White Coat Wednesday Culminates in Meeting with Governor

Doctors from across the state turned out in record numbers for White Coat Wednesday on June 4 to speak to legislators about how to improve Medicaid. The Secretary of the NC Department of Health and Human Services, Aldona Wos, MD, spoke to the group at the NCMS Center for Leadership in Medicine before the doctors headed over to the Legislative Building. At noon, many of them met with Governor Pat McCrory at the Executive Mansion and participated in a press conference on the steps of the residence. White Coat Wednesday is the North Carolina Medical Society’s (NCMS) grassroots lobbying initiative that occurs every Wednesday when the legislature in is session.

The many doctors in the hallways of the General Assembly and standing with the Governor sent a strong message to legislators and the public about where health care providers stand on Medicaid and how best to protect our most vulnerable citizens. The media interviewed NCMS President Dev Sangvai, MD, and NCMS CEO Bob Seligson was quoted extensively in newspaper, tv and radio across the state. Seligson also wrote an opinion piece that appeared in the Raleigh News & Observer the following day. Get the links to some of this coverage at the end of this article.

“The health care community, together with the McCrory administration and legislators, had reached a consensus on a new financially predictable and sustainable Medicaid system that encourages the best quality care in the most cost-effective manner for our patients,”  Sangvai told the media. “Over the last several months, we had reason to hope that this accountable care model would bring true, lasting improvements to Medicaid.”govmansion

The House budget was just released yesterday (see related story in this edition of the Bulletin) and is more in keeping with the NCMS positions on the move to value and accountability as keys to lasting and meaningful Medicaid reform.  The governor and the Department of Health and Human Services also are in line with NCMS. The Senate budget proposal, however, halts the forward momentum on reform. The doctors came to Raleigh in force to voice their support for the McCrory administration’s plan and to strenuously oppose any backward steps to turn the Medicaid program over to an outside managed care company.

For more images from last week’s events, visit our Facebook page.

Here are links to some of the media coverage of NCMS’ position on Medicaid reform.

Triangle Business Journal

WNCN — interview with Dr. Sangvai.

Raleigh News & Observer, Bob Seligson’s Opinion piece.

Winston Salem Journal

North Carolina Health News




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