December 2018

In This Issue
•Happy Holidays from the NCMS Plan and MMIC Agency
•Free 1094/95B Form Service
•Surge in Robocall Scams
•Ask Rachel
•Eat Smart, Move More, Prevent Diabetes
•Hospice and Palliative Care-Charlotte Region Named Healthiest Employer
•Podcast: Reducing Burnout in Healthcare Workers with Dr. Bryan Sexton
 
 

Happy Holidays from the NCMS Plan and MMIC Agency

During this holiday season, we take time to reflect upon the good things we have…like our partnership with you. We appreciate working with you and hope that the holidays and the coming year will bring you happiness and success.

Happy Holidays from everyone at the NCMS Plan and MMIC Agency!

 

Free 1094/95B Form Service

We are pleased to offer a new service to participating practices. The NCMS Plan, in partnership with Triune Technologies, will generate Forms 1094-B and 1095-B for practices subject to this filing requirement. The new service will begin for the 2018 calendar year with a filing deadline of February 28, 2019.

Forms 1094-B and 1095-B are used to report certain information to the IRS about individuals who are covered by your practice's NCMS Plan health insurance. Filing these forms fulfills a requirement of the Affordable Care Act. Practices with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees that participate in the NCMS Plan are responsible for distributing and submitting these forms each year. This service does not include generation of Forms 1094-C and 1095-C for practices with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees. To take advantage of this free service, please email gary.bossert@mmicnc.com by Monday, December 17th.

The forms will be generated by Triune and emailed to you as pdf files. You will be responsible for validating the forms, submitting the forms to the IRS, and for distributing the forms to your covered employees (both current and former).

 

Surge in Robocall Scams

We were recently notified that one of our members received an unusual and suspicious call that suggested an affiliation with their group health insurance referencing Blue Cross Blue Shield.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) has received a number of reports regarding an upsurge in robocalls that falsely claim to be made by “Blue Cross Blue Shield.” These calls appear to be made for the purpose of marketing insurance products by using the Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) brands - and coincide with enrollment periods for Medicare. These calls are not being made by any Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans or on behalf of the NCMS Plan.

More information on overall healthcare fraud and reporting, particularly the surge in robocalls, can be found here.

If one of your members gets a recorded call from a caller they did not authorize, the call is likely fraudulent or malicious and they should hang up immediately.

Please advise your employees to do the following:

•Do not respond to prompts to “press 1 to speak to the operator or get your name taken off the list,” and do not provide any personal information. Those that respond will probably get more calls.

•Block the numbers of the robocalls you receive from calling your cell phone. These callers may continue to call you from other numbers or use “spoofing” technology that makes the same calls appear to come from different numbers.

 

Ask Rachel

Rachel Eaton is an Account Service Representative for the NCMS Plan. Rachel works with practice administrators daily to address questions regarding benefits, enrollment, and billing. In this recurring segment, Rachel answers common questions from our practices. You can submit your questions to Rachel at rachel.eaton@mmicnc.com.

Question: Rachel, our practice has a physician that is retiring soon. Can we offer her coverage until she is Medicare eligible?

Answer: Yes, the NCMS Plan has provisions where practices can offer Retiree coverage to physicians, non-physician employees and their spouses. The option to select these coverages would have been made at your practice's initial enrollment in the NCMS Plan.

If your practice elected retiree coverage, the retiring physician must have been covered by the NCMS Plan immediately prior to retirement. For non-physician retirees, the retiring employee must be at least 55 years of age and must have been an employee of the practice for at least 10 years at the time of retirement. If these conditions are met, then you would notify us of the employee’s retirement. We will let our plan administrator (BCBS) know to move the member from active to retiree status. The retired member will continue to appear on your group’s billing statement.

When a member is a retiree on the NCMS Plan, they are eligible to stay on until they reach age 65 and become eligible for Medicare. The practice must continue to participate in the NCMS Plan for retirees to retain their coverage. There are special provisions for solo-practitioners if their practice is also closing upon their retirement. If this applies to you, please let us know.

If your practice did not elect retiree coverage and would like to add these provisions, please send a letter on group letterhead signed by an authorized representative indicating your decision to elect this coverage option on a prospective basis. Adding retirees after the fact is not an option.

If you have questions about retiree coverage, please email me at rachel.eaton@mmicnc.com.

 

Eat Smart, Move More, Prevent Diabetes

The NCMS Plan is pleased to announce 100% preventive coverage of the Eat Smart, Move More, Prevent Diabetes program for all members with pre-diabetes beginning in January 2019 (a $449 value)! Eat Smart, Move More, Prevent Diabetes is a year-long, CDC-recognized diabetes prevention program based on proven strategies to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Key concepts include planning, tracking, and living mindfully to prevent diabetes. The program is delivered in a real-time, online format so you see and hear your instructor in a live session.

The format of the class allows you to interact with your instructor and classmates. You will be able to work through challenges together as a group and celebrate each other’s successes. Each class is taught by a trained lifestyle coach instructor who provides one-on-one support outside of class. To learn more about the program and determine if you are eligible to participate, please click here.

Contact Jason Horay at (919) 878-7530 or jason.horay@mmicnc.com if you have questions about the program.

 

Hospice and Palliative Care-Charlotte Region Named Healthiest Employer

Congratulations to NCMS Plan practice, Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region (HPCCR) for being selected as one of Charlotte’s Healthiest Employers.

HPCCR's mission is to relieve suffering and improve the quality and dignity of life through compassionate hospice care for those at the end of life and palliative care for those with advanced illness. They know that this mission is compromised if their employees are not doing all they can to improve their own quality of life.

Healthcare practitioners are particularly susceptible to ignoring their own health and wellbeing as they care for others. With this calling and knowledge in mind, HPCCR built an extensive wellness program. In only their sixth year of intentional wellness, HPCCR has offered annual biometric screenings and health fairs at each of their locations. They use aggregate data to assess, then formulate, a comprehensive strategy designed to improve the health of their workforce and create a culture of true wellbeing.

For more information on how you can get your office to Practice Wellness, contact Jason Horay at jason.horay@mmicnc.com or (919) 878-7530.

 

Podcast: Reducing Burnout in Healthcare Workers with Dr. Bryan Sexton

Dr. Bryan Sexton, Director of the Duke Patient Safety Center, has captured the wisdom of frontline caregivers through rigorous assessments of safety, culture, teamwork, and workforce resilience. His research instruments have been used around the world in over 3,000 hospitals in 30 countries. With specializations in organizational assessment, teamwork, survey development, and quantitative methods, Dr. Sexton spends his time teaching, mentoring, conducting research, and finding practical ways of getting busy caregivers to do the right thing by making it the easy thing to do. He has found that results across industries, work settings, shifts, professions, and countries highlight a great deal about reliability in high risk environments – specifically, “you are better off changing the situation, than trying to change human nature.”

Take time over the next few weeks to listen to this podcast and see what takeaways will help you and your practice. Consider subscribing to the Redesigning Wellness podcast for other informative interviews on the topic.

 

About the North Carolina Medical Society

Established in 1849, the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) is devoted to representing the interests of physicians and protecting the quality of patient care as the largest physician organization in the state. The NCMS Plan, sponsored by the NCMS, is the only statewide employee benefits plan designed specifically for North Carolina physicians.

For more information about many other benefits of NCMS membership, visit www.ncmedsoc.org.