NCMS Morning Rounds for Oct. 15, 2021

While the NC House and NC Senate have an agreed upon budget document, which has not been made public, negotiations are ongoing with Governor Roy Cooper to finalize a state spending plan. We hear there is an announcement planned for next week, so stay tuned and watch your NCMS Morning Rounds newsletter and next Friday's video for updates.

It's LEAD Health Care Conference time! We hope you enjoyed our NCMS PAC legislative forum last night! There is lots more to come today and tomorrow as our sessions address timely topics of importance to you, your practice and your patients.


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NCMS Political Pulse for Oct. 8, 2021

The focus this week at the General Assembly was an energy bill moving through committee while budget negotiations continue between legislators and the Governor. We may see a final spending plan next week, so stay tuned.

Be sure to register for our 2021 Virtual LEAD Health Care Conference, which kicks off next Thursday, Oct. 14, with our NCMS PAC event featuring an all-star line up of legislator panelists to discuss the issues that impact your practice. Learn more and register here.


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NCMS Political Pulse for October 1, 2021

Finally, we've reached the last step in the state budgeting process and hope to have a final product by mid-October. The NC House and Senate reached an agreement and are now negotiating with Governor Roy Cooper on a final state spending plan. We will continue to monitor this closely.

Watch as NCMS Director of Legislative Relations Sue Ann Forrest, MPA, discusses the latest legislative news including movement on SB85-- Allow Vision Service Plans, and gives you the list of exciting NCMS events coming up!

Watch the video.

NCMS Political Pulse for Sept. 24, 2021

This week, NCMS Director of Legislative Relations Sue Ann Forrest, MPA, welcomes NC Sen. Jim Perry (R-Lenoir) to discuss SB257 -- Medication Cost Transparency Act, which regulates pharmacy benefit managers and recently was signed into law. Sen. Perry also offers a budget update and advice on how to make sure your voice is heard.

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NCMS Political Pulse for September 10, 2021

It was a short and relatively uneventful week at the General Assembly this week as budget negotiations continue and we continue to advocate for our NCMS budget priorities. We expect to see a final budget document toward the end of September.

One item of note this week involves a letter to key legislators from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC voicing support for SB249/HB277 the SAVE Act. The NCMS opposes this legislation, which would grant independent practice to advance practice nurses. We have re-distributed our SAVE ACT Opposition Letter September 2021 describing our -- and many other specialty and county societies' -- opposition. Be sure to read your NCMS Morning Rounds on Monday for more information on this issue.

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NCMS Political Pulse for Aug. 20, 2021

This week budget conferees were named. These individuals, who included committee chairs and democratic House members who had voted in favor of the House budget, will continue their negotiations over a state spending plan in the coming week. A side-by-side comparison of both the House and Senate budgets is available on our NCMS legislative blog.

While the budget process is underway, a number of other bills are still making their way through committees. These include:

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NCMS Morning Rounds 8-13-21

May this Friday the 13th be lucky!

Enjoy your NCMS Morning Rounds.

August 13, 2021

Get Paid to Counsel Medicaid Patients on COVID Vaccination

To help encourage vaccination to protect against COVID-19, NC Medicaid will pay for counseling a Medicaid beneficiary about receiving the COVID vaccine.

Remember – and use -- Code 99401. This is for preventive medicine counseling and/or risk factor reduction intervention(s) provided to an individual, for up to 15 minutes, when you counsel Medicaid beneficiaries regarding the benefits of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine whether the patient chooses to receive the vaccine or not.

Learn more about this in this NC Medicaid Bulletin. For questions, please contact the NCTracks Call Center: 800-688-6696.

Be Prepared – Have Adequate PPE on Hand

As the number of COVID-19 cases are again on the rise, and mask mandates are again being put in place, be sure your supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) is adequate for the coming weeks and months. Suppliers are warning us that with increased lead times due to global capacity constraints and increased demand, we may see shortages in the future. Also, transportation challenges due to container shortages and congestion at US and ports around the world are causing shipment delays of all types.

Last year, thanks to state funding, the NCMS was able to distribute free PPE to practices throughout the state to help replenish depleted supplies and create a stockpile for future use. We also joined with other medical societies through ActionPPE to offer a way to order necessary equipment easily through out website.

Now, we recommend you check out Henry Schein, a medical equipment supplier, to help you be properly prepared. Learn more and order from Henry Schein here.

Resources to Help Comply with New OSHA Standard

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a COVID Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) back in June. The standard, which currently is in effect, aims to protect health care and health care support workers from exposure to COVID-19 in setting where people with COVID-19 are reasonably expected to be present. Health care employers must develop and implement a COVID-19 plan to identify and control COVID-19 hazards.

This has generated many questions about how to comply among medical practices. Below are links to some helpful resources.

In the News

See the Data on Breakthrough COVID Hospitalizations and Deaths by State, The New York Times, 8-10-21

Learning Opportunity

Registration for the comprehensive Duke-UNC Tobacco Treatment Specialist Training (TTS) Fall Program, Oct. 25-Nov. 2, is now open. Also, three NEW 1-day intensive CME trainings are available.

Learn more and register here.

If you have policies you'd like your NCMS Board of Directors to consider, please complete the Board input form here. Thanks for reading!

NCMS Political Pulse for Aug. 6, 2021

HB96--Allow Pharmacists to Administer Injectable Drugs, was heard in the Senate Rules Committee and received a unanimous favorable vote on the Senate floor before being sent back to the House for concurrence. While there were no amendments to the legislation, one requirement remains -- parental consent must be obtained when administering a vaccine with Emergency Use Authorization only to a minor. In other legislative news, the NC House released its budget. Funding for the ECU telepsychiatry program along with additional money for health departments -- both funding provisions we support -- were included. A vote on the House budget is anticipated next week. Watch as NCMS Director of Legislative Relations Sue Ann Forrest, MPA, gives you all the week's legislative highlights.


Please note you can always view the latest health care bill summaries and sign up for Action Alerts on our legislative blog:

Political Pulse for July 23, 2021

While this week was supposed to be a lighter week at the General Assembly, several health related bills did move. HB96--Allow Pharmacists to Administer Injectable Drugs, was heard in the Senate Health Committee and referred to Senate Rules. The NCMS has been working with a variety of stakeholder groups to modify this bill and has been able to make several positive changes. Review the details of its progression here. Other bills moving this week include HB415 -- Update Chiropractic Laws and SB711 -- NC Compassionate Care Act, which seeks to legalize medical marijuana. Watch as NCMS Director of Legislative Relations Sue Ann Forrest, MPA reviews the week's legislative highlights.

Watch the video.

NCMS Morning Rounds 7-22-21

 Enjoy Thursday's NCMS Morning Rounds.

July 22, 2021

Medicaid Managed Care Updates

Just a reminder that the latest NC Medicaid Bulletin has been issued and contains a variety of updates on issues around Medicaid managed care including non-emergency transportation for NC Medicaid Managed Care and the new prior authorizations required for substance use disorder prescriptions. The Bulletin also notes the deadline extension for completing the Health Equity Payment Survey. Read the latest on these and other Medicaid topics here.

The July 2021 Medicaid Pharmacy Newsletter also is now available and includes information on Medicaid managed care transferring prior approvals and pharmacy billing and contracting Information. Access the newsletter here.

As you are navigating the new Medicaid managed care landscape be sure to visit our Medicaid Transformation webpage. There you will find resources for each of the pre-paid health plans and links to the state’s information. If you have an issue that can’t be resolved by an individual plan or NC Medicaid, please complete our Medicaid Transformation Issues Form so we can track challenges and work to help address them for our members and their patients.

Dr. Tilson Honored by NC Institute of Medicine Board

The NC Institute of Medicine’s (NCIOM) Board of Directors recently honored fellow NCIOM Board member and State Health Director and Chief Medical Officer Betsey Tilson, MD, MPH for her ‘extraordinary efforts to protect the public’s health and prevent human suffering during the coronavirus pandemic of 2020-2021.’

Board Chair David Sousa, JD, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel for Curi, presented Dr. Tilson with a plaque and stated the hope that “your great-great grandchildren, who’ve read about this crazy pandemic in their history books, will continue to display this as a testament to the legacy of excellence by you, in their family and in our state.”

Sousa expressed gratitude for Dr. Tilson’s tireless work to respond to the pandemic.

“There is no perfect pandemic response,” Sousa said in presenting Dr. Tilson with the plaque. “But there is courage, dedication and commitment, and you have shown these qualities and inspired them in others.”

Improving Outcomes for Ill, Injured Children

The presence of an individual with an interest in pediatric emergency care has been shown to significantly improve outcomes for ill and injured children. This Pediatric Emergency Care Coordinator Workforce Collaborative seeks to develop any health care professional working in the prehospital or emergency department systems into highly effective champions of pediatric readiness.

This collaborative invites interested health care professionals to participate a couple of hours a month to become highly effective champions of pediatric readiness and improve outcomes for ill and injured children.

Learn more about how you can become involved and register for this training here.

In the News

More Than 200 People in US Being Monitored for Possible Monkeypox Exposure, CDC Says, STAT, 7-20-21

Learning Opportunity

Join the NC Medical Group Management Association on Thursday, July 29 at 1 p.m. for a webinar on OSHA ETS Q & A Session with the NC Commissioner of Labor Josh Dobson.

This virtual event will address the impact of the OSHA ETS on medical practices. You may submit questions for Commissioner Dobson when you register. Learn more and register here.


If you have policies you'd like your NCMS Board of Directors to consider, please complete the Board input form here. Thanks for reading!