In this issue:
by Charlene M. Morris, DFAAPA, MPAS, PA-C
Recently, my two canines and I had a photographer friend take shots of us all in the eight acres of woods behind my house. I call the expansive flora my alternative universe and we traversed the colorful leaves and enjoyed the various fauna, which included the songs of birds, the chirping of the insects, and skittering of small creatures as we approached. I reflected that as winter descends, it is probably the last year of my aged German Shepherd dog’s life. Siegfried has been a worthy companion, repeatedly giving me solace after stressful days at my job, and understands when I need him to burrow his head into my hands for skritches, as we call them. Although he is progressively arthritic and unable to take our daily 1.5 mile walk any longer, Siegfried still accomplishes a short jaunt to our familiar paths and complains not one whit.
November is Senior Animal Adoption Month, so I hope you consider that option. I adopted Siegs as a middle-aged canine in 2008, yet often reflect how he likewise rescued me.
In that regard, I see November descending upon us and, although still officially autumn, we all are anticipating the winter that left snow in the western part of our state in early November and will likely subject us to more ice and cold during its season. This is truly a time to reflect upon our year.
NCAPA, despite being almost 50 years of age, is likewise accommodating its maturity well. October included a strategic planning meeting that aided our group as a whole in clarifying goals for 2015 and beyond. We have elected leadership for this next term, which includes previous people as well as new volunteers. I am tremendously grateful that political parties are not touted for our leadership in NCAPA. I just donated quite a bit of paper to recycling today in the form of flyers, brochures and negative campaigns from both sides. I am also very happy not to have to answer my phone, only to hear an unwanted plea for my vote. Conversely, I hope ALL of us voted in the midterm elections and plan to do so for future AAPA and NCAPA leaders as well. You, our members, truly make our organization stronger and able to accomplish what needs to be done. NCAPA is in the process of hiring a government affairs liaison to monitor what is being done in the North Carolina political arena. As many of you may know, such diverse states as Florida and Missouri have had legislation voted upon and passed that negatively impacts PAs. We DO still need to be vigilant.
Thanksgiving is later this month and then the official shopping season for the winter holiday season. Sincerely, I hope ALL of you enjoy family, friends, and good food and take time to reflect on who you are as a PA and person on our planet. May you all have companion animals in your life to enhance your experiences!
Charlene M. Morris, PA-C
by Cathie Feild, Executive Director
At the November 8th meeting of the NCAPA Board of Directors, current President, Charlene Morris, officially recognized and thanked the Board members who have served with her during 2014. She presented a plaque with their names that will hang in the Stead Center and gave an $800 donation in their honor to the Charles Kober Treatment fund of the NCAPA Endowment. This fund provides monetary support to PAs in need of financial assistance in order to undergo treatment, evaluation, and in-patient recovery for addictions. To learn more about the NCAPA Endowment, please visit www.ncapa.org.
Charlene then turned over the gavel to incoming President, Marc Katz, at which point, Marc presented Charlene with a plaque in appreciation for her service. While Board members’ terms of office are January 1 through December 31, this was the last in-person meeting of the Board in 2014 and the November meeting is traditionally the time when this recognition takes place. Charlene is still President until the end of this year and Marc’s term starts on January 1st.
by Marc Katz, PA-C, NCAPA President-Elect
It is my honor to serve as the 2015 NCAPA President. I have been involved with the Academy for over 34 years and have seen us grow from a small group of professionals fighting for recognition to a strong profession with arguably the best professional organization amongst our fellow constituent chapters. I remember the days of licking stamps for correspondence, arguing that computers really are the way of the future, and going door to door looking for employment. The NCAPA went from a purely volunteer organization (with a little bit of help from our friends at Duke), to a mom and pop shop with some outside assistance, to a thriving Academy with staff, a building, and a welcome seat at several professional organizations and events.
We are maturing. Patients now know what PAs are and request them for their next appointment. PAs no longer consider themselves dependent professionals; we now work collaboratively with our physician partners (2014 AAPA HOD). Of course, with growth comes pain. Volunteers’ ability to spend time on professional affairs has diminished and, unfortunately, so has some of the enthusiasm. We are constantly hit with increased demands for productivity, increased charting requirements (do I even type the letters EHR), and dealing with administrations that care more about numbers than emotional support for patients.
2015 will be a year when NCAPA looks introspectively to plot a path for the future. We have just finished a successful strategic planning session which was reviewed and approved by your Board of Directors. There are not only goals and strategies, but also benchmarks that will be continually reviewed. Bylaws, policies, committees, and liaisons will all be reviewed for how they now fit in the current health care arena. There are over 5000 PAs licensed in this state. We have eight PA programs, two with satellite campuses, and three potential new programs coming on board. We need to represent these growing numbers at the table of policy makers from outside organizations, versus reacting retrospectively. Do we need different ways to deliver CME? Offer different kinds of educational programs? Have more specialty related activities? These are all issues the Academy faces and will address.
We seek to find different ways to engage our members and make it easier to be involved. Are you someone who can give an hour a week? An hour a month? Look for opportunities over the next year to get involved. In order for our Academy to remain strong we need to reignite the masses. I remember my last term as President of NCAPA in 1993 when we organized a massive public hearing to repeal potential rules that would have been detrimental to PA practice in this state. This resulted in some of the best practice laws in the country for PAs, a PA/NP seat on the Medical Board, and the beginnings of being real players in the health care arena. Let’s not wait for another potential disaster to reignite the feeling of wanting to belong and be involved with the NCAPA.
Please email me with your suggestions, concerns or even an occasional encouraging word (firstname.lastname@example.org). I am looking forward to a productive, fruitful year.
The Board would like to thank the following members whose terms end on December 31, 2014 for their years of dedication and service to NCAPA. While they will no longer be on the Board of Directors, they will continue to be NCAPA leaders through service on committees and participation in other activities.
Ray Brown, Vice President
Detra Chambers, Secretary
Don Metzger, Immediate Past President
Harvey Krape, Director-at-Large
Kelsey Blaine, Wake Forest
Cliff Daub, Methodist
Holly O’Sullivan, Duke
Rebecca Salman, East Carolina
BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
President: Marc Katz
President-Elect: Wanda Hancock
Immediate Past President: Charlene Morris
Vice President: Samantha Rogers
Treasurer: Paul Hendrix
Secretary: Linda Sekhon
Student Directors-at-Large: Kondie Lykins
Will Ashby, Campbell
Eric Langhans, Duke
James Burns, East Carolina
Lance McGhee, Elon
Sarah Turner, Gardner-Webb
Nicole Oakley, Methodist
Samantha Condon, Wake Forest
Jennifer Law, Wingate
Communications and Marketing: Don Metzger
Conference Planning: Paul Hendrix
Finance: Ryan Vann
Government Affairs: Detra Chambers and Audrey Tuttle (Co-Chairs)
Health: Daniel Mattingly
Internal Audit: Marian Cranford
Membership: Nathalie Ortiz Pate
Nominating: (Elected by Committee in January)
Student Affairs: Samantha Rogers
NCAPA Endowment: Marc Katz
NC Emergency Medicine Advisory Council: Rob Bednar
NC Medical Board Review Panel: Marc Katz
NC Medical Society: Don Metzger
NC Physicians Health Program: Daniel Mattingly
NCAPA REPRESENTATIVES TO THE AAPA HOUSE OF DELEGATES
(January 1, 2015 – June 30, 2015)
Chief Delegate: Marc Katz
Alternates: Chris Barry, Charlene Morris
Sheraton Imperial Hotel & Convention Center
February 23-27, 2015
Join us for the 29th Annual NCAPA Recertification Exam Review Conference. Continuing education credits will be awarded to Physician Assistants, Nurses and Athletic Trainers!
The conference agenda is based on the NCCPA PANRE exam blueprint and will be geared 100% toward a basic review of all organ systems. Even if you are not up for recertification or don’t take the PANRE, this conference is a wonderful basic review of all organ systems for any health care provider. The full agenda with speakers will be announced in December 2014.
NEW for 2015! BLUEprint PANRE Pre-Test Live! This 2 evening workshop consists of a BLUEprint PANRE Pre-test that is administered live with John Bielinski, MS, PA-C and Robert Baye, MS, PA-C. This PANRE Pre-test is taken live with an audience response system (answered anonymously from your seat) with each question reviewed and dissected. Robert Baye is the former chairman for the PACKRAT committee and understands the psychology of test writers. Seats are strictly limited due to the number of audience response units – a wait list will be available when seats are filled.
NCAPA plans to request 34 hours of AAPA Category 1 CME credit for the general sessions and 12 hours in workshops from the PA Review Panel. The total number of credit hours is yet to be determined.
The Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center has reserved a block of rooms for NCAPA conference attendees. Conference rates are available for all reservations booked for the conference before January 27, 2015, or while availability lasts.
For hotel reservations, click here or call (919) 941-5050.
by Kat Nicholas, Director of Membership and Marketing
Just a quick note to encourage you all to renew your membership before the busyness of the holiday season is upon us. It only takes a minute and your participation in NCAPA will help make 2015 a great year for all PAs in North Carolina. Send in your renewal notice or renew NOW online. Encourage a friend to join and continue making North Carolina the best state to be a PA!
The Nominating Committee of NCAPA is seeking candidates to fill a vacancy on the Board of Directors. A Director-at-Large seat with a term that ends on December 31, 2015 is open.
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 the Executive Director of your interest and intent by December 19, 2014. Per the Bylaws, this will allow time for certification of credentials and ballot readiness for the Board of Directors meeting on January 17, 2015, at which time the Board will vote to select a candidate. If you have questions or need additional information please contact Sandy Pierce, Nominating Committee Chair, or Cathie Feild, NCAPA Executive Director.
On Saturday, November 8, the NCAPA Board of Directors adopted a new strategic plan to guide the Academy for the next three years. This was the result of several months of collaboration involving Board members, Committee Chairs, and staff members working with a facilitator. The strategic plan will direct the work of volunteer leaders and staff members. Progress toward achieving the strategies and objectives will be monitored on a regular basis and adjustments made as necessary. Your comments and ideas about the strategic plan are welcome. For more information, contact Cathie Feild, Executive Director, at Cathie.email@example.com.
by Kat Nicholas, Director of Membership and Marketing
It was a dreary, wet day as students from across North Carolina gathered at the Stead Center on Saturday, November 1st, for the Fifth Annual Student Leadership Retreat. And though it may have been difficult for many to get out of bed that morning, by the time everyone was gathered together, you could feel all the excitement and energy in the room. An hour of networking with fellow PA students was followed by a full day of speakers, discussions, and activities, all geared towards future leaders of the PA profession.
While many were networking, Samantha Rogers, Student Affairs Chair and Vice-President Elect, met with the 2015 Student Representatives for their orientation to NCAPA, discussing expectations and goals for the upcoming year. All of our new student reps are excited to be a part of NCAPA and we look forward to working with them in 2015.
At 10:00am, everyone gathered in the Conference Center and the day began. Melissa Ricker from SAAAPA began the day, presenting information on AAPA and all of the various leadership opportunities available for PAs. Dr. Kay Hawkins, an obstetrician who practices in Nicaragua and teaches occasionally at Wingate University, spoke next. She gave a tremendously inspirational talk on leadership, telling her own story of personal growth and accomplishment, and soon had everyone drafting vision statements focused on their own goals of success and leadership.
After lunch, a team-building exercise began as students tried and tried again to balance a marshmallow on structures built of spaghetti and string. Only one structure was standing at the end of the 18 minute interlude, but fun was had by everyone. Samantha Rogers led the discussions afterwards, as the students recognized the different ways in which people work and strategize and how their own group worked together to come up with a solution.
The final session of the day was a panel discussion on leadership in the PA profession. The panelists included NCAPA Director-at-Large, Alisha DeTroye, PA-C, AAPA President-Elect, Jeff Katz, PA-C, and Dr. Justine Strand De Oliviera, DrPH, PA-C, DFAAPA, a professor at Duke University. The students asked great questions, as did the panelists themselves.
The day was a great success, with everyone enjoying the camaraderie of fellow students and leaving inspired and ready to lead. The PAs in North Carolina are lucky to have such a great up and coming bunch of leaders. We look forward to seeing many of them again soon!
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) now requires all medical examiners who wish to provide DOT/CDL exams to be trained and certified. NCAPA has developed a DVD series to train Commercial Driver Medical Examiners according to the new FMCSA standards and prepare them for the FMCSA Medical Examiner Certification Test. This course is approved for 6 hours of Category I CME*.
The DVD series includes 4 DVDs and a Course Workbook. A Post-Test & Answer Key with feedback will be e-mailed to you as well.
Read what other PAs are saying about NCAPA’s training:
“Thank you for producing an excellent DVD based course which was very helpful in passing the FMCSA Certified Driver Medical Examiner National Registry Examination. The lectures, review materials and summary of waiting periods are well organized and geared for Physician Assistants.” Nelson Zec, PA-C
“I was unable to attend an in-person class, so I ordered the NCAPA’s DVD set to gain my required Certified Medical Examiner training. This program exceeded my expectations in every way. The information presented was clear and thorough, and all of my questions were answered during the program. The accompanying written materials were a great supplement to the information provided by the lecturers, and will be a resource I use often in my clinic. I would recommend this affordable DVD program to anyone who cannot easily attend an in-person class.” Ryan Vann, PA-C
Click here to purchase the DVD set!
*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.
from the AAPA
AAPA President John McGinnity, MS, PA-C, DFAAPA, appeared on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal yesterday to talk about the valuable roles PAs play in today’s healthcare system. Watch the video here.
from AAPA, November 5, 2014
On Oct. 31, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final 2015 Medicare physician fee schedule.
This rule sets payment rates for calendar year 2015 and finalizes numerous coverage policy issues for the Medicare program.
Key aspects of the fee schedule rule impacting PAs include:
- A new CMS policy to allow patients who are treated exclusively by PAs to be assigned to accountable care organizations under Medicare’s shared savings program.
- Increased employment flexibility for PAs who deliver care in certified rural health clinics, allowing PAs to work as independent contractors as long as at least one authorized professional is a W-2 employee of the clinic.
- Inclusion of PAs as covered medical professionals for performing Medicare’s newly added telemedicine services and for chronic care management service.
- No CE or CME provided by AAPA and AAPA constituent organizations would be subject to the Sunshine Act’s Open Payments program reporting requirements if the manufacture did not require, instruct or direct the grant to be used for identified physicians.
For additional information contact Michael Powe, AAPA’s vice president of reimbursement and professional advocacy, at firstname.lastname@example.org.