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 2015

In this issue:


President’s Message


Governor McCrory Proposes 2015-2017 Biennium Budget


Help a Recovering PA Colleague – Help Protect the Profession


39th Annual NCAPA Summer Conference


Joint Injection Workshop at the Stead Center


Leadership and Advocacy Summit


Interested in Serving on the Board?


House of Delegates Nominations


NCAPA Staff Introduction: Sally Paille


PA Student Medical Challenge Bowl


NCAPA Regional Chapter Updates


Congratulations to Elon and Their Inaugural Class of PA Students!


Medicine Takes Flight for Elon PA Graduate


Commercial Driver Medical Examiner Training DVDs Available!


Provider Training Courses Available


 Marc_pres letter photo

President’s Message

 by Marc Katz, PA-C

The past month has brought interesting weather to our state and a continued flurry of activity within NCAPA. As I have in past months, I would like to continue looking at the Academy within the three different objectives of education, advocacy and membership.

On the education front, our 29th Annual Recertification Exam Review Conference is now history. The weather brought new and exciting challenges this year as snow and ice blanketed the Triangle area and beyond. To compound that, the host hotel lost electricity and their backup generators did not work. I am proud to say that, despite the adversity and delays, the conference went on with all lectures presented but one. A plan was created and instituted to record audio on the last two days so that any registrants who were unable to attend due to road conditions would still have access to the presentations.

I would like to thank our Conference Management Panel, our Director of Conferences and CME, Carin Head, and the rest of our staff who managed this event successfully.

Our next CME opportunity is scheduled for Saturday, March 21st and will be held at the Stead Center in Durham. This will be a three hour Joint Injection Workshop, which is always very popular at our Summer Conference. This is the first of hopefully many focused CME events. Let us know if you have any topics you would like presented in this manner.

Advocacy is on the forefront this legislative session. NCAPA is bringing forth a bill mandating a PA-only seat on our governing body, the North Carolina Medical Board. The bill is currently being drafted and Representatives Burr and Lambeth will be the bill’s sponsor. We encourage everyone to reach out to your elected representatives to help push this forward.  You can easily do this through the Legislative Action Center, found under the Advocacy tab on the NCAPA website, This page is a great way to keep up with legislative, regulatory, and reimbursement activity that affects you, the practicing PA.   If you are interested in becoming an advocate for PAs in North Carolina, please contact NCAPA’s government affairs coordinator, Sarah Wolfe, at or 919-836-4015.

Our membership efforts also continue as we strive to represent all PAs in North Carolina. We are working to better define and spread the message of not only the value of NCAPA membership, but the value of all PAs across the state.  Encourage your fellow PAs to join, if they are not already a member.  Help others understand the value of NCAPA and the work the Academy does for the PA profession.

Lastly, we also need to help take care of one another. Our Academy is proud to have a Health Committee, along with legislation introduced 21 years ago by NCAPA, to help protect our impaired colleagues who request help. We are currently seeking PAs who are interested in helping their fellow colleagues by joining the Health Committee. Please be sure to read the article below and find out what’s involved in assisting your fellow PA in need.

Hopefully my message shows that our Academy is not idle as we continue to represent and help the North Carolina PA. In addition to all the above, we are continuing to look inward, update policy, and to eliminate items and ideas that might have been relevant years ago but are no longer due to the changing health care environment. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Please email me at and be part of our Academy moving forward.

Thank you,

Marc Katz, PA-C


Governor McCrory Proposes 2015-2017 Biennium Budget

by Sarah Wolfe, Assistant Vice-President, McGuire Woods Consulting

At the state’s Emergency Operations Center on Thursday, March 5, Governor Pat McCrory (R-NC) rolled out his proposed spending plan for the 2015-2017 biennium. The governor’s proposed spending plan budgets $21.5 billion for fiscal year (FY) 2015-2016, which begins July 1, 2015.

Health and Human Services makes up almost 25 percent of the entire proposed budget, spending $10.8 billion during the biennium. The education portion of the governor’s recommended spending plan is the only part that is larger than Health and Human Services, making up 56 percent of the overall plan.

In order to support the needs of the 1.8 million North Carolinians receiving Medicaid and Health Choice, $3.8 billion is budgeted for year one and $4 billion is budgeted for year two. Also taking into consideration forecasted changes in enrollment, anticipated costs per recipient, utilization of services, and predicted federal matching funds, an additional $287 million is allocated for year one and $460.6 million in additional funds for year two of the biennium.

To protect the state against any unanticipated shortfalls in Medicaid, Governor McCrory’s proposed budget allocates $175 million over the biennium into the Medicaid Risk Reserve. Financial uncertainty within the Medicaid budget has been one of the biggest cost drivers in the state.

The proposed budget also allocates approximately $1.2 million towards the governor’s Medicaid reform plan- Healthy NC. The apportioned monies will go towards Medicaid administrative funding and positions, in order to develop, support, and monitor the reform of the Medicaid program into the provider-led accountable care organization delivery model.  The proposed budget did not earmark any funds toward Medicaid expansion, which the governor had stated in recent months that his administration was giving consideration to.

While Medicaid accounts for two-thirds of the Health and Human Services budget, there are numerous other highlights in this part of the budget:

  • Invests almost $82 million in new funds for mental health and substance abuse services, including $16.6 million to assist in opening up the new Broughton mental hospital.
  • Funds the development of a statewide electronic death records system.
  • Continues to support the modernization and implementation of the NC TRACKS and NC FAST information technology systems.
  • Provides funds to improve the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, including funding for a comprehensive medical examiner training program.
  • Increases funds for foster care and adoption services.

Lastly, the governor’s proposed budget invests additional dollars into the East Carolina University School of Medicine. These monies are designated for operating funding to support medical education at the university and to maintain community preceptorships at regional training sites.

The governor’s proposed budget is based on best estimates of how much the state will bring into government coffers each year from fees and taxes. As North Carolina citizens file their tax returns, the full revenue picture of how much the state has to spend in the following year will become clearer.

Although the governor proposes a budget for state spending, it is ultimately up to legislative leaders to craft, debate, and pass a spending plan for the state, hopefully by July 1, when the new fiscal year begins. While it is likely that much of what the governor recommended will be included in the budget that is passed by the legislature, it is certain that House and Senate budget writers will also include spending for programs that were not included in the governor’s proposed spending plan.

Click here to view Governor McCrory’s proposed 2015-2017 spending plan.


Help a Recovering PA Colleague – Help Protect the Profession

from the NCAPA Health Committee

Did you know that one in every eight of your colleagues is suffering from a form of impairment that puts their career, and possibly yours, at risk of being derailed?  Alcohol abuse and dependence, other addictions, and emotional disorders such as bipolar disorder, depression and PTSD are just a few of the potentially life- and career-threatening problems that take a toll on quality of patient care, relationships with colleagues and others, and virtually all areas of a person’s life.  And when a PA colleague is impaired, the PA profession is harmed.

Would you like to help your colleagues and improve their patients’ safety?  Almost all forms of impairment are treatable.  With treatment most impaired PAs can stay, or get back on track, and have successful careers, and provide safe, high quality care to their patients.

So what does this have to do with you?  Or an even better question may be, how can you help save your colleague’s career, and help keep their patients safe?  If you have read this far, you may be interested to know that the NCAPA Health Committee exists to help our impaired colleagues recover from their problems, often without any need for the Medical Board to be aware or involved.  In fact, the Medical Board very actively endorses and supports us in this work.

There are two ways you can help.  Please consider joining the Health Committee, and/or becoming a Peer Recovery Supporter.  1) The Health Committee meets four times a year in person and by teleconference to review PA cases and make recommendations to NCPHP, the NC Physicians Health Program, which has a reputation as one of the best in the nation.  We also take care of other committee business.  2) As a Peer Recovery Supporter you would meet, usually monthly, with a PA colleague who is in our program and undergoing treatment, to provide peer support.  This support has proven to be very helpful to recovering PAs.  These ways of helping do not require any previous training or background.  All that is needed is a desire to help suffering colleagues in their recovery.  The Health Committee will provide you with any training or other resources you may need.

If you think you might like to join us, please contact Sandra Alexander, Chair,, or Daniel Mattingly, for more information.

Thank you for your interest in this career- and life-saving work.


39th Annual NCAPA Summer Conference

Embassy Suites, Kingston Plantation
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
August 16-21, 2015

Registration is open for our 39th Annual Summer Conference!  NCAPA combines the best CME conference for PAs with a family-friendly beach vacation. Register now for our best registration rates!

Click here for conference information & registration

Don’t forget to make your hotel reservation soon!  Our room block fills up very quickly and some properties and room types are already full.  Please note that we have 2 different group codes for our room block this year.  Make sure you are using the correct code when booking your room to receive our negotiated rates. Reserve your room now for the best selection!

Embassy Suites & Kingston Condos Group Code NAP
Hilton & Royale Palms Group Code APA

Click here for hotel information & room reservations


Spaces are Going Fast!  Register Now!

Joint Injection Workshop at the Stead Center

1121 Slater Road, Durham, NC
Saturday, March 21, 2015

Registration is now open for a hands-on Joint Injection workshop to be held at the Stead Center in Durham, NC.  This workshop will appeal to a broad range of practitioners who are developing joint and soft tissue injection techniques.

Participants will be required to identify anatomical landmarks through a unique teaching style.  They will demonstrate the ability to implement evidence-based practice guidelines in clinical decision-making as well as demonstrate appropriate injection techniques.

All participants are encouraged to dress comfortably for this workshop!

This program has been reviewed and is approved for a maximum of 3 hours of AAPA Category 1 CME Credit by the Physician Assistant Review Panel.  Physician assistants should claim only those hours actually spent participating in the CME activity.


Leadership and Advocacy Summit

by Alisha DeTroye, PA-C


Jeffrey Katz, Molly Calabria, Gail Curtis, Alisha DeTroye, and Melissa Ricker

I had the opportunity to attend the AAPA Leadership and Advocacy Summit this past week in Alexandria, Virginia.  There were five PA leaders from North Carolina in attendance, including AAPA President-Elect, Jeff Katz, AAPA Speaker of the House, Gail Curtis, AAPA Student Board Director, Melissa Ricker, Molly Calabria and myself.  We heard from expert leaders in our profession on the major issues affecting PAs today and we networked with others from around the country.

One of the annual highlights of the Summit is the advocacy preparation and visits to see our NC Congressman and Senators.  Unfortunately, a winter storm happened to deliver eight inches of snow and ice to the DC metro area on the day of those visits, resulting in the closing of the federal government.  Although our Capitol Hill visits were cancelled, we proceeded with training on advocacy and fully intend to follow up with our local legislators. Interestingly enough, despite the weather, I was still fortunate to be able to advocate for PAs in two unique situations.

On the plane to Washington, I just happened to be sitting beside Representative Mark Walker from Guilford County.  I was able to explain our barriers to providing Hospice care and he requested that I send additional information.  Secondly, prior to the Summit, I attended a work related conference on Advanced Illness Care.  One of the sessions involved policy discussions with Senator Warner from Virginia and Senator Whitehouse from Rhode Island.  During the question and answer session, I gave a testimony about the importance of PAs providing care at such a critical time of a patient’s life and the need for continuity of care.  The audience of health care leaders applauded and echoed this sentiment and Senator Warner referenced my comments in a later response.

I believe that my past attendance at the Leadership and Advocacy Summit prepared me and gave me the confidence I needed to seize these two opportunities to advocate.  I encourage you to consider attending the Leadership and Advocacy Summit next year and, if financial support is a barrier, I also encourage you to explore applying for the NCAPA Endowment Lanny Parker Memorial Grant.   For the PA profession to remain strong, we need new leaders; I hope to see you next year on Capitol Hill!


Interested in Serving on the Board?

by the NCAPA Nominating Committee

The NCAPA Nominating Committee is soliciting candidates for open positions on the Board of Directors and Nominating Committee in 2016. Serving on the NCAPA Board is an important way to contribute to your profession and a wonderful leadership experience. North Carolina is often cited as a great state in which to practice as a PA. It got that way through the vision, leadership, and volunteer work of PAs just like you!

If you know a PA who cares deeply about the profession and wants to contribute to the future of the profession, who is a good listener, collaborator, and decision maker—or if you are that person—please nominate her/him for a position on the NCAPA Board of Directors.

The following positions for elected offices are open for nominees: President-Elect, Treasurer, Director-At-Large (three positions), and Nominating Committee Member. To read more about these positions and to nominate yourself or a colleague, click here.  The Nominating Committee is looking forward to receiving your applications!  The deadline for nominating a colleague is May 29, 2015.  The deadline for nominating yourself is August 1, 2015.

All terms begin January 1, 2016. Nominees for officer positions (President-Elect and Treasurer) must have been a Fellow member in good standing of the NCAPA for the calendar year prior to election. All other nominees must have been a Fellow or Associate member.


House of Delegates Nominations

by the NCAPA Nominating Committee

Nominations are now open for candidates seeking to be the NCAPA representatives to the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) 2016 and 2017 House of Delegates (HOD).  The AAPA HOD is the representative governance body for the national professional organization. It is comprised of delegates who represent chapters and other constituent groups.  AAPA will determine the number of HOD representatives from NCAPA based on the number of AAPA Fellow members in North Carolina.  In the past, NCAPA has had seven (7) delegates and we anticipate needing the same number again.

Nominations for Delegates are being accepted for a term of office that begins on July 1, 2015, and ends on June 30, 2017.  NCAPA Fellow members may self-declare or nominate another Fellow Member. (Fellow members are PAs who are members of both AAPA and NCAPA.) Those elected will represent NCAPA at the 2016 and 2017 AAPA HOD meetings, with travel, lodging, and meal expenses paid by NCAPA.

In order to be eligible, you must:

  • Be a Fellow Member in good standing through the previous calendar year.
  • Submit a Letter of Intent and brief Platform Statement to the NCAPA Nominating Committee via the NCAPA Executive Director no later than May 8, 2015.

Voting by electronic ballot will begin May 20 and close June 15, 2015.  Only NCAPA Fellow members in good standing are eligible to vote.

The entire slate of candidates will be ranked, based upon the number of votes received, in order to assign NCAPA’s delegates and alternates. NCAPA policy requires that the current President serves as the Chief Delegate.  Election results will be announced by June 19, 2015.

For further information or to submit your Letter of Intent and Platform Statement, please contact Cathie Feild, NCAPA Executive Director, at  Letters of Intent and Platform statements may be sent to this email address or by fax to 919-479-9726 or by mail to Cathie Feild, NCAPA, 1121 Slater Road, Durham, NC 27703.  If sending by mail, please allow enough time for your materials to arrive by May 8th.


NCAPA Staff Introduction: Sally Paille

Sally began working at NCAPA in October of 2014 and has thoroughly enjoyed her first five months as the NCAPA Administrative Assistant. She moved to the Triangle two years ago when her husband, Ken, accepted a new job. As a former coach and life-long basketball aficionado, it was an easy move, and she hasn’t regretted it.

Besides basketball, the other love of her life is her family. She and her husband of thirty-three years have two adult children, both of whom live in New York City. Sally and Ken spent most of their married life in the great state of Maine where they both worked in direct marketing for L.L.Bean (and yes, it is the wonderful company you imagine it to be). Sally appreciates the opportunity to work with the talented NCAPA staff, leadership and members. Her brother, an association CEO, recommended that she use the move to NC as an opportunity to enter association work. She’s glad she did!


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 2015 Student Challenge Bowl is set for Saturday, May 9, at the Stead Center in Durham.

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!

Registrations are due by April 24. Students should contact their NCAPA Student Representative to register.


NCAPA Regional Chapter Updates

  • Metrolina Association of Physician Assistants (MAPA) has a new officer, Samantha Levering, PA-C, MSPAS, who is serving in the position of treasurer. She graduated from Des Moines University and currently practices in an Internal Medicine clinic in Rock Hill, SC. She enjoys jogging, reading and exploring Charlotte.  Metrolina Association of Physician Assistants (MAPA) is a group of practicing Physician Assistants and PA students in the Charlotte metro area. Members meet once a month to share clinic updates, network with other professionals and mentor students. Those interested in joining can find more information at:
  • The Fayetteville Association of Physician Assistants (FAYPA) would like to extend invitations to all local PA’s to join our newly revived group, covering Cumberland, Bladen, Harnett, Moore and Robeson counties. Please like us on Facebook for updates, and send your e-mail to President, Denise Busbin ( to be added to our e-mail list for event/meeting announcements.


Congratulations to Elon and Their Inaugural Class of PA Students!

Elon University held its first graduation ceremony for the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program on Sunday, March 8th at Whitley Auditorium. Thirty-seven students completed the program and now have a place in history as the inaugural class of PA students from Elon.  Dawn Morton-Rias, president and chief executive officer of the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, served as keynote speaker.  Read the whole story here.


Medicine Takes Flight for Elon PA Graduate

from Elon University

The youngest member of Elon University’s charter class of physician assistants is about to hit the skies.

Jamie Seals graduated Sunday with a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies, a degree fully funded by her participation in the highly selective U.S. Air Force Health Professions Scholarship Program.

Seals was one of 32 people to receive the prestigious scholarship when the Air Force awarded the honor three years ago. She has since been commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force Reserves and begins commissioned officer training this summer for an organization whose values dovetail with her own….Read more.


Commercial Driver Medical Examiner Training DVDs Available! 

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.


Provider Training Courses Available

from NCTracks

Thursday, March 19 – 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. – Recipient Eligibility Verification
In this training providers learn to use the Eligibility Verification System (EVS), which provides information regarding a recipient’s eligibility for services in real time. At the end of training, providers will be able to submit an Individual Recipient Eligibility Inquiry, submit a Batch Eligibility Inquiry, and view an Eligibility Response. This course will be taught at the CSC facility in Raleigh. The course includes hands-on training and will be limited to 45 participants.

Tuesday, March 24 – 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. – Prior Approval – Medical (Professional)
This course will cover submitting Prior Approval (PA) Requests to help ensure compliance with Medicaid clinical coverage policy and medical necessity. It will also cover Prior Approval inquiry to check on the status of the PA Request. The course is being offered in-person at the CSC facility in Raleigh. It includes hands-on training and will be limited to 45 participants.

Tuesday, March 24 – 1:00-4:00 p.m. – Submitting a Professional Claim
This course will focus on how to submit a Professional Claim via the NCTracks Provider Portal. At the end of training, providers will be able to enter a Professional claim, save a Draft claim, use the Claims Draft Search tool, submit a claim, and view the results of a claim submission. The course is being offered in-person at the CSC facility in Raleigh. It includes hands-on training and will be limited to 45 participants.

Tuesday, March 31 – 9:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. (WebEx) – Provider Web Portal Applications Webinar
This course will guide providers through the process of submitting all types of provider applications found on the NCTracks Provider Portal. At the end of this training, providers will be able to understand the Provider Enrollment Application processes and navigate to the NCTracks Provider Portal and complete Provider Enrollment, Manage Change Request (MCR), Re-Enrollment, and Re-verification and Maintain Eligibility, as well as track and submit applications using the Status and Management page. This course is taught via WebEx and can be attended remotely from any location with a telephone, computer and internet connection. The WebEx will be limited to 115 participants.

Providers can register for these courses in SkillPort, the NCTracks Learning Management System. Logon to the secure NCTracks Provider Portal and click Provider Training to access SkillPort. Open the folder labeled Provider Computer-Based Training (CBT) and Instructor Led Training (ILT). The courses can be found in the sub-folders labeled ILTs: On-site and ILTs: Remote via WebEx, depending on the format of the course. Refer to the Provider Training page of the public Provider Portal for specific instructions on how to use SkillPort. The Provider Training page also includes a quick reference regarding Java, which is required for the use of SkillPort.