More States Confirm Cases of Bird Flu as it Continues Spread Across Country

 

Contaminated water or feed may have caused dairy cows to become infected with the H5N1 avian influenza virus.

Recently, Texas officials issued a health alert about the first confirmed case of a human infection with a bird influenza virus that has found its ways into dairy cows.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says it has confirmed that the virus has infected cattle at farms in Texas, Kansas, New Mexico, and Michigan, while Idaho has a “presumptive” outbreak at one dairy farm.

The USDA stressed that the “current risk to the public remains low.” Contamination of commercial milk is of “no concern,” the agency said in a statement, because pasteurization reliably kills viruses, and milk from sick cows is not being sold. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says people should not drink raw milk or products like cheese that are made from it. [source]

Recommendations for Clinicians

Providers should consider the possibility of avian influenza A(H5N1) virus infection in people who have symptoms of influenza and relevant exposure history. This includes people who have had close contact with a person with suspected or confirmed avian influenza A(H5N1) infection, affected animals, or unpasteurized milk from dairy farms with suspected avian influenza A(H5N1). A close contact is defined as a person who is within 6 feet of a confirmed or probable avian influenza A(H5N1) case for a prolonged period of time, or who had direct contact with infectious secretions while the case was likely to be infectious (beginning 1 day prior to illness onset and continuing until the resolution of illness).

Symptoms of avian influenza A(H5N1) infection in humans may include:

  • Fever (temperature of 100°F [37.8°C] or greater) or feeling feverish or chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Eye redness (conjunctivitis)
  • Difficulty breathing/shortness of breath
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures

Join NCMS for a Regional Meeting With NHPCMS in Wilmington!

New Hanover-Pender County Medical Society and North Carolina Medical Society invite you to a joint meeting!

Pine Valley Country Club

500 Pine Valley Dr.
Wilmington, NC 28412

April 10th

6-8pm

Are You Feeling More Like a Factory Line Worker Than a Health Care Professional?

Join us to learn how we are working to put YOU back in health care decision making!


Here's what you can expect:

              • 6:00pm - Socializing
              • 6:30pm - Complimentary dinner
              • 6:45pm - NHPCMS Scholarship Presentation & Announcements
              • 7:10pm - NCMS Regional Meeting with Chip Baggett, NCMS EVP-CEO
              • Discussion to follow
              • 8:15pm - Adjourn

REGISTER NOW

Physicians, PAs, Residents, and Students

You do not need to be a member to register.

Questions? Contact Toni Hill, [email protected].


Measles Remain in Spotlight as Cases Continue to Rise Nationwide

 

As cases of measles continue to rise, health officials continue to stress the importance of vaccinations.

As of March 28, 2024, a total of 97 measles cases have been reported by several states: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York City, New York State, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington. [source]

 

 

Symptoms of measles may include fever, cough, runny nose, watery eyes and a rash of red spots. According to the CDC, approximately 1 in 5 unvaccinated people in the US who get measles will be hospitalized, approximately 1 in every 20 children will develop pneumonia, and others may develop a dangerous swelling in the brain called encephalitis. Up to 3 of every 1,000 children who become infected with measles may die from respiratory and neurologic complications.

Thanks to a highly effective vaccine, measles is preventable. Experts recommend that children get the measles, mumps and rubella, or MMR, vaccine in two doses: the first between 12 months and 15 months of age, and a second between 4 and 6 years old. One dose is about 93% effective at preventing measles infection; two doses are about 97% effective. [source]


Register Now for NC Medicaid Managed Care Special Webinar

 

Medicaid Managed Care
SPECIAL WEBINAR:

Total Cost of Care (TCOC) Dashboard Launch for Providers


This month, NC Medicaid is launching a Total Cost of Care (TCOC) Dashboard for Advanced Medical Homes (AMHs).

This tool will allow AMHs to access and analyze data related to resource use and total cost of health care received by Medicaid members assigned to their practices.

The TCOC Dashboard aims to help AMHs identify potential drivers of overuse and inefficiency and assist them in making informed decisions when engaging in value-based arrangements with Medicaid prepaid health plans.

Join for one of three opportunities to learn more about this important new tool.

In the webinar, NC Medicaid will provide an overview of the dashboard and its metrics, walk through the login process, and demonstrate various functionalities for users of the AMH TCOC Dashboard.


Wednesday, April 17 | 5-6 p.m.

Thursday, April 18 | 5-6 p.m.

Tuesday, April 30 | 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.


Join Us in Durham Next Week for the DOCMS Meeting at the University Club!

Join DOCMS at the University Club!

Wednesday, April 10, 2024 | 6:00pm - 8:00pm

University Club, 3100 Tower Boulevard, Suite 1700

Durham, NC 27707

AGENDA: 

          • 6:00pm- 6:30pm – Socializing & Housekeeping
          • 6:30pm- 7:30pm – Dinner & Guest Speaker
          • 7:30pm- 7:45pm – Q&A
          • 7:45pm- 8:00pm – DOCMS 2024 Business

REGISTER NOW - Hybrid Meeting


Speaker:

Patrick Sullivan, MD | Director, UNC Suicide Prevention Institute 

Dr. Sullivan is the Yeargan Distinguished Professor in the Department of Genetics and Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is also a Professor at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. His lab investigates the molecular genetics of schizophrenia, major depressive disorder (including post-partum depression), eating disorders, and autism. With funding from the Departments of Genetics and Psychiatry, he launched the UNC Center for Psychiatric Genomics. Dr. Sullivan is a founder and the lead principal investigator of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, the largest consortium in the history of psychiatry.

Spread the word: 9-8-8 suicide/crisis lineline, 24/7/365, talk, text, chat. 

See https://988lifeline.org/ (great resource website too).

Questions or can't open the registration google link? 

Please email Frank Snyder at [email protected]


1 CME Credit is available! Click here for how to claim your credit.

DOCMS Members & Prospective Members - FREE to attend

Guests - $25 to attend (will be collected at meeting


DOCMS is managed by the North Carolina Medical Society.

Please consider joining or learning more about the NCMS, at the links below.

JOIN NCMS MEMBERSHIP 

NCMS MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION & BENEFITS


BCBSNC UPDATE: Financial Assistance Now Available for Providers Impacted by the Change Healthcare Outage

Independent providers in need of financial assistance as a result of the Change Healthcare outage that meet the criteria below may now apply for an interest-free loan through Blue Cross NC.

Eligible providers should email [email protected] to start the process. Requesters will receive an automated email reply with a link to an attestation that needs to be completed and submitted. Once the attestation is complete, Blue Cross NC will review the attestation and accompanying information to confirm eligibility. A representative from Blue Cross NC will then notify the provider regarding eligibility, and any necessary next steps.

In addition to providing more information about how to apply for this financial assistance, we need to clarify the $5,000 in monthly submitted claims requirement. Please note the $5,000 per month is based on the provider’s 2023 claims data. The intent of the threshold is to establish material impact (or financial hardship) due to lack of claims payments as a result of the CHC outage.

If you have additional questions, please email [email protected] as this email box is being continually monitored.


Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) is offering additional support to its provider community in the form of an interest-free loan to help ease the burden of the Change Healthcare outage.

For a provider to be eligible to receive this interest-free loan, they must meet the following criteria.

Providers must be:

  • Contracted with Blue Cross NC
  • Not involved in an active investigation for potential fraud, waste or abuse activities
  • Located in North Carolina
  • Confirmed as not having fully recovered their claims submissions to us and are submitting claims at a rate of less than 50% of comparable 2023 levels
  • Independently owned
  • Participating in our government business network(s) in support of our most vulnerable populations (This network requirement is not applicable to Dental Blue and Dental Blue Select providers; dental providers are otherwise eligible for an interest-free loan if all other criteria are met.)
  • Submitting monthly claims for billed charges greater than $5,000
  • Able to attest to financial hardship

BCBSNC is currently finalizing the application process for eligible and affected providers to apply for this program and will provide additional details within the next few days.

If you have any questions, please email CHCFinancialAssistance@bcbsnc.com.


EXTENDED: How Has Your Practice Been Impacted by the Change Healthcare Cyberattack? Take this Survey.

 

Since the Change Healthcare cyberattack in February and resulting system outages, the American Medical Association (AMA) has urged federal and state regulators to support physician practices with financial assistance and flexibilities in administrative requirements.

To assess the current level of workflow disruptions and financial impact on practices, the AMA is requesting those impacted to complete an informal, 11-question survey. The survey results will be used to inform AMA's advocacy to stakeholders and policymakers on behalf of physicians and their patients.

Response deadline extended to noon CT on WEDNESDAY, APRIL 3.

For the latest information on the Change Healthcare cyberattack response, please visit the AMA webpage dedicated to this topic.

Thank you for your time in completing this survey.


Governor Roy Cooper Declares April Child Abuse Prevention Month

 

PRESS RELEASE — Recognizing the role everyone plays in helping North Carolina’s children reach their full potential, Governor Roy Cooper declared April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. This Child Abuse Prevention Month, community organizations, government agencies, businesses, faith groups and other stakeholders will come together to focus on creating partnerships to prevent child maltreatment from occurring and the importance of building hope for children and families.

The theme of this year’s Child Abuse Prevention Month campaign is "Building A Hopeful Future Together." The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and Positive Childhood Alliance North Carolina (formerly Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina) recognize that every single child is filled with tremendous promise, and all North Carolinians are responsible for defending and nurturing that potential.

"We want North Carolina families to have access to supports they need, when they need them, so children can grow up in nurturing environments with hope for the future," said NCDHHS Deputy Secretary for Opportunity and Well-Being Susan Osborne. "Policies and programs that put families first are critical to ensuring parents and caregivers have the resources they need to keep children safe within their own communities. We are continuing to work to transform the many systems that directly impact child and family well-being to build a North Carolina where everyone can thrive."

Children who live in families with access to economic and social support are less likely to experience abuse and neglect. Too often, people think of raising healthy children as a parent or caregiver’s responsibility alone, but it takes community resources and partnerships to help lighten the burden of care and strengthen families. All North Carolinians share the responsibility of creating more positive outcomes for children by working together to address the underlying causes of health and social inequities in our communities.

In collaboration with statewide partners like NCDHHS, Positive Childhood Alliance NC (PCANC) is championing a new theory of change in North Carolina, which aims to build the well-being of our state’s children and families.

"At Positive Childhood Alliance NC, we are committed to challenging the status quo and advocating for policies that prioritize the well-being of all North Carolina children and families," said PCANC President and CEO Sharon Hirsch. "By offering data-driven coaching and professional development, building public understanding and advocating for systemic change, we're working toward a future where every child has more positive experiences filled with hope and joy, supported by caring relationships and connected communities."

During Child Abuse Prevention Month, PCANC and NCDHHS are joining the national effort to reshape the narrative around child maltreatment prevention and increase investments in programs and policies that prioritize children and families. This month, and all year long, communities and individuals can help NCDHHS and PCANC advance family-centered prevention programs and policies by taking action in the following ways:

  • Attend a Pinwheel Planting hosted by NCDHHS and PCANC on Tuesday, April 2, 11:30 a.m., at the NC State Farmer’s Market (1201 Agriculture St., Raleigh, NC 27603). Learn more here.
    • The public and media are invited to attend. Speakers include Lisa Tucker Cauley, Division Director, Human Services Child, Family, and Adult, Regional Support; Sharon Hirsch, President & CEO of Positive Childhood Alliance North Carolina; and Heather McAllister, Family First Prevention Services Manager in the Division of Social Services. Food and drink will be provided on a first come first serve basis.
  • Wear blue on Friday, April 5 – Wear Blue Day – to show support for children and families. Post a photo or video on social media and include the #WearBlueDay2024 and #NC hashtags.
  • Participate in digital advocacy day on Tuesday, April 16, to advocate for increased federal investment in community-based child abuse prevention grants that provide states and communities with the resources to implement community-based solutions to prevent child abuse and neglect.
  • Follow PCANC on LinkedInFacebookInstagramYouTubeTikTok, Threads and X (Twitter) and share our posts throughout April. Encourage friends and family to do the same. Click here to follow NCDHHS on all social media platforms.
  • Plant a pinwheel as a visual reminder of the world we want – for all children to grow up happy, healthy and prepared to succeed. Order pinwheels to plant in your community or go digital and plant one online here.

For more ways to get involved in Child Abuse Prevention Month, please visit PositiveChildhoodAllianceNC.org. (source)


2024 NCMS Candidate Series - Dr. Steven Feldman

2024 NCMS Candidate Series Featuring Dr. Steven Feldman

 

The 2024 North Carolina Medical Society Candidate Series has an exclusive interview featuring Dr. Steven Feldman who is running for North Carolina House District 10.

In this episode, Dr. Feldman talks about his desire to reintroduce civility to national politics, the national debt and its impact on healthcare. He also offers his plan to improve the rural healthcare gap in North Carolina.

All candidates who are members of NCMS and are running for either state or federal office have been extended invitations to articulate their perspectives on these crucial subjects. Stay tuned for forthcoming interviews with other candidates leading up to the November election.

 

 

See the full interview with Dr. Feldman here:

https://youtu.be/i2PWwXTqXRw


Happy Birthday to Our Members Celebrating This Month!

Grab your party hats and noisemakers and let’s celebrate!

 

Zachary A. Aberman, MD
Jennifer H. Adair, PA-C
John E. Adams, MD
Adeyinka A. Adegoroye, MD
Muhammad N. Ahmed, MD
Richard E. Akers, MD
J. McClees Aldridge, III, MD
Herbert R. Allen, Jr., MD
James L. Allen, MD
Nana Akua Amponsah, PA-C
James D. Anderson, MD
Eileen S. Andres, PA-C
Rebecca Anketell, DO
Vittorio Antonacci, MD
James H. Antoszyk, MD
Bryan S. Apple, MD
Matthew A. Applebaum, MD
Luis Alberto I. Arce, MD
Niti Armistead, MD
Ryan M. Aronberg, MD
Godfried A. Arthur, MD
Anthony L. Asher, MD, FACS
Mohammed A. Athar, MD
William E. Austin, MD
Samina A. Aziz, MD
Ghobad Azizi, MD
Karen R. Babcock, MD
Kathryn M. Baerman, MD
Richard S. Bahner, MD
Mubashir H. Bahrami, MD
Nancy C. Ballantyne, MD
Juliana Ballestero, MD
Mohammad H. Baloch, MD
Susan M. Bane, MD
Luz J. Barahona, MD
William M. Barrett, MD
Paul D. Barry, MD
Linda A. Bassett-Shaftoe, MD
Ali Batouli, MD
Nicole S. S. Beaufort, MD
Anna G. Becker, PA-C
John D. Bell, MD
Joseph T. Bell, MD, FAAP
Tracy L. Bell, PA-C
William H. Bell, III, MD
Ariel N. Berry, PA
Teresa G. Biggerstaff, DDS, MD
Kathryn F. Black, PA-C
Shem K. Blackley, III, MD
Peter F. Blomgren, MD
Gayle B. Bodner, PA
Richard W. Boette, MD
Tiffany L. Bonafe, DO
Richard P. Bonsall, MD
Corenthian J. Booker, MD
Gregory C. Borstad, MD
Phillip A. Bostian, MD
Kaitlin M. Bowers, DO
Richard M. Bowles, MD
Daniel P. Boyle, MD
Yun L. Boylston, MD, FAAP
Ashley E. S. Bragg, PA-C
Blanche E. Brais, PA-C
Byron C. Branch, MD
Thomas G. Braun, MD
Tara F. Brenner, MD
Andrew B. Bridgforth, MD
Donald S. Bright, MD
John C. Britt, MD
Scott R. Broadwell, MD
Philip A. Bromberg, MD
David M. Bronstein, MD
Matthew W. Brooks, DO
T. William Brooks, III, MD
Michael H. Brown, MD
Philip M. Brown, Jr., MD
Richard M. Browne, PA-C
Nicholas E. Bruns, MD
William A. Bryan, III, MD
Jose O. Buenaseda, MD
Jaime L. Bull, PA-C
Ulugbek N. Buriev, MD
Stephanie A. Burke, PA-C
Robin C. Burnette, MD
Andrew P. Bush, MD
John D. Butts, Jr., MD
Brian D. Buzzeo, MD
Cas M. Cader, MD
Gregory H. Campbell, MD
Jacob Carlson, MD
Melissa A. Carlucci, MD, FAAP
Colleen Casey Miller, MD
Ted F. Cash, MD
John H. Caughran, MD
Brent T. Cengia, MD
Matthew P. Chamberlain, MD
James S. Chambers, MD
Mark C. Chandler, MD
Joseph T. Cheatle, MD
Srinivas S. Cheruvu, MD
David A. Chesnutt, MD
Martha J. Chesnutt, MD
Donna R. Childress, MD
Michelle K. Chiu, MD
Gabriel T. Chong, MD
Sharif M. R. Chowdhury, MD, PhD
John A. Chretien, MD
Claudiu A. Cimpean, MD
Wendy Cipriani, MD
Edward J. Clark, III, MD
C. Porter Claxton, Jr., MD
Arthur R. Cohen, MD
Gregory A. Collier, PA-C
Matthew T. Collins, MD
Eli C. Colman, MD
Natalie J. Cook, PA-C
Graham H. Cosper, MD
Sheronette A. Cousins, MD
Robert J. Cowan, MD
George W. Crane, Jr., MD
Jennifer R. Cranny, MD
Dallas C. Craven, Jr., MD
Gregg E. Cregan, MD
Kevin M. Cregan, MD
Frederick A. Cruickshank, MD
Tammy N. Crumpler, MD
D. Andrew Culbreth, PA-C
Michael D. Culler, PA-C
Charles E. Cummings, MD
J. David Cunningham, MD
Dalena M. Custer, PA-C
Lisa G. Dabney, MD
Jeffrey M. Daily, MD
Christopher J. Danner, MD
Scott E. Dart, MD
Stephen A. Daugird, MD
Darshan D. Dave, MD
Benjamin J. Davis, MD
Brittany M. Davis, PA
G. Edward Davis, MD
Karen A. Davis, DO
Clayton C. Dean, MD
Ronit K. Dedesma, MD
Catherine L. DeWald, PA-C
Derek A. DeYoung, PA-C
Leon A. Dickerson, Jr., MD
Edgardo Diez, MD
Russell D. Dolan, MD
Bridget B. Donell, MD
Dianne B. Dookhan, MD
C. Thomas Dover, Jr., MD
Kevin M. Doyle, MD, FACS
Daniel L. Drotts, MD
Maddalena P. Duarte, MD
Ray H. Dunkelberg, MD
Diane S. Dutton, DO
E. Hunter Dyer, MD
Ernest B. Eason, MD
Kenneth P. Edel, MD
George S. Edwards, III, MD
Laura E. Edwards, MD
Allen W. Elster, II, MD
John B. Emery, Jr., MD
Fernando A. Escabi Mendez, MD
Colin M. Evans, MD
Ha N. Evans, MD
Andrew T. Fairchild, MD
David M. Fajgenbaum, MD
Richard S. Felkner, MD
Raymond J. Fencl, MD
Jennifer L. Ferguson, MD
Eric J. Finical, MD
Jonathon M. Firnhaber, MD
Oscar F. P. A. Florendo, Jr., MD
Rachana S. Fofaria, MD
Amy L. Ford, PA-C
Robert T. Foust, MD
Anna Fowler, PA-C
Craig R. Frater, MD
Nicole E. Frederickson, PA-C
David F. Freeman, MD
Marsha D. Fretwell, MD
Thomas C. Friedrich, MD
Robert V. Fulk, Jr., MD
Sarat Ganga, MD
Timothy B. Garner, MD
Sarah W. Garwood, PA-C
Michael T. Gaslin, MD
Thomas E. Gendrachi, Jr., MD
Patrick E. Georgoff, MD
Edward R. Gerrard, Jr., MD
Solomon T. Ghebregziabiher, MD
Leonard H. Gibson, Jr., MD
Kemery L. Gilbert, MD
Kelly A. Gill, PA
Lowell H. Gill, MD
Jacqueline K. Gividen, MD
Catherine S. Glazer, MD
Susan A. Glenn, MD, PhD
John P. Goforth, MD
Barbara L. Goheen-Brodish, MD
Trevor I. Goldberg, MD
Jeffrey B. Goldstein, MD
William R. Goldston, MD
Alejandro M. Gonzalez, MD
Gay M. Gooden, MD
Terrence L. Goodman, MD
Louis N. Gottlieb, MD
Alyssa C. Gottschalk, PA-C
Daniel L. Gottsegen, MD
Brittany L. Grady, DO
George R. Grant, Jr., MD
Terry A. Grant, MD, FACEP
David W. Grantham, MD
Shakira Greene
John H. Greig, MD
Scott K. Gross, MD
Herman L. Grossman, MD
Chris W. Guest, MD
Matthew A. Gullickson, MD
Subhash C. Gumber, MD
Madhur Gupta, MD
Dana L. Haake, DO
Luke E. Habegger, MD
Persia F. Hadad, PA-C
Tyler G. Hahn, PA-C
David M. Haimes, MD
Andrew J. Hall, MD
Steven D. Hammel, MD
Eli A. Hammer, MD
Vishwanath Hande, MD
Kimberley J. Hansen, MD
Prashanth H. Haran, MD
Joseph H. Hardison, Jr., MD
Stuart M. Hardy, MD
Margaret N. Harker, MD
Nivin Haroon, MD
Brian K. Harris, MD
Tasha J. Harris, PA-C
Brian K. Harshman, MD
Justin P. Hart, MD
W. Stuart Hartley, MD
Lindsey E. Harward, MD
Paul A. Haugan, MD
John Haverkamp, MD
Sara K. Hawes, MD
Taylor J. Heath, PA-C
Marilyn M. Heins, PA-C
Mark A. Hellreich, MD
Caroline M. Helmink, PA
Jonathan A. Henderson, MD
Robert D. J. Henihan, MD
Suzanne K. Hentz, MD
Samareh G. Hill, MD
David C. Hillsgrove, MD
Edward L. Hines, MD
Genesis V. Hines, MD
Bryan M. Hoag, MD
Edwin W. Hoeper, MD
Thaddeus D. Hollingsworth, MD
Patrick E. Holmes, MD
Windsor A. Holt, MD
L. Fuller Honeycutt, MD
Michael P. Hooker, MD
David J. Howe, MD
Jeffrey H. Howe, MD
Clarence P. Huggins, III, MD
Richard M. Hughes, MD
J. Sterling Hutcheson, MD
Joseph I. Ifokwe, MD
Peter J. Irigaray, MD
Amy V. Isenberg, MD, MPH
Michael T. Jacobs, MD
Mary-Margaret James, MD, FAAP
Mikell J. Jarratt, MD
Owais Jeelani, MD
Jeffrey D. Jenkins, MD, FACS
J. Charles Jennette, MD
Eric M. Johnsen, MD
Christopher M. Johnson, MD
David A. Johnson, MD
Eric M. Johnson, MD
Michael D. Johnson, MD
John G. Johnston, MD
Aaron M. Jones, MD
April M. V. Jones, PA
Carroll P. Jones, III, MD
James C. Jones, PA-C
Morris A. Jones, Jr., MD
Taylor D. Jones, PA-C
Lyndon K. Jordan, III, MD, FACR
Peter H. Joyce, MD
Peter N. Kane, MD
Jeffrey L. Kantor, MD
Oksana Kantor, MD
Firas Kassab, MD, FACR
Adithya Kattamanchi, MD
David S. Keith, MD
John S. Kelley, MD
David L. Kelly, Jr., MD
William S. Kelly, MD
Adam S. Kendall, MD
Archie D. Kesler, Jr., MD
John T. Kihm, MD
Michaux R. Kilpatrick, MD
James N. Kimball, MD
J. Leroy King, MD
Jessica L. Kirk, MD
John A. Kirkland, Jr., MD
Timothy H. Kirkland, MD
C. Richard Kirsch, MD
Arthur G. Klose, MD
Charles L. Knupp, MD
Robin F. Koeleveld, MD
Eugenie M. Komives, MD, FAAFP
Jill N. Konkol, MD
David B. Konstandt, MD
Crawford B. Koon, MD
Pallavi Kopparthy, MD
Stacy M. Kropp, PA
Judit M. Kuhn, MD
Susan E. Ladd-Snively, MD
Stephen H. Ladwig, MD
Tida T. Lam, DO
Charles G. Lampley, III, MD
Eric D. Lance, MD, FACS
Ronald M. Lather, MD
Daniel J. LaValley, MD
Melissa A. Laxton, MD
Henry N. Lee, Jr., MD
David Lefkowitz, III, MD
Alexander C. Lemons, MD
Khye Sheng A. Leong, MD
Alex H. Li, MD
Walter D. Liebkemann, MD
Christopher Lin, MD
Michelle Lin, MD
Jimmy Locklear, MD
Thomas D. Long, Sr., MD
Cynthia L. R. Lopez, MD
James C. Lorentzen, MD
Joshua W. Loyd, MD
Deborah M. Lucas, MD
Janet N. Lucien, DO
J. Douglas Mann, MD
Eric A. Mansell, MD, PhD
Steven P. Manuli, MD
Louis J. Marchetti, MD
E. Earl Maready, Jr., MD
David F. Martin, MD, FACG
Gary L. Martin, MD
Kimberly J. Martin, PA-C
Nora C. S. Mason, MD, FAAP
Syed A. Masood, MD
Satish Mathan, MD
Bryan A. Max, MD
Eugene H. Maynard, Jr., MD
Matthew J. Maynard, PA-C
Jennifer L. McCauley, MD
Bryan A. McCluer, MD
Joseph F. McConville, MD
Ann J. McCunniff, MD
Jack P. McDaniel, MD
Kimberly W. McDonald, MD
John C. McFadden, MD
Andrew S. McKnight, PA
Mark W. McManus, MD
Mary J. McNeely, PA-C
Donald D. McNeill, Jr., MD
Amie M. McPherson, MD
Mark F. Medley, MD
David V. Meehan, MD
Amy E. Messier, MD
Walson K. Metzger, MD, PhD
Clinton L. Meyer, MD
Davonia N. Wagner Michael, MD
Ashraf G. B. Mikhail, MD
Deana H. Miller, MD
Ryan D. Miller, PA-C
Stanley D. Mills, MD
Bradford C. Mitchell, MD
Joshua B. Mitchell, MD
Mark A. Mittelman, MD
Benjamin J. Moeller, MD
Garland R. Moeller, MD, FACR
Paul R. Moncla, MD
Jeffrey K. Moore, MD
Lacey F. Moore, MD
Robert M. Morgan, Jr., MD
Patrick J. Morgante, DO
Aaron S. Morrow, MD
Mark S. Moskowitz, MD
Richard G. Mostak, MD
Linda B. Mundle, MD
Shalini Mundra, MD
Bryant A. Murphy, MD
George H. Nashick, MD
Ayesha Nasir, MD
William R. Neal, MD
John M. Neidecker, DO
Todd B. Nelson, MD
Edwin Newman, MD
James E. Nicholson, III, MD
Timothy J. Novosel, MD
Robert H. O. Nunoo, MD
James M. Oelsen, MD
Alan E. Oester, Jr., MD
Robert J. Oglesby, MD
Ogochukwu N. Okoye, MD
David C. Oliver, MD
Pamela A. Oliver, MD
Daniel J. Olson, MD
Simon P. O'Regan, MD
Richard Orlowski, MD
Maggi C. Ormand, PA-C
Jennifer W. Orr, MD
Ann Ostrovsky, MD
Scott M. Otis, MD
Sami J. Oweida, MD
Brooke C. Owen, PA
Frederick T. Owens, MD
John S. Pace, MD, JD
Martin Palmeri, MD
Frederick G. Panico, MD
Robert S. Park, MD
David R. Parker, MD
J. Ashley Parker, MD
Peter E. Parker, MD
Jennifer L. Parker-Cote, MD
Lakshmi P. Paruchuri, MD
Martha Grace Patel, MD
Sandeep Patel, MD
Sandip J. Patel, MD
Vinay J. Patidar, MD
Frank C. Patrick, PA-C
Rolvix H. Patterson, III, MD
James M. Patton, MD
Ivan Y. Peacock, MD
Philip H. Pearce, MD
Joanna K. Pearson, MD
Marilyn R. Pearson, MD
James G. Peden, Jr., MD
Staci M. Pessetti, PA-C
Robert B. Peters, IV, MD
Aaron S. Peterson, PA-C
Donald D. Peterson, MD
Thai T. Phan, MD
Jennifer B. Phifer, MD
Brandon N. Phillips, MD
Jefferson D. Phillips, MD
Jerry C. Pickrel, MD
Charles G. Pierce, MD
Willard C. Pierson, Jr., MD
David M. Pilati, MD
Chelsea N. Poser, PA-C
Zachary E. Potter, MD
Hugh M. Powell, Jr., MD
Myron S. Powell, MD
Edwin T. Preston, MD
Amy C. Priestaf, PA-C
Leonard R. Prosnitz, MD
Amy E. Purvis, PA-C
Kathryn L. Ramsdell, MD
Jacquetta T. Randall, MD
Charles A. Rankin, Jr., MD
Richard A. Rappaport, PA-C
F. Catrina Reading, MD
Frederick J. Reindl, III, MD
Gregory P. Retson, PA-C
Lucia F. Reyes, MD
Harrison K. Rhee, MD
Edward J. Ricciardelli, MD
Christin N. Richardson, MD
Anthony L. Rico, MD
Catherine S. Riggan, MD, FAAP
John M. Roberts, MD
Noelle C. Robertson, MD
Laurael A. Robichaud, PA-C
Blair V. Robinson, MD
Theodore Y. Rodgers, III, MD
James T. Rogers, MD
Victor L. Roggli, MD
Alan J. Rosenbaum, MD
Joel B. Rosenberg, MD
Stanley J. Rosenberg, MD
Allan Ross, MD
Travis S. Ross, PA-C
Loreli L. Rowe, MD
Stephen S. Ruehle, MD
William M. Russell, MD
Jeffrey C. Ryan, MD
Regina M. Ryan, MD
Eric Sabatini Regueira, MD
James R. Sagar, MD
Bradley H. Saitta, MD
James D. Salisbury, DO
Jennifer T. Sandbulte, MD
Scott S. Sanitate, MD
Seeplaputhur G. Sankar, MD
Amy F. Schenk, PA-C
Thomas J. Schermerhorn, MD
Hilliard F. Seigler, MD
Claire E. Sellers, MD
Joseph R. Shackelford, III, MD
Lindsay E. Shade, PA-C, MHS
Parth N. Shah, MD
Martha K. Sharpless, MD
Frank S. Shaw, MD
Stacee E. Sheets Goodrich, MD
Hitesh Shivalingappa, MD
G. Michelle Shiver, MD
Oluwaseun D. Shogbesan, MD
Richard P. Silton, MD
Peter O. Simon, Jr., MD
Harmeet Singh, MD
Mark A. Sinning, MD
Steven E. Skahill, MD
Brandon L. Smallwood, MD
Cayce W. Smith, PA-C
Everett D. Smith, MD
John M. Smith, MD
Richard L. Smith, MD
Robert P. Snow, DO
John M. Snyder, MD
Hemant Solomon, MD, FACC
John R. Spellman, MD
Roger F. Spencer, MD
Edward V. Spudis, MD
Rodney M. Stalheim, MD
Bernard M. Stanfield, II, MD
Kevin J. Stanley, MD
James S. Starman, MD
Patrick J. Steele, MD
Sara H. Steelman, MD, FACEP, FAAP
C. Ryan Steinbaker, MD
Amy R. Stevenson, DO
John S. Stevenson, MD
Christopher W. Stewart, MD
Sarah Stout, PA-C
William V. Stucky, MD
Tyler D. Stutzman, MD
William C. Sugg, Jr., MD
Andrew I. Sumich, MD
Vyvyan Y. Sun, MD
Senthil N. Sundaram, MD
Edwin R. Swann, MD
Katherine M. Sweetapple, PA-C
Paul J. Swiersz, MD
Kassell E. Sykes, Jr., MD
Timothy N. Taft, MD
Samer Taj-Eldin, MD
Ryan J. Tarr, DO
H. Grant Taylor, Jr., MD, FACP
Richard A. Taylor, MD
Virginia B. Taylor, MD
Sheikh A. Tejan-Sie, MD
Ummuhan Tekin, MD
Daniel J. Thibaudeau, MD
John A. Thomas, MD
James S. Thompson, MD
Elizabeth E. Tilt, MD
J. Kehinde Tokunboh, MD
Rashmi Tomar, MD
Dominick P. Trapani, DO
Kelsey N. Trull, PA-C
William W. Truslow, MD
Yanki Tumer, MD
Pascal O. Udekwu, MD
Ami V. Vakharia, MD
Allen H. Van Dyke, MD
Amy J. M. Van Vooren, PA-C
Lawrence S. Van-Blaricom, MD
Sangeeta C. Varanasi, MD
Robert M. Varnell, MD
Ronald L. Vereen, MD
Mark A. Versnick, MD
Paul A. Vieta, Jr., MD
Ernesto M. Villareal, MD
Roger Vithalani, MD
Hanna von Hardenberg, MD
Andrew C. Voris, MD
Kira L. Vurlicer, MD
Richard A. Waldman, MD
Edward R. Walker Gallego, MD
Alexander R. Walters, MD
Kendall W. Wannamaker, Jr., MD
Mildred P. Warren, MD
Derek P. Watson, MD
Roy A. Weaver, MD
R. Kent Webb, MD
Sarah Webb-Wood Evers, MD
Cynthia B. Weeks, MD
Deric O. Weiss, MD
Jessica J. Wen, MD
Megan J. Wester, PA-C
Igor Westra, MD
Joshua W. Whitham, MD
Kerry N. Whitt, MD
William M. Wike, MD
Ian B. Wilds, MD
Marc A. Willi, MD
D. Robert Williams, Jr., MD, FAAP
Donna M. Williams, MD, FACP
J. Todd Williams, MD
Randal J. Williams, MD
Robert E. Williford, MD
Cameron J. Wilson, PA-C
Joseph B. Wilson, MD
Robert B. Wilson, MD
Richard L. Wing, MD
Scot L. Winters, MD
Lisa C. Wood, MD
Paula L. Wood, MD
Jessica A. Woodcock, MD
William W. Woodruff, III, MD
Eugene E. Wright, Jr., MD
Jill C. Wright, MD
Juliana R. Wulforst, PA
Limin Xu
Margaret A. Yacobozzi, MD
Ken T. Yang, MD
Cheryl H. Yanuck, MD
Dewey H. Yarley, MD
Sailaja Yerrabapu, MD
Kyle A. Young, MD
Arthur Zak, MD
Michael P. Zaleski, DO
Jeanne M. Zekan, MD
Zev J. Zingher, MD


Share Your Feedback on New Environmental Health Draft Policy

 

The North Carolina Medical Society's (NCMS) Policy Committee is charged with developing policies that align with the NCMS Mission and the NCMS Guiding Principles.

The Policy Committee recently came together to create a policy addressing environmental health. This policy will serve as an effective tool to guide and support NCMS advocacy efforts addressing environmental health in North Carolina.

The NCMS Policy Committee invites you to review the draft policy and share your feedback below.


Celebrating Women's History Month with Dr. Cheryl Walker-McGill

To help celebrate Women's History Month, NCMS has an in-depth interview with NCMS member Dr. Cheryl Walker-McGill, Executive Producer of the acclaimed documentary "Someone Else's Shoes."

The film focuses on the establishment of St. Agnes Hospital, one of the first Black-owned and operated hospitals in Raleigh. It also celebrates the achievements of Black pioneers in the field of healthcare and offers insight and context for anyone interested in the history of healthcare in North Carolina as well as a broader struggle for social justice and equality.

Dr. Walker-McGill opens up about why she decided to make the film and how it has impacted her life.

You can learn more about the movie and where you can see it here: Pearlz2Purpose.com


BCBSNC: Financial Assistance Coming for Eligible Providers Impacted by the Change Healthcare Outage

 

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) is offering additional support to its provider community in the form of an interest-free loan to help ease the burden of the Change Healthcare outage.

For a provider to be eligible to receive this interest-free loan, they must meet the following criteria.

Providers must be:

  • Contracted with Blue Cross NC
  • Not involved in an active investigation for potential fraud, waste or abuse activities
  • Located in North Carolina
  • Confirmed as not having fully recovered their claims submissions to us and are submitting claims at a rate of less than 50% of comparable 2023 levels
  • Independently owned
  • Participating in our government business network(s) in support of our most vulnerable populations (This network requirement is not applicable to Dental Blue and Dental Blue Select providers; dental providers are otherwise eligible for an interest-free loan if all other criteria are met.)
  • Submitting monthly claims for billed charges greater than $5,000
  • Able to attest to financial hardship

BCBSNC is currently finalizing the application process for eligible and affected providers to apply for this program and will provide additional details within the next few days.

If you have any questions, please email CHCFinancialAssistance@bcbsnc.com.


How Has Your Practice Been Impacted by the Change Healthcare Cyberattack? Take this Survey.

 

Since the Change Healthcare cyberattack in February and resulting system outages, the American Medical Association (AMA) has urged federal and state regulators to support physician practices with financial assistance and flexibilities in administrative requirements.

To assess the current level of workflow disruptions and financial impact on practices, the AMA is requesting those impacted to complete an informal, 11-question survey. The survey results will be used to inform AMA's advocacy to stakeholders and policymakers on behalf of physicians and their patients.

Response Requested by Friday, March 29

For the latest information on the Change Healthcare cyberattack response, please visit the AMA webpage dedicated to this topic.

Thank you for your time in completing this survey.


HHS Distributes Additional Provider Resources for the Change Healthcare Disruption

 

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) distributed additional resources to assist physicians, pharmacists, and hospitals with the aftermath of the Change Healthcare cybersecurity attacks. In addition, HHS is making available the voluntary Healthcare and Public Health Cybersecurity Performance Goals, designed to help healthcare organizations strengthen cyber preparedness, improve cyber resiliency, and ultimately protect patient health information and safety.

In this document, providers will find information to help them connect with payers regarding impacts of the cyberattack, links to resources payers have set up (including guides to connect to alternate data clearinghouse services), information on advanced payments, and more.

*Please note the HHS’ cover letter points out that the resource document contains a national contact person for each plan. However, HHS urges physicians, pharmacists, and hospitals to reach out first to their health insurer’s regional contact. If these contacts do not respond to inquiries, please contact [email protected].


We Need Your Feedback on Fiscal Impact of Prior Authorization

 

NCMS and the North Carolina Medical Group Managers Association have partnered to create a survey on the fiscal impacts of prior authorizations on practices.

As we enter into short session at the legislature, we need to hear from YOU and your practice. Legislators in Raleigh need to be aware of the large impact this has on clinicians' ability to provide care.

Please take 5-10 minutes to fill out this survey.

The survey will close on April 26th.


Doctors' Day is Saturday, but You Can Thank Your Favorite Healthcare Hero with an E-Card Today!

Saturday, March 30, is the annual observance of Doctors’ Day, a time to honor you and the amazing work you do. And we want to give you an opportunity to recognize your colleagues.

Consider sending an e-card to show a colleague you care and recognize their contributions in honor of Doctors’ Day.

If you choose, their name will be publicized in our Morning Rounds newsletter and on our social media platforms. To make it even more meaningful, the proceeds from each $10 card goes to support the work of the NCMS Foundation.


Learn more about the Foundation and its many programs to improve access to care in North Carolina.


NCTracks ALERT: Be Aware and Vigilant of These Phishing Attempts

ALERT: Phishing Attempt Targeting Medicaid Durable Medical Equipment/Prosthetics & Orthotics Suppliers Providers

 

NC DHHS has received notification of an email phishing attempt targeted at Durable Medical Equipment/Prosthetics & Orthotics Suppliers (DME/POS) providers.

The email appears to be from NC Medicaid, complete with the NC DHHS name and logo, and offers a link requiring the provider to verify information to avoid revocation of their license. Providers should NOT click on the link or follow the instructions of this phishing email.

For DME/POS providers, NC Medicaid requires certification, not licensure. Even when licensure is required, NC Medicaid does not have the authority to “revoke” a license issued by an external licensing board.

When a credential on the NCTracks provider enrollment record requires attention, NCTracks will send a notification to the provider through the NCTracks Provider Message Inbox detailing the actions needed to maintain participation. The Office Administrator of record may receive an email notifying of the message added to the Inbox, but neither NC Medicaid nor NCTracks will send an email offering a direct link to update a provider record.

If providers have been targeted by this phishing attempt, we recommend they contact their own Privacy/Security Officer and follow their agency’s protocols for such an attempt.

Questions? Contact:

  • NCTracks Call Center: 800-688-6696
  • Provider Ombudsman: 866-304-7062

New Report: Hospitals Are Adding Billions in ‘Facility’ Fees for Routine Care

Unsuspecting patients find themselves at the mercy of institutions tacking on the bills

 

(Wall Street Journal) -- Hospitals are adding billions of dollars in facility fees to medical bills for routine care in outpatient centers they own. Once an annoyance, the fees are now pervasive, and in some places, they are becoming nearly impossible to avoid, data compiled for The Wall Street Journal show. The fees are spreading as hospitals press on with acquisitions, snapping up medical groups and tacking on the additional charges.

The fees raise prices by hundreds of dollars for widely used and standard medical care, including colonoscopies, mammograms and heart screening.

The added cost isn’t justified, physicians and economists say. Medicare advisers said last year the federal insurer likely overpaid for a sample of services by about $6 billion because of the fees in 2021.

Read the full WSJ article here.


Are the Days of Lyme Disease Numbered? Research Looks Promising!

Tick season is kicking off early this year — experts warn of Lyme disease risk

 

A vaccine for Lyme disease is not currently available, but two scientific initiatives to fight the condition are showing promising results, with one soon to be rolled out.

Borrelia burgdorferi and, less commonly, Borrelia mayonii are the bacteria that spur Lyme disease. In the northeastern, mid-Atlantic and north-central US, Borrelia burgdorferi is spread primarily through the black-legged tick, also called the deer tick. In the Pacific Coast states, the western black-legged tick is the main culprit.

Ticks are fond of yards, wooded areas and low-growing grasslands. Depending on the location, less than 1% to more than half of the ticks in the given area are carrying Lyme disease bacteria, which they contract via biting infected white-footed mice.

Memphis-based US Biologic aims to solve the epidemic by going straight to the source and vaccinating mice via food pellets, and studies have shown the method holds promise.

Pfizer and French biotech company Valneva have developed a vaccine candidate — VLA15 — that’s already in Phase 3 human trials, the CDC said.

Continue to the full article here.


Register Now for AMA Advocacy Insights Webinar

What We Need to do—Now—to Address the Maternal Health Crisis

Monday, April 15

11:00 a.m. Central time

With the U.S. having the highest maternal mortality and morbidity rates among developed countries, the AMA continues to sound the alarm to policymakers that a multi-faceted approach is needed, one which includes addressing the leading causes of preventable maternal deaths and investing in the physician workforce to improve access to maternity care. During Black Maternal Health Week, April 11-17, it is particularly important to raise not only awareness of this issue, as it disproportionately affects Black and Native American/Alaska Native pregnant and postpartum individuals, but also to advocate for solutions.

Register for this Advocacy Insights webinar to learn about the AMA’s newly released recommendations on maternal health and what approaches are needed.


Capitol Chronicle: NCMS Board Member Dr. Karen Smith Addresses Congressional Caucus on Medicaid Expansion

 

Dr. Karen Smith Addresses Congressional Caucus on Medicaid Expansion

While in the NC Senate, Don Davis was a champion for Medicaid expansion for North Carolina. Now that he’s in Congress and representing NC District 1 in the US House, he has continued to advocate for closing the coverage gap that persists nationwide. Rep. Davis has joined House colleagues in establishing the State Medicaid Expansion Coalition for that purpose.

Earlier this month, Rep. Davis and the Coalition hosted a roundtable on Capitol Hill to discuss the impact of Medicaid expansion on patient care, healthcare facilities, and communities. Participating in the event was NCMS Board of Directors member, Dr. Karen Smith who shared the impact of expansion in North Carolina from her perspective as a family physician in Raeford, NC.

The goal of the Caucus is to chronicle the experience of states that enacted Medicaid expansion and to encourage action to expand coverage in the eleven states that have yet to do so.

Joining Dr. Smith at the roundtable were:

  • Ms. Tish Towns, Executive VP and CAO of Regional One Medical Center, Memphis, TN
  • Mr. Ryan Loke, Chief Health Policy Officer, Grady Memorial Hospital, Atlanta, GA

 

Do you know your state and federal legislators? More importantly, do your legislators know you?
The NCMS can help you connect with policy makers as a constituent and advocate!




ECU Physicians hold "Chat With A Doc" to Improve Growing Health Care Workforce Shortage

(image credit: ECU Health)

ECU Health Working to Solve Healthcare Workforce Shortage

Like many health care organizations across the nation, ECU Health is facing an immense challenge: solving the growing healthcare workforce shortage.

Through community partnerships, the health system is doing its part to grow its workforce, starting in eastern North Carolina.

At ECU Health Medical Center, students from several local high schools participated in the Health Sciences Academy event “Chat with a Doc.” Nine physicians from various specialties within ECU Health spoke to the students about their responsibilities, the diverse opportunities in the health care field and the rewarding experiences that come from caring for the people of our communities.

Each physician gave a brief overview of their specialty, and students had the opportunity to ask questions along the way. Students also had the unique opportunity to tour several areas of the hospital and learn first-hand how they all work together to offer high-quality care for patients.

Read the full article here.


FDA Authorizes New Drug for Pre-Exposure Prevention of COVID-19

 

The FDA issued an emergency use authorization for Pemgarda (pemivibart) for the pre-exposure prophylaxis of COVID-19 in certain adults and adolescents.

Pemgarda is authorized for individuals:

  • who are not currently infected with SARS-CoV-2 and who have not had a known recent exposure to an individual infected with SARS-CoV-2;
  • and who have moderate-to-severe immune compromise due to a medical condition or due to taking immunosuppressive medications or treatments and are unlikely to mount an adequate immune response to COVID-19 vaccination.

View the Fact sheet for Healthcare Providers for Emergency use Authorization of Pemgarda here.

View the Fact Sheet for Patients, Parents, and Caregivers Emergency Use Authorization of Pemgarda here.

View Frequently Asked Questions on the Emergency Use Authorization for Pemgarda for Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) of COVID-19 here.

For more information about all Emergency Use Authorizations for Drugs and Non-Vaccine Biological Products, see the resources available on the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization webpage.


Missed HHS' Webinar: Provider Briefing on Response to Cyberattack on Change Healthcare? Watch the Recording.

If you missed the Health and Human Services' briefing on Tuesday, March 19 on the Change Healthcare cybersecurity incident, you can find a recording of the webinar on HHS’ YouTube page here.

HHS has also provided the following resources:

Department of Health and Human Services

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

  • Memo to All Medicare Advantage Organizations, Part D Sponsors, and Medicare-Medicaid Plans Addressing Impacts Related to the Cyberattack on Change Healthcare
  • Change Healthcare/Optum Payment Disruption (CHOPD) Accelerated Payments to Medicare Part A Providers and Advance Payments to Part B Suppliers Fact Sheet
  • CHOPD Accelerated and Advance Payments for Medicare Part A Providers and Part B Suppliers Frequently Asked Questions
  • Change Healthcare Cybersecurity Incident – CMS Response and State Flexibilities Centers for Medicaid & CHIP Services (CMCS) Informational Bulletin

Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR)

Health care organizations with general questions for HHS regarding the Change Healthcare cyber incident or seeking access to HHS resources and support to help them enhance their cybersecurity posture should contact [email protected] or go to the department’s new website—https://hphcyber.hhs.gov/ —which serves as a centralized platform connecting healthcare organizations to a wealth of cybersecurity resources provided by HHS and other federal agencies. This new website is designed to be a consistently evolving, comprehensive, and accessible hub improving access to information, programs, and resources to enhance cybersecurity practices across the industry.

View UnitedHealth Group’s slides from the webinar here.


Doctors Perform First-ever Kidney Transplant from Gene-edited Pig

 

Doctors have performed the first transplant of a genetically modified kidney from a pig into a living human.

The four-hour surgery was performed at Massachusetts General Hospital, which was also the first hospital to perform a kidney transplant in 1954.

The patient, Rick Slayman, a 62-year-old manager with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation who had been diagnosed with end-stage kidney disease, is recovering well and expected to be discharged from the hospital soon.

Doctors said that they thought his new kidney could last years but also acknowledged that there are many unknowns in animal-to-human transplants.

Read full article here.


NCTracks: Providers Should Use These Updated Consent Forms

Providers should use the latest version of the sterilization consent form to ensure that the correct version of the consent form is submitted to the NC Medicaid fiscal agent.

 

NCTracks is reminding providers that the sterilization consent form found on the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) website was updated in 2023. It is available in English and Spanish. These links can also be accessed from the North Carolina (NC) Medicaid website https://medicaid.ncdhhs.gov/forms.

Instructions for Federal Sterilization Consent Form

The NCTracks team has put together detailed instructions for filling out the Federal Sterilization Consent form, complete with explanations for each field of the form, to better help providers submit accurate information and eliminate errors that may cause denials. Providers are encouraged to download this PDF guide to learn from and reference when completing the form: Instructions for Federal Sterilization Consent Form

Instructions for Filling Out a Hysterectomy Statement

Detailed instructions on how to complete the Hysterectomy Statement correctly can be found here. A downloadable version of the instructions can also be found to the right of the linked page.

 

 


New Mobile Mammography Unit Brings More Access to Southeastern NC

Novant Health is hitting the road to protect women’s health.

 

Novant Health has unveiled its new mobile mammography unit. Novant’s new mobile mammography unit will provide quick and easy access to breast cancer screenings. This new bus includes new equipment such as 3D scanning, which will be less painful for patients and give clearer results.

“Being able to take this technology to our patients where they need it is gonna be key to saving lives in early detection,” says Heather King, president and chief operating officer of Novant’s Brunswick Medical Center. “This allows us to treat all patients and to be able to go to those and give them the care when and where they need it.” [source]

Who Should Get a Mammogram?

Even if you don't have any symptoms of breast cancer, you should get a mammogram each year if you are:

  • Assigned female at birth
  • 40 years old or older

However, if your mom or sister got breast cancer before they hit menopause, you should start getting annual mammograms 10 years before the age that family member was when they were diagnosed with breast cancer. For example, if your mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 45, you should start getting annual mammograms when you turn 35.

View Novant's Mobile Mammography events calendar at Novant Health here.


Save the Date: Inaugural Collaborative Care Model Behavioral Health Care Manager Summit

SAVE THE DATE!

Inaugural Collaborative Care Model (CoCM) Behavioral Health Care Manager (BHCM) Summit

Thursday, May 16, 2024
9 am- 3:15 pm

McKimmon Center
1101 Gorman St, Raleigh, NC 27606

 

Mark your calendars for the inaugural Collaborative Care Model (CoCM) Behavioral Health Care Manager (BHCM) Summit, presented jointly by NC AHEC and Southern Regional AHEC. This event will be held on Thursday, May 16 at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh.

Explore the pivotal role of BHCMs in CoCM and their significant impact. This summit will feature esteemed national and state CoCM experts, including representatives from the AIMS Center at the University of Washington, as well as state government representatives.

Attendees will benefit from insightful presentations by experienced CoCM BHCMs, integrated behavioral health Subject Matter Experts, university graduate education, and patient perspectives. Additionally, gain valuable insights from a primary care practice team that has successfully implemented CoCM in their clinic.

Don't miss out on this invaluable training opportunity. Registration details will be available soon.


Important Policy Updates for NC Behavioral Health Providers

 

Clinical Coverage Policy 8A, Enhanced Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services was amended and promulgated on March 1, 2024, with a retroactive implementation date of Jan. 1, 2024.

The clinical coverage policies amended includes:  

Professional Treatment Services in Facility-Based Crisis Program (FBC)

FBC was amended and promulgated on March 1, 2024, with a retroactive implementation date of January 1, 2024. The retroactive implementation date for the amendment aligns with FBC updates included in Medicaid Bulletin - NC Medicaid Behavioral Health Services Rate Increases published on November 15, 2023. Units for utilization review at seven (7) days has been increased to 168 units and units for utilization review at eight (8) days has increased to 192 units. The allowable daily billing units increased from 16 hours to 24 hours in a 24-hour period. Language has been added to the policy to clarify that psychiatrists or physician extenders may bill separately for additional psychiatric evaluations (excluding the initial evaluation) and other therapeutic services when providing evaluation and management service.

Opioid Treatment Program
Opioid Treatment Program language was removed from Clinical Coverage Policy 8A, Enhanced Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services due to the implementation of the standalone policy, Clinical Coverage Policy 8A-9, Opioid Treatment Program. The standalone policy supersedes the Opioid Treatment Program policy previously included in CCP 8A.


Diabetes Prevention Program Navigator Service Ending

 

After 5 years, the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) Navigator service will be coming to an end on March 31, 2024.

The DPP Navigator office will be reaching out to all physicians who have utilized the DPP navigator to connect them to local and state-wide DPPs where they can directly send referrals going forward.

DPP services are still available to patients who have prediabetes or who are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Please visit https://www.diabetesfreenc.com/find-a-program/ to find a program near you. Referrals can now be sent directly to DPP sites listed on the website.

What stays the same?

DiabetesFreeNC and the NC DPP Lifestyle Coach Network will continue to serve the DPP community with resources and networking opportunities.

The DiabetesFreeNC.com website will keep its interactive map showing all active DPPs in the state. If you are a DPP site, check the accuracy of your site information listed on the map. Email Meg Sargent any corrections to be made to your site. DiabetesFreeNC will also continue to house valuable DPP information for sites, lifestyle coaches, and healthcare provider.

The DPP Lifestyle Coach Network will continue to connect DPPs across the state. Quarterly webinars will start up again in February. Technical assistance for DPP sites can also be requested by emailing Meg Sargent.


Mark Your Calendar: Statewide Assistive Technology Resource Fairs

 

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is hosting resource fairs where adaptive equipment and resources to make recreational and leisure activities accessible to people of all ages will be showcased.

The resource fairs, presented by the North Carolina Assistive Technology Program, are free and open to the public. Those interested in accessible recreation, sports, leisure activities and active living are encouraged to attend. The NCATP helps people with disabilities actively participate in community life, including sports and recreational activities and programs.

Fort Liberty

When: Friday. April 12, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Where: Smith Lake Outdoor Recreation Center
Building Q-2922
5144 Smith Lake Road
Fort Liberty, NC 28310

Charlotte

When: Friday, May 3, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where: Charlotte Vocational Rehabilitation Office
5501 Executive Center Drive
Charlotte, NC 28212

To register online, go to Adaptive Recreation and Active Living Events. Attendees can also register onsite upon arrival. Media is also welcome to attend. RSVP to [email protected].


Stanley Cup Owners Rejoice! What a CT Scan Reveals.

 

Stanley cup owners can rejoice!

 

According to Lumafield, a startup that makes X-ray CT scanners for engineers, Stanley cup owners can rejoice, because the odds of getting lead poisoning from the viral tumblers are vanishingly small.

Images from a recent industrial CT scan performed by Lumafield supports what Stanley has been saying from the beginning: The cups contain lead, but users are safe from lead poisoning.

 

The images show a lead solder pellet (in red above) at the bottom of the tumbler, but because of a stainless-steel protective cover, users shouldn't come into contact with it.

The only risk of contact, says Stanley, is when the cover is damaged or altered in such a way that the lead pellet becomes exposed. If damage occurs, consumers should stop using the product and return it to the company under their lifetime warranty.

Read the full article here.

We want to hear from Stanley Cup owners. Were you concerned about using your Stanley Cup? Let us know in the comments.


NC Medicaid Information for Providers Impacted by Change Healthcare Disruption

 

NC Medicaid continues to monitor the network interruption with Change Healthcare related to cybersecurity and the resulting decision to disconnect systems while the issue is resolved. It's focused on ensuring access to care for beneficiaries once electronic claims submission functionality resumes.

To support providers during this transition, NCTracks will implement the following flexibilities, aligned with guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS):

  1. How to Update Billing Agent

Providers who want to change their billing agent in NCTracks to a different approved Trading Partner should use the Abbreviated Manage Change Request (MCR) to ensure quick processing.

To complete the Abbreviated MCR go to the secure Provider Portal homepage.

  • The Office Administrator, Owner/Managing Employee User, or a user with Enrollment Specialist role, should select the Status and Management button. The Status and Management page will be displayed.
  • The user should select the NPI/Atypical ID in the MCR section, then select the Update button. This will direct the user to the Requested Manage Change Request Type screen.
  • From the Requested Manage Change Request Type screen, the user can select the type of abbreviated Manage Change Request they would like to complete.
  • To update the billing agent, choose Method of Claim, Electronic Transaction - Abbreviate Manage Change, then Add/Update Method of Claim and Electronic Transactions and/or Billing Agent Information.

Note: Only one of each type of abbreviated MCR can be submitted each day. In addition, if the user has submitted an abbreviated MCR, they cannot submit a full MCR on the same day.

A list of NCTracks Trading Partners can be found on the Trading Partner Information page in NCTracks.

  1. Extension of Timely Filing Requirements

NC Tracks will waive timely files for all claims submitted on or after Feb. 21, 2024, for 60 calendar days. NC Medicaid will continue to monitor the evolving situation and will provide updated guidance if the timely filing waiver is extended further

  1. Providers Needing Hardship Payments

If a provider is not able to successfully submit claims to NCTracks after attempting all the flexibilities above and is at risk of not meeting financial obligations, the provider may request a hardship advance to offset business cost due to unpaid claims due to the Change Healthcare disruption.

To request a hardship advance, send an email to [email protected] with the following information:

  • A sentence stating your request to receive a hardship advance and how the Change Healthcare disruption has impacted the providers ability to submit claims.
  • The requested dollar amount of the hardship advance
  • The NPI number of the provider who will receive the advance
  • A list of the unpaid claims for Medicaid Direct
  • Name, telephone number and email address of the provider’s contact person

NC Medicaid will respond to the completed request by sending a Hardship Advance Agreement. Once NC Medicaid receives the executed Hardship Advance Agreement, advances will be issued in the next scheduled NCTracks checkwrite.

Hardship advance requests pertaining to Managed Care members must be sent to each Prepaid Health Plan, as appropriate.

Questions? Contact:

NCTracks Call Center - 800-688-6696


CMS Announces Model to Improve Access to High-Quality Primary Care for Underserved Medicare Populations

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), announced a new voluntary model that empowers primary care providers in eligible Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) to treat people with Medicare using innovative, team-based, person-centered proactive care. A key part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to further promote competition in health care, the ACO Primary Care Flex Model (ACO PC Flex Model) will provide a one-time advanced shared savings payment and monthly prospective primary care payments to ACOs. The model aims to drive better outcomes for underserved populations by increasing access to higher-quality primary care, which can include unique services such as proactive care management, patient navigation, and behavioral health integration.

The CMS Innovation Center will test this new model within the Medicare Shared Savings Program. The model will focus on and invest in low revenue ACOs, which tend to be smaller and mainly made up of physicians. Low revenue ACOs have historically performed better in the Shared Savings Program, demonstrating more savings and stronger potential to improve the quality and efficiency of care delivery. The ACO PC Flex Model’s payment structure also promotes competition by providing a pathway for low revenue ACOs, which often have fewer resources, to continue serving people with Medicare while providing an alternative for physicians to stay independent.

CMS anticipates releasing a model Request for Applications in the second quarter of 2024.

More information about the model can be found on the model webpage and in the ACO PC Flex Model press release. For updates on the model, please register for the model listserv.

A public overview webinar will be hosted to offer more information about the model:

Questions about the model can be submitted to [email protected].


Match Day 2024: Record Number of Applicants and Residency Positions Offered

 

Match Day 2024 proved to be a momentous day for the future of medicine as this year's Match Day saw record-high applicant participation, according to data from NRMP, the organization that facilitates Match Day.

“The NRMP is proud to deliver the results of another successful Main Residency Match, and we congratulate all future physicians and training programs on this momentous occasion,” says NRMP President and CEO Donna L. Lamb, DHSc, MBA, BSN. “We are especially proud of applicants this year, many of whom began medical school the fall before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and had to quickly adapt to and thrive in a radically changed academic and training landscape. Their experiences and success speak to a remarkable resilience and dedication they will carry with them into practice.”

The 2024 Main Residency Match was the largest yet in the National Resident Matching Program's 72-year history, with 44,853 applicants and 41,503 certified positions across 6,395 residency training programs.

The number of registered applicants, at 50,413, hit an all-time high. That marks an increase of 2,257 applicants, or 4.7% over last year,

The rise in applicants was driven largely by an increase of 1,986 non-U.S. citizen international medical graduates and 623 osteopathic (DO) seniors over last year.

Get more Match Day 2024 stats here.


NCMS Member Dr. David T. Tayloe Co-Authors Book

 

NCMS member and pediatrician David T. Tayloe, Jr., MD, FAAP, has co-authored a book on the advocacy history of the NC Pediatric Society.

Fifty Years of Advocacy: The North Carolina Pediatric Society is a collection of commentaries explaining the evolution of the infrastructure of the North Carolina Pediatric Society, the efforts of its leaders, the multitude of successful advocacy initiatives, and containing reflections of friends of the Society.

Tayloe recently visited PBS's Side by Side with Nido Qubein to discuss the book. Watch here.

Grab your copy here.


FDA Clears First Over-the-Counter Continuous Glucose Monitor

 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared for marketing the first over-the-counter (OTC) continuous glucose monitor (CGM). The Dexcom Stelo Glucose Biosensor System is an integrated CGM (iCGM) intended for anyone 18 years and older who does not use insulin, such as individuals with diabetes treating their condition with oral medications, or those without diabetes who want to better understand how diet and exercise may impact blood sugar levels. Importantly, this system is not for individuals with problematic hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) as the system is not designed to alert the user to this potentially dangerous condition.

“CGMs can be a powerful tool to help monitor blood glucose. Today’s clearance expands access to these devices by allowing individuals to purchase a CGM without the involvement of a health care provider,” said Jeff Shuren, M.D., J.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “Giving more individuals valuable information about their health, regardless of their access to a doctor or health insurance, is an important step forward in advancing health equity for U.S. patients.”

The Stelo Glucose Biosensor System uses a wearable sensor, paired with an application installed on a user’s smartphone or other smart device, to continuously measure, record, analyze and display glucose values in people 18 years and older that are not on insulin and who do not have problematic hypoglycemia. Users can wear each sensor up to 15 days before replacing with a new sensor. The device presents blood glucose measurements and trends every 15 minutes in the accompanying app. Users should not make medical decisions based on the device’s output without talking to their healthcare provider.

Data from a clinical study provided to the FDA showed that the device performed similarly to other iCGMs. Adverse events reported in the study included local infection, skin irritation and pain or discomfort.

As part of the Center for Devices and Radiological Health’s strategic priority to advance health equity, CDRH will continue to support innovation that addresses health equity by moving care and wellness into the home setting. [source]


EPA Bans Ongoing Use of Chrysotile Asbestos

EPA’s ban is the first rule to be finalized under new Toxic Substance Control Act process, marking historic milestone for nation’s chemical safety efforts

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a final rule to prohibit ongoing uses of chrysotile asbestos, the only known form of asbestos currently used in or imported to the United States. The ban on ongoing uses of asbestos is the first rule to be finalized under the 2016 amendments to the nation’s chemical safety law, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which received near-unanimous support in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. The action marks a major milestone for chemical safety after more than three decades of inadequate protections and serious delays during the previous administration to implement the 2016 amendments.

Exposure to asbestos is known to cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, ovarian cancer, and laryngeal cancer, and it is linked to more than 40,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Ending the ongoing uses advances the goals of President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot, a whole-of-government initiative to end cancer as we know it.

Continue to the full press release here.


Resources and Guidance for Those Impacted by Change Healthcare Cyberattack

 

The unprecedented February 2024 cyber-attack to Change Healthcare, a division of United Healthcare, has caused significant impacts to physicians and other health systems across NC. Your NCMS Board of Directors discussed these impacts extensively during their most recent meeting this past Saturday.

NCMS staff have worked to stay abreast of the evolution of this massive data breach and the systems that many of our practices rely upon for timely payment and cashflow. We have participated in AMA calls with the leaders of United Healthcare and Optum Health to get regular updates on when to expect these systems to become operable again.

In the meantime, practices across NC have felt irreparable harm to their cashflow processes. Many have even had to resort to taking out loans that will now cost them interest even as they are able to recoup their reimbursements over time. NCMS has taken steps to educate the NC Department of Insurance on these and other impacts from this event.

United Healthcare has reached out to NCMS with the following resources and guidance to assist you during this challenging time:

  • Timing Updates: For current updates on the timeline to restore Change Healthcare systems for pharmacy services, payments, and medical claims, please visit the Change Healthcare Cyber Response Website.
  • Temporary Provider Funding Assistance: Need help bridging the gap in short-term cash flow needs? Find out if you’re eligible for financial support here or call 1-877-702-3253.
  • Pharmacy Network: Electronic prescribing is now functional with claim submission and payment transmission also available. We continue to work to address issues for a subset of pharmacies that are still offline, disruption for infusion pharmacies and challenges for some Medicaid fee-for-service customers. If you are experiencing any additional disruption to pharmacy services, please visit the Change Healthcare Cyber Response Website for updates.
  • Submitting Claims/Payment: For additional information on workarounds for submitting claims/payment, guidance on prior authorizations and more, visit UnitedHealthcare’s Provider Portal.
  • Secure Data Transfer: Need help submitting claims or uploading and securely transferring larger files? Learn more about Optum iEDI secure data transfer.
  • Status Dashboard: Get regular updates about products and services, including uptime and support availability.
  • Need Additional Help? Contact Change Healthcare Client Services at:  [email protected]. For Accounts Payable inquiries, email: [email protected].

NCMS will continue to monitor this issue closely and update our members as we receive more information.


CMS Reopens MIPS EUC Application in Response to Change Healthcare Cyberattack

 

In response to the Change Healthcare cyberattack in late February, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) extended the data submission deadline and is now reopening the 2023 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances (EUC) Exception Application to provide relief to MIPS eligible clinicians impacted by this cybersecurity incident. The application will be open for the remainder of the extended data submission period, which closes April 15, 2024.

This announcement includes the details, including the following information:

  • 2023 MIPS Data Submission Deadline
  • Who Can Submit a 2023 MIPS EUC Exception Application?
  • What If We’ve Already Submitted Some Data?
  • How Do I Apply?
  • Additional Resources

Register Now for Thursday's Medicaid Managed Care Back Porch Chat


Medicaid Managed Care Back Porch Chat: Key Medicaid Updates

Thursday, March 21 | 5:30 p.m.

 

This month's Back Porch Chat will be hosted by Dr. Janelle White, Chief Medical Officer of Medicaid, and Sarah Gregosky, Chief Operating Officer, NC Medicaid.

The webinar will include important news for all providers about NC Medicaid on preparing for Tailored Plan Launch, the latest on Medicaid Expansion, and additional clinical updates on the following topics:

  • Total Cost of Care Dashboard
  • Bicillin Rate Increase
  • Congenital Syphilis Update


Final Rule on Substance Use Disorder Patient Records Confidentiality Released

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through its Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), finalized modifications to the Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Patient Records regulations at 42 CFR part 2 (“Part 2”), which protect the privacy of patients’ SUD treatment records.

Specifically, the final rule increases coordination among providers treating patients for SUDs, strengthens confidentiality protections through civil enforcement, and enhances integration of behavioral health information with other medical records to improve patient health outcomes.

This final rule goes into effect on April 16, 2024.

The final rule includes the following modifications to Part 2:

  • Permits use and disclosure of Part 2 records based on a single patient consent given once for all future uses and disclosures for treatment, payment, and health care operations.
  • Permits redisclosure of Part 2 records by HIPAA covered entities and business associates in accordance with the HIPAA Privacy Rule, with certain exceptions.
  • Provides new rights for patients under Part 2 to obtain an accounting of disclosures and to request restrictions on certain disclosures, as also granted by the HIPAA Privacy Rule.
  • Expands prohibitions on the use and disclosure of Part 2 records in civil, criminal, administrative, and legislative proceedings.
  • Provides HHS enforcement authority, including the potential imposition of civil money penalties for violations of Part 2.
  • Outlines new breach notification requirements applying to Part 2 records.

View the final rule here.

Find a fact sheet on the final rule here.


UNC Research Team Aims to Understand T Cells Energy

 

A UNC research team led by Jessica Thaxton, PhD, MsCR, associate professor of cell biology and physiology and co-leader of the Cancer Cell Biology Program at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, aimed to understand why T cells do not sustain energy in tumors.

T cells are often called “assassins” or “killers” because they can orchestrate and carry out missions to hunt down bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells throughout the body. Mighty as they may be, recent research has shown that once T cells infiltrate the environment of a solid tumor, they lose the energy needed to combat the cancer.

“Our discovery fills a long-standing gap in knowledge regarding why T cells in solid tumors don’t appropriately generate energy,” said Thaxton. “We inhibited the expression of ACC in mouse cancer models, and we observed that T cells were able to persist much better in solid tumors.”

Read the full article here.


CDC Issues Health Advisory on Increase of Global and U.S. Measles Cases

Measles (rubeola) is highly contagious; one person infected with measles can infect 9 out of 10 unvaccinated individuals with whom they come in close contact.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is issuing this Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory to inform clinicians and public health officials of an increase in global and U.S. measles cases and to provide guidance on measles prevention for all international travelers aged ≥6 months and all children aged ≥12 months who do not plan to travel internationally.

Schools, early childhood education providers, and healthcare providers should work to ensure students are current with MMR vaccine. Children who are not traveling internationally should receive their first dose of MMR at age 12 to 15 months and their second dose at 4 to 6 years. All U.S. residents older than age 6 months without evidence of immunity who are planning to travel internationally should receive MMR vaccine prior to departure.

  • Infants aged 6 through 11 months should receive one dose of MMR vaccine before departure. Infants who receive a dose of MMR vaccine before their first birthday should receive two more doses of MMR vaccine, the first of which should be administered when the child is age 12 through 15 months and the second at least 28 days later.
  • Children aged 12 months or older should receive two doses of MMR vaccine, separated by at least 28 days.
  • Teenagers and adults without evidence of measles immunity should receive two doses of MMR vaccine separated by at least 28 days.

Consider measles as a diagnosis in anyone with fever (≥101°F or 38.3°C) and a generalized maculopapular rash with cough, coryza, or conjunctivitis who has recently been abroad, especially in countries with ongoing outbreaks.

When considering measles:

  • Isolate: Isolate patients with suspected measles immediately, ideally in a single-patient airborne infection isolation room (AIIR) if available, or in a private room with a closed door until an AIIR is available. Offer testing outside of facilities to avoid transmission in healthcare settings. Call ahead to ensure immediate isolation for patients referred to hospitals for a higher level of care.
  • Notify: Immediately notify the NC Epidemiologist on Call at 919-733-3419 as soon as measles is suspected. The state measles subject matter experts will assist with identifying the best testing pathway and with determining appropriate control measures.

For more information, see the CDC HAN Health Advisory on increased global incidence of measles and vaccination guidance here.


HHS Provider Briefing on Response to Cyberattack on Change Healthcare Happening TODAY

Provider Briefing on Response to Cyberattack on Change Healthcare

Date: Tuesday, March 19

Time: 4:00-4:45pm ET

Join Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Deputy Secretary Andrea Palm, along with leadership from the Immediate Office of the Secretary and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), to learn how HHS is responding to the cyberattack on Change Healthcare.

CMS will provide an overview of how to apply for Medicare advance and accelerated payments, and leaders from UnitedHealth Group will demonstrate how to apply for funding the company has made available to providers.


NC Health System Celebrates a First in Alzheimer’s Care

(image credit: Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist)

 

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist became the first health system in the region to treat a patient with lecanemab, a new medication for Alzheimer’s disease. This is the first Alzheimer’s drug approved by the FDA in more than 20 years.

Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that affects memory, thinking and behavior. It is a progressive disease, with symptoms gradually worsening over several years. Lecanemab slows the progression of the disease by removing amyloid, a protein in the brain.

“Researchers do not fully understand the cause of Alzheimer’s disease, but a leading hypothesis is that amyloid plays a significant role in some of the memory loss,” said Dr. Jo Cleveland, director of the Memory Assessment and Support Clinic at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist’s Sticht Center for Healthy Aging and Alzheimer’s Prevention.

Read the full article here.


Today is Health Workforce Well-being Day. We Recognize, Celebrate, and Honor YOU!

Recognize, Celebrate, and Honor: National Health Workforce Well-being Day of Awareness

 

Health Workforce Well-being Day aims to recognize the importance of protecting health workers’ well-being to sustain our health system and ensure quality patient care.

One of the North Carolina Medical Society's priorities this year focuses on fostering health system environment changes that improve the daily lives of our members through the work of the North Carolina Clinician and Physician Retention and Well-being (NCCPRW) Consortium.

Recently, the NCCPRW transitioned from an NCMS-led program into a standalone entity and began a partnership with The Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation. This collaboration, along with the continued efforts of NC key stakeholders in healthcare and public health, will provide focused and targeted initiatives to improve the well-being of healthcare workers in North Carolina.

Related Reading:

Recognize, Celebrate, Honor: National Health Workforce Well-Being Day of Awareness


Register Now for the 2024 CENNC Clinical Ethics Conference: Where Ethics Meets Law

Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center Conference Center

Friday, April 19, 2024
8 am–4:30 pm
Live in-person Only

Medical and hospital staff often encounter ethical tensions in practice arising from understandings of relevant law, as well as from a variety of other sources such as institutional policy, risk avoidance, financial concerns, professional guidelines, and political influences.

This highly interactive conference will examine these constraints using case presentation, small group discussion, lecture, expert panel interaction, and networking. You're invited to explore strategies for navigating situations in which your professional and personal integrity are challenged by examining common and pressing issues arising at the intersections of ethics and law.

Click here for more information & here for registration.


FDA Delays Approval of Alzheimer's Drug

 

Eli Lilly recently announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established a committee to evaluate donanemab, the Alzheimer’s drug that had its approval blocked last year. The committee is expected to convene later this year before the FDA makes a final decision about approving donanemab.

Donanemab is one of three monoclonal antibody treatments for Alzheimer’s that includes aducanumab (Aduhelm) and lecanemab (Leqembi). All three drugs work by clearing the amyloid plaques that are characteristic of Alzheimer’s, but there was scarce evidence in early trials that clearing the plaques slowed cognitive decline.

In a trial last year, donanemab showed “significantly slowed clinical progression” in early Alzheimer’s patients but also produced brain swelling and other adverse effects.

Continue to full article here.