Welcome from the President
It’s my pleasure to take hold of the reins of the NC Society of Addiction Medicine and I aspire to the same dedicated leadership shown by Jim Finch, MD over the past two years. However, as your new President I will depend on the talents and energy of all our members to help guide the specialty of Addiction Medicine in North Carolina through the rapidly changing medical landscape.
It seems that everyone was looking to the elections this past November as the pivot point in health care planning. What most folks forget is that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 is a horse that is long out of the barn. Health care reform (or perhaps more accurately health insurance reform) is in the midst of rapid evolution. By way of reminder, here are but a few of the mandates of the PPACA:
2010 – health premium tax credits for small businesses with 10 or fewer employees earning less than $25,000/ yr.
2011 – Lifetime limits on health insurance policies eliminated
2011 – Health insurance coverage for young adults up to age 26 (under their parents’ policy)
2012 – Value-based purchasing (pay based on outcome) for acute care hospitals
2012 – Funding for integrated health systems i.e. Accountable Care Organizations
2013 – Funding for Provider Collaboration: establishes a national pilot program on payment bundling to encourage hospitals, doctors, and post-acute care providers to work together
2014 – Insurance companies may no longer deny coverage based on pre-existing illness
Whether or not State managed Health Insurance Exchanges are launched in 2014 or if Medicaid coverage is expanded to the working poor, the die has been cast. It will be up to our members to determine what role Addiction Medicine will play in the Organized Systems of Care (OSCs) that are our future. We will increasingly be held to evidence-based practices and outcome-based treatment. We have before us a golden opportunity to sit at the table in deciding how health care dollars can be spent and can be saved. Now is our time. The NC Society of Addiction Medicine can provide structure and opportunities for influencing the course before us. However, it will be contingent upon the membership to make it happen. I need everyone’s participation to make this work.
J. Paul Martin, MD, FSAM