Charlotte, NC—At the end of the North Carolina Rheumatology Association (NCRA) annual meeting, Shane Anderson, MD, President of the Association discussed the meeting, challenges he faces in his practice as well as his thoughts on ICD-10. Dr Anderson is a Practicing Rheumatologist in Greensboro, North Carolina, and has been the president of the association for the past 2 years.
This year’s meeting was a 2-day event held at the Ballantyne Resort and included both local and national experts on various rheumatology topics. In particular, Robert T. Keenan, MD, MPH, Duke University School of Medicine Division of Rheumatology, talked about new guidelines for gout. Megan Clowse, MD, Duke University Medical Center, discussed pregnancy and rheumatic disease, and an inspiring talk by Wayne Sotile, PhD, Center for Physician Resilience and Renewal, focused on thriving through change and promoting resilience during difficult times. Other topics covered included rheumatology-related skin disorders, autoimmunity and rheumatologic manifestations of immune deficiency, inflammatory myopathy, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.
Attendees included rheumatologists, mid-level providers, and other healthcare stakeholders.What are the main challenges you are facing today?
SA: The main challenges for me being a private practice rheumatologist with the particular patient demographic that I see in my clinic is access to care. We are very fortunate that in most of our autoimmune diseases to have really gained game-changing, life-changing, disease-modifying treatments, and it’s increasingly difficult to provide these treatments to patients. Simply due to access. Restriction to medicines either directly, excluding medicines from formularies, or making them cost prohibitive to patients. It makes it frustrating and challenging being a rheumatologist to know there are things that I can provide to the patient that will change their life, but yet we cannot do that, and that is very frustrating.How do you feel about the recent vote to delay ICD-10?
SA: I think that it is important, and sometimes it is easy to forget that practicing physicians are not only clinicians and researchers, but also small business owners. Trying to implement large regulatory changes, “while helping your grandma with painful knees,” can be sometimes challenging, even with expert help from consultants. I think, that giving it another year to try and decide how best to implement this without it being a financial burden, without it being a regulatory burden upon practices such as my practice, I think is critical.What does value-based care mean to you?
SA: Value-based care means you are providing the best quality of care for the best reasonable expenditure healthcare dollars, as I suspect it means for most patients. Everyone practices with the understanding that everyone has a limited budget. There are expenditures to the things that we do, there are expenditures to patients and payers, and it is sometimes challenging to strike the balance providing effective, good quality care, but also doing it in a fiscally responsible way. And for me, that’s what’s value-based care means.
The mission of the North Carolina Rheumatology Association is to promote the science and practice of rheumatology, and advocate access to the highest quality healthcare and management of patients with rheumatic diseases. Their goal is to discuss, facilitate, and maintain scientific information regarding the practice of rheumatology care. For more information on the North Carolina Rheumatology Association, please visit their website at http://www.ncrheum.org/.