Community Practitioners Gather for Annual Update

On September 29, 2012, physicians, physician assistants, and family nurse practitioners gathered in Raleigh for program updates, education, networking and fellowship during the Community Practitioner Program (CPP) Annual Meeting. In an open forum, these primary care providers who work in rural and/or underserved communities had an opportunity to discuss successes and challenges faced in their unique practice setting. Their feedback will help shape future program requirements and support services provided by CPP.

CPP participants, along with Bernstein and Schweitzer Fellows, learned how to effectively serve the rural community through presentations on advocacy, Patient Center Medical Home (PCMH), Meaningful Use (MU) and Accountable Care Organizations. These topics were chosen to assure that CPP participants are prepared for and understand the implications of value-driven health care.   

Members of the NCMS legislative team, Chip Baggett, NCMS Director of Legislative Relations, and Will Barnett, NCMS Assistant Director of Legislative and Political Action, challenged program participants to “join, build, give” – join in the discussion, join your professional association, build relationships with elected officials and local healthcare leaders, give to candidates and the NCMS Political Action Committee (PAC).

Terri Gonzalez, NCMS Director of Practice Improvement, provided participants with a greater understanding of PCMH and MU, encouraging all to achieve these designations in order to improve patient care and take advantage of incentives being provided for measurable improved patient outcomes. NCMS member and former CPP participant, Elizabeth Riley, PA-C, MHS, of Roxboro Family Medicine and Immediate Care, shared her personal experience working with Terri and the CPP program to achieve PCMH designation in record time.

NCMS member and 2013 Leadership College Scholar,  John J. Meier, IV, MBA, MD, helped participants better understand value-driven care and Accountable Care Organizations. Dr. Meier shared his own recent experiences in developing an ACO. He pointed out some of questions and challenges to consider as well as the potential benefits to patients and physicians.   

The Community Practitioner Program is the flagship program of the North Carolina Medical Society Foundation.  The NCMS Foundation thanks our presenters and all who attended.

During the meeting, Terri Gonzalez, NCMS Director of Practice Improvement, also addressed the changing healthcare system in regard to EHR technology and how this development may impact the practitioners serving in a rural community. Through an extensive summary, Terri provided participants with a greater understanding of Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) and Meaningful Use by explaining that, contrary to what many healthcare professionals think, meeting Meaningful Use is one small portion of becoming PCMH recognized.

To help the Community Practitioners become more informed about value-driven care, NCMS member John J. Meier, MD, of Wake Internal Medicine and Key Physicians, a successful Accountable Care Organization (ACO), gave an overview and explained how this new model of care works. Dr. Meier used his practice’s experiences of moving toward more patient-centered care to explain how rural medical communities can prepare for this method of care. NCMS member and former CPP participant, Elizabeth Riley, PA-C, MHS, of Roxboro Family Medicine and Immediate Care also spoke at the meeting. Through the NCMS PractEssentials program, Roxboro Family Medicine was able to reach PCMH designation in record time.

The NCMS and its Foundation will continue to assist medical practices, whether they are located in rural or metropolitan areas, address and succeed in our changing healthcare system. The NCMS Foundation would like to thank all who attended the fall meeting. 


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