and soapy water following a major trauma that left 32 individuals injured and six killed. I also developed more insight into the true needs of some of the most poverty-stricken people. This usually involved general hygiene items such as toothbrushes and clean water, triple antibiotic creams, hydrogen peroxide, and over-the-counter meds that could be found in my medicine cabinet on any given day.”–Sallie Gurganus, PA-S2 Class of 2014


No More “Just Another Day at the Office”

By Kondie Lykins, PA-S

A few years ago a teacher could have asked one of my children “tell the class what your daddy does.” The answer would have been something like this: “He goes to a lot of meetings, travels to Corporate every once in awhile, writes memos that no one reads, and makes sure some people do their jobs right.” If that same question gets asked now my child can answer: “He works where kids go when they are sick so they can feel better and where kids can go when they’re not sick so they can stay healthy.” I like that second answer a lot better.

In my experience, a provider rarely has “just another day at the office.” It has been said that if you cannot look in the mirror in the morning and be excited about what you have to do that day, something needs to change. I know there will be bad days. However, working in a pediatric clinic, I have learned that each patient is unique and each experience, good or bad, is a teacher. Each day is a new day.

The experiences I have had have strengthened my desire to be a provider. At the Moore County Free Clinic I translated for a patient with a deformed heart. She received the care she needed but could not pay for. Her surgery was to be intense and expensive yet I watched the providing cardiologist give his time to the clinic and work out the details with the surgeon so she could receive the procedure she needed. I saw her fear ease as Dr. Morgan assured her we would find a way. It is important to provide for yourself and family; but sometimes you have opportunities to donate of yourself and encourage others to as well. I will always remember Dr. Morgan’s example.

At the pediatric clinic I watch Jen, a little girl born with deformed arms and a heart condition but with an infectious courage and smile. She always leaves our office having her needs fulfilled while at the same time lifting our tired and worn souls with her presence. I see the hand-colored pictures along the walls from patients like Jen, with words such as “You are the best doctor ever”. Why would I not want to work in such a place?

In the clinic we see English and Spanish speakers, private healthcare, public healthcare, and those who are self-pay. I have worked with patients with educated parents and those with no parents, only a county social worker. I love the ADHD kids. You can tease them and they play right back. I asked one such patient if he were allergic to anything, “like school.” Not missing a beat he shot back, “nope, applesauce.” Given the right care and a good dose of patience and love, they will be the high achievers of tomorrow’s world.

One Saturday while working with Ms. Olivia, three patients in a row were admitted to the local hospital for respiratory problems. Two were infants. As I walked past one room I noticed a young couple watching their daughter on the nebulizer. Mom was crying softly. I walked in, ostensibly to check on the baby but really to make sure Mom and Dad were OK. Mom asked, “What is RSV?” I could have given the book definition; however, I remember asking that same question with the worried voice at an ER when my nine day old son was being admitted. I gave them the answer that helped me back then. A little bit about the disease, a lot about how well Adam did and how well he is doing now. I told them what to expect and assured them their daughter would be taken care of. I told Ms. Olivia and she responded that that is what Mom and Dad needed. Not every job has that kind of opportunity.

The clinic where I work employs two licensed social workers. I translated during an autism evaluation. The boy was three and exhibited several symptoms of autism. When Mom was told that we were referring her son to a doctor to be formally diagnosed, tears came to Mom’s eyes. Her son was not going to be able to do many of the things his older brothers did. She needed more than a therapist, she needed a friend, a partner, someone who would help her son live the best life he could. I thought of many patients that come in every day. The outside world is not a particularly good place for them but I see smiles on their faces as Ms. Joyce calls them by name and welcomes them into triage. I see the nurses interacting with these kids and parents in a way that makes the visit a bright spot in the day. I see them excited to see Mr. Vince, Mr. Dennis, or Ms. Jessie. When they see Ms. Ann, Ms. Olivia, or Ms. Amanda they are seeing friends. That is what I want to do.

After a normal career of a PA is over, the medical skills acquired allow a person to continue to contribute to society. My wife and I are making plans to continue to add value to the lives of those around us as long as we are able. There are few areas where a life after the job can be as meaningful as medicine. At the far side of my career and life, I want to know that I made a difference. I am excited for the learning and growth that I will be able to gain and then share throughout life as a physician assistant.

Kondie Lykins is a student in Campbell University’s PA program. Kondie was elected this year to serve as a Student Representative on the NCAPA Board of Directors. He extends his thanks to Gloria Jordan PA-C, for her help and feedback as he was writing his article.


Compliance Review Visits

Reprinted from the North Carolina Medical Board

An unprecedented 86 percent of physician assistants selected for compliance review visits in 2013 were in full compliance with state law and related Board rules. The site visits resulted in no public actions being issued against PAs for the first time since 2005, when the Board began conducting random site visits of PA practice locations. The Board commends these licensees.

The Board did issue private letters of concern to some PAs who were found to be out of compliance. Areas of noncompliance included: no evidence of Quality Improvement Meetings being held and/or documented; no periodic review of written instructions for prescribing drugs; no Scope of Practice document; no back-up supervising physician list; failure to timely file the required Intent to Practice with the Board; and supervising physician’s name and phone number not documented on the practice’s prescription blank. The Board has already selected PAs for site visits to be conducted in 2014. PAs will be contacted by a Board field investigator, who will schedule the site visit. During the visit, PAs will be asked to produce certain documents that are required to be kept on file at each of the PA’s practice locations…Read More


PA Student Medical Challenge Bowl

Remember the game show “Jeopardy”? If you’re a current student member of NCAPA, now it’s your turn to play! 

The 2014 Student Challenge Bowl is set for Saturday, April 26, at the Stead Center in Durham. Registrations are due by April 9. Students should contact their NCAPA Student Representative to register.

Here’s how the PA Student Medical Challenge Bowl works:

  • Competition is inter-collegiate: to the extent possible, each team will consist of students from every PA program in North Carolina. Teams are determined on game day, based upon who is in attendance.
  • Responses to all questions require a question prefix (e.g. “What is… or Who is…”). Only one response per question per team.
  • Questions must be answered within 10 seconds, and points are deducted for incorrect answers. Teams “buzz-in” to answer questions as a group. The team that accumulates the most points wins.
  • Prizes for all!


NCTracks Provider Help Center: April 22 in Hickory

The NCTracks team will be offering another in-person Provider Help Center on April 22 in Hickory. NCTracks staff from provider enrollment, provider relations, claims, and prior approval will be available to assist NC providers with questions or concerns regarding NCTracks. No appointment is necessary. Providers will be assisted on a first-come, first-served basis.

For providers to get the most out of these sessions, please bring specific examples of issues. The more details that can be provided about the problems, such as screen shots, NPI numbers, TCNs (claim numbers), denial codes, etc., the more help the NCTracks team will be able to provide.

The Provider Help Center will be held on April 22 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Catawba DSS, 3050 11th Avenue Dr. SE, Hickory, NC 28602.


Claims for Enhanced Payments

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that the Medicaid program pay at the Medicare rate for certain primary care services and to reimburse 100% Medicare Cost Share for services paid in calendar years 2013 and 2014. In September 2013, NCTracks began making the ACA-enhanced rate payments to providers who attested and were certified by the state for qualified services billed from that point forward. NCTracks has since been updated to include Health Check, those codes that are billed with an EP modifier, as well as adjustments to the provider Remittance Advice (RA). Now that the changes are complete, retroactive reimbursement for claims submitted from July 1, 2013, through present is about to start… Read More


NCTracks Provider Portal

The NCTracks ICD-10 webpage on the Provider Portal is an important resource of information as we move toward implementation of ICD-10 on October 1, 2014.  Providers are encouraged to check regularly for new announcements, FAQs, additional resources, and the latest edition of the RAMP UP articles.

RAMP UP to ICD-10: Process Improvement and Training. This framework is intended to assist providers in navigating the activities that need to be done in the coming months. RAMP UP stands for:

  • Research
  • Assessment
  • Mapping
  • Process Improvement and Training
  • Update System(s) with Vendors
  • Perform Testing

Each RAMP UP article includes background information on the topic, explanation of why it is critical to successful ICD-10 implementation, steps to be taken to complete the activity, and resources for obtaining additional information.

The RAMP UP articles began in 2013.  The latest article in the RAMP UP to ICD-10 series is “RAMP UP to ICD-10: Process Improvement and Training.”  If you missed the previous articles, they can all be found on the NCTracks ICD-10 webpage.

Providers will have different approaches to the implementation of ICD-10, depending on the size, organization, and type of provider.  The RAMP UP series is intended to heighten awareness regarding what most providers will need to do to be ready for the implementation of ICD-10 on October 1.