Community Practitioner Program Advisory Board Holds First Meeting

The new Community Practitioner Program (CPP) Advisory Board, which will make recommendations to the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) Foundation Board of Trustees on matters concerning the CPP, met for the first time on Friday, Nov. 22, at the NCMS Center for Leadership in Medicine in Raleigh.

The panel, chaired by Tom Irons, MD, heard a variety of updates on the CPP and from the North Carolina Office of Rural Health. The two programs complement each other in offering incentives for physicians and physician assistants to provide health care in rural and underserved areas of the state. Chris Collins of the Office of Rural Health described the funding constraints they face, but also noted that they have recruited 37 percent more health professionals this year over last year.

The Advisory Board also discussed a number of items affecting the CPP policies for participants. At the moment there are 43 health care professionals participating in the CPP, NCMS Foundation Director of Programs Franklin Walker told the Board members. They are serving in practices where at least 30 percent of the patients are on Medicaid or Medicare or are indigent, although many are more like 60 percent.

In discussing policy recommendations, the Advisory Board decided to err more on the side of flexibility so that the program can continue to accomplish its goals of serving underserved areas most efficiently. The Board agreed to meet twice a year.


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