June 2017

In This Issue
George Fanelli to Retire After 18 Years of Service
Exclusive Webinar--Wellness Programs: Compliance and Risks
Coverage Expanded to Include 3D Mammography
IRS Announces 2018 HSA Limits
Mark Your Calendar for the M3 Conference
Be Summer-Ready: Safety Tips, Travel Apps, and More
Enhanced Nutrition Services

George Fanelli to Retire After 18 Years of Service

With regret but warm wishes, we announce the retirement of George Fanelli effective June 30.

George began with Medical Mutual and the NCMS Plan in November 1999. Over the last 18 years, George has provided excellent service to hundreds of practice administrators that participate in the NCMS Plan. His expertise and guidance was valued and appreciated. Customer service kudos were regularly submitted by administrators who acknowledged his consistent presence and accessibility. An administrator once said, “George is the best customer service person I have ever worked with”, and another said, “I don’t believe in cloning, but if I did, and it was available, I would clone George.” One of our greatest assets is the service we provide. There are very few insurance carriers or companies where the primary service contact is the same person for nearly two decades! There are administrators that George continues to serve today that he served in 1999.

During his tenure, George earned several professional designations including Healthcare Customer Service Associate (HCSA), Professional Health Insurance Advanced Studies (PHIAS), and the Employee Healthcare Benefits Associate (EHBA), demonstrating his commitment to his profession. George made regular contributions to this newsletter in the Ask George column reinforcing his value to the NCMS Plan and our practices. George was also named a Medical Mutual Associate of the Quarter in 2010. George is widely known for his easy sense of humor and hearty laugh.

We thank George on behalf of all those he has served over the years and extend our best wishes to him as he starts the next chapter of his life.

If you would like to share your appreciation with George, you can contact him at george.fanelli@mmicnc.com until June 30th.


Exclusive Webinar--Wellness Programs: Compliance and Risks

Please Join Us For An NCMS Plan Employment Law Webinar

“Wellness Programs: Compliance and Risks?”

Wellness Programs have been shown to help reduce employer health care costs. From flu shots to full health screenings, they have become the norm in most employee benefit programs. But do you know the rules that apply to these programs? Our experts will discuss how to make sure you are not putting your practice at risk of penalties or employee lawsuits.

Topics will include:

• What ERISA, COBRA or HIPAA rules may apply.
• How to avoid disqualifying your employees’ health savings accounts.
• Legal risks of forcing participation.
• How to make sure you don’t run afoul of ADA rules.
• Protections that apply to genetic information.
• Pros and Cons of combining your wellness programs with your medical plan.

Presented by: Ann Murray, Partner, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP
& Jason Horay, Health Promotion Program Manager, NCMS Plan

Thursday, June 22nd
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Register Now! Click Here.


Coverage Expanded to Include 3D Mammography

Effective June 1, 2017, the NCMS Plan expanded coverage to include digital breast tomosynthesis, also known as 3D mammography. As a result, 3D mammography will become a covered service for all of our members.

3D mammography services will be covered similarly to the way full-field digital mammography (also known as 2D mammography) services are covered. The NCMS Plan covers preventive services at 100%, 3D mammography screening services will be covered at no member cost.

Scientific research suggests that both 3D mammography and 2D mammography can be effective in the screening and diagnosis of breast cancer. In line with BCBSNC, we are making this change to keep up with evolving technology: 3D mammography is becoming a more prevalent medical service offered by providers.

This change applies to claims with service dates on or after June 1, 2017.


IRS Announces 2018 HSA Limits

The IRS issued figures for calendar year 2018 for the annual contribution limits for health savings accounts (HSAs). Individuals who participate in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) are permitted a deduction for contributions to HSAs set up to help pay their medical expenses. For 2018, the annual limit on deductible contributions is $3,450 for individuals with self-only coverage (a $50 increase from 2017) and $6,900 for family coverage (a $150 increase from 2017 after not increasing last year). Those 55 and older can continue to contribute an extra $1,000 as a catch-up contribution. To be eligible to contribute to an HSA, an individual must participate in an HDHP.


Mark Your Calendar for the M3 Conference

Be sure your calendar is marked for September 14-16 to attend the second M3 – Merging Medicine and Management – Conference, which will be held this year at the Marriott Crabtree Valley in Raleigh. The schedule is up on the website, and the NCMS and the NCMGMA are working on exciting and relevant content to inspire you and your staff.

What is M3? The NC Medical Society (NCMS) and the NC Medical Group Management Association (NCMGMA) have joined forces to offer the educational conference of the year, focusing on practice improvement, leadership in health care and personal development. Presented by leading experts and industry professionals, the hand-selected educational sessions will help you understand and implement new payment and practice models, sharpen your leadership and management skills, adapt to changing technology and keep your practice ahead of the curve in the ever-changing world of health care.

•Three consecutive days of relevant, cutting-edge educational sessions;
•Social events and networking opportunities;
•Engaging speakers and informative sessions on the most timely heath care issues;
•Poster competition for medical students and residents;
•Exhibit Hall with health care vendor products and services.

Register today to attend!


Be Summer-Ready: Safety Tips, Travel Apps, and More

Seven in ten adults say they look forward to summer just as much now as when they were kids, according to a 2015 Harris Poll. And why not? It’s the season of sun, fun, and much-needed vacations. Taking vacation time helps recharge your energy and reduce your stress. Once you return, you’re likely to feel more engaged at work.

If you have a vacation scheduled, start planning early for how your job responsibilities will be handled while you’re gone. Then, as the date approaches, make sure your co-workers are up to speed on anything they need to know.

You’ll find more advice in Practice Wellness Personal's Quick Tips for Asking and Preparing for Vacation Time. Practice Wellness Personal (PWP) is the NCMS Plan's confidential employee assistance program (EAP). PWP is designed to support healthcare professionals with best in class counseling, life coaching and digital content. PWP is available to NCMS Plan members at no additional charge.

Encourage employees to register today at ncmsplan.lifeworks.com. Select 'Sign Up' where they'll be prompted to enter their invitation code. Enter 'PWP-' followed by their subscriber ID (on their NCMS Plan/BCBSNC insurance card) and they can set up their account. Don't forget the 'dash'!

For confidential advice and support, employees can call the NCMS Plan dedicated number (800) 248-6615.

For additional information on how Practice Wellness Personal can benefit your employees or specific questions about this new benefit, contact Jason Horay at jason.horay@mmicnc.com.


Enhanced Nutrition Services

The NCMS Plan improves the health and wellness of its members by continually enhancing our nutrition resources. Recently, we partnered with Total Nutrition Technology (TNT), a NC-based leader in weight management and nutritional program development. TNT’s comprehensive approach addresses the entire individual and their needs.

They start with an extensive interview and evaluation. This is followed by a custom-built nutrition plan with exercise guidelines ensuring it fits both the member’s lifestyle and dietary objectives. NCMS Plan members may also receive a resting metabolic rate (RMR) assessment ($15 fee). This non-invasive procedure takes only 10 minutes and will give immediate and accurate results on how to further individualize their plan. TNT offers customized skill building workshops, in-home food/pantry prep and grocery store tours. As a NCMS Plan member practice, these TNT services performed by Registered Dietitians are 100% covered.

To get started on your practice’s healthier journey and to understand what services are available in your area, complete the Needs Assessment Form and you will be contacted by a TNT specialist to outline a program customized for you and your practice.

Questions? Please contact Jason Horay at jason.horay@mmicnc.com.


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.