In 2019, our strategic initiatives aligned with the overall vision NCMGMA established many years ago: to be the leading and most recognized resource for education, networking and advocacy for medical group leaders in North Carolina. These 3 pillars -- education, networking and advocacy – serve as the guideposts for our organizational leadership in determining our annual strategic objectives with the purpose of assisting our membership in becoming, in the words of our credo, “The Leaders of Tomorrow’s Healthcare.” Below, we would like to highlight several of our objectives/accomplishments within the past year in furtherance of this vision.
NCMGMA continues to significantly increase its public profile and influence among top leadership within state government as well as the commercial payor community in North Carolina. In 2019, our annual Advocacy Days event, held in our state capital during our legislative session – proved to be our largest yet. We had 125 attendees this year, an increase of 60% over the prior year. This was, no doubt, due in large part due to the stellar slate of distinguished speakers for the event, which included North Carolina’s Attorney General, the State Treasurer of NC, the Secretary of the NC Department of Health and Human Services, as well as leaders from the managed care/commercial payor industry within our state. Clearly, by virtue of their presence at this meeting, the leadership of our state government recognizes NCMGMA and its membership as key constituents/partners in instigating and navigating changes within healthcare, and our organization is proactively taking its’ “seat at the table” in seeking to positively influence and shape these decisions as they are being considered.
North Carolina is currently in the midst of a self-titled “transformation” of our state Medicaid plan, and our organization responded this year to assist our membership in navigating these changes. We launched a new committee in 2019: the Payor Contracting Committee – and together with our respective Medicaid, Medicare and BCBS Committees, these groups provided real and meaningful assistance to our members as they proactively sought to prepare for these evolving changes.
Advocacy activities are always threaded within our efforts throughout the year, but one other notable activity was one of our local chapters (the Raleigh chapter) hosting the CEO of the state’s largest health insurance company – BCBSNC – for a town hall forum exclusively for our membership. This was an extremely popular/well-attended event and was provided to our membership at no charge.
Cameron Cox, III has dutifully fulfilled the role of our MGMA Legislative Liaison for years and in 2019 continued to update the board and membership on national initiatives lead by MGMA National.
Educational & Networking Opportunities.
Our state chapter continues to be a strong supporter of MGMA’s primary educational initiatives through its ACMPE and FACMPE programs. Our ACMPE Forum Representative, Michelle Torak, has done an admirable job during her tenure in increasing the support and guidance offered to our members as they consider pursuit, or indeed pursue, professional certification. As of November, 2019 -- 61% of our members are involved in the ACMPE program. Our number of Certified Members has increased by 12% in the last year alone (from 191 to 213), and in the past three years we have not had fewer than 18 members annually achieve this designation. In the past year, we also had an additional two members become Fellows, now bringing our total count of Fellows to 56. We are proud of the support that our state affiliate offers our members in pursuing these highly-esteemed honors.
As is always the case, in 2019 all of our educational offerings presented sessions based on domains within the MGMA’s Body of Knowledge. These educational sessions are offered in a variety of locations and formats, designed to reach as many members in as many areas of our state as we can. Our conferences this past year included our 3-day “Annual Conference,” our 2-day “Advocacy Days” conference/legislative visits, and two Regional Education Day events (1-day symposiums designed to reach managers from small to midsized practices, often from more remote areas of the state).
n an era during which most organizations struggle with declining conference/seminar attendance, we are pleased to note that we had strong results in 2019. Overall, our member attendance for all of these combined educational opportunities increased to 366 from 321 in the prior year (an increase of 14%). [Notably, this was despite the fact that in the prior year we had two major state-wide conferences as opposed to only one in 2019.] For our major conferences – our Annual Conference saw an increase of 20% over the prior year, and as noted previously, we had a 60% increase in our Advocacy Days meeting. Simply put, we are thrilled with this accomplishment and hope to continue building on this success in 2020.
In 2019, we also continued to provide a steady stream of educational webinars for our members. NCMGMA partners with the North Carolina Medical Society Foundation in this effort and collaboratively we provided ten webinars in 2019, encompassing a wide-range of topics. Our partnership with our Medical Society not only enhances the collaborative relationship between our two organizations, but also allows NCMGMA the opportunity to afford our membership and the industry additional and affordable (free for NCMGMA members!) education and information to bring back to practices state-wide.
Special 2019 Initiatives. State/Local Chapter Task Force.
In 2019, we formed a task force comprised of state board members and leadership of our local chapters. With the realization that healthy local chapters provide a stronger, grassroots foundation for a more robust state organization, this group was charged with collaboratively seeking opportunities for streamlining the full breadth of our organization, as well as creating additional opportunities for enhanced, mutual support. While their work continues, this effort has already had a positive impact:
State Salary and Benefits Survey – A Pilot Program Through MGMA.
- State members will now have to join a local chapter in their vicinity (at nominal cost) which boosts the number of members in each chapter, and hence, the resources availability for high-quality educational and networking initiatives provided by those chapters;
- Two chapters in relatively close proximity with one another were combined, creating a stronger chapter with greater efficiencies;
- By-laws of each chapter were amended to create consistency across the entire organization.
As our friends at MGMA are well-aware, our state’s top strategic iniative for 2019 was to reach an agreement with MGMA which would allow us to once again offer our membership a State Salary/Benefits Survey for non-physician staff. We are grateful MGMA was willing to consider and subsequently agree to a pilot state survey program conducted by our state. Upon that agreement, our State Survey Task Force, board, and association staff did a wonderful job in quickly and diligently selecting a partner charged with designing and implementing our survey, ensuring that the survey met the parameters desired by MGMA, and launching that survey to our membership in December. Simply put, this was a huge undertaking and accomplishment for our organization this year, and we are gratified to be able to offer this valued service to our membership once again. We also hope that as MGMA moves toward implementation of its Partner Affiliate program nationally, our survey created in this pilot program could be used as a helpful template/resource for other state affiliates if they choose to also implement their own staff surveys.
Business of Healthcare. NCMGMA began a new collaborative series made possible with the nationally renowned Business of Healthcare (BOH), created by Matthew Hanis. These series of interviews further our state mission to provide high-level continuing education content for our members while highlighting key players and issues in NC’s healthcare industry with national recognition. In 2019, NCMGMA and BOH produced 7 interviews featuring topics such as “How NC Leaders Triggered Scalable Opioid Use Disorder Interventions”, “North Carolina’s Move to Medicaid Managed Care”, and “Can Physicians Fix Healthcare by Becoming Independent Again”. These interviews, collectively, have provided a value of over $380,000 estimated advertising value for our sponsors and confirmed over 18,020 proven engagements with the healthcare community nationally.
We have tried to succinctly identify our 2019 endeavors of which NCMGMA is most proud. Thank you for this opportunity to present our successes. Thank you as well for your continuing partnership with us. There is no doubt that, together, we are fulfilling our collection mission of promoting medical practices that are wellrun, forward-thinking, and providing the highest quality of care possible.