Welcome to a new week and your NCMS Morning Rounds!

Jan. 11, 2021

NCMS Legislative Update

The horrifying events last week in the nation’s capital shook us all. At the NCMS we have redoubled our resolve to pursue constructive, collaborative work to carry forth our vision for a healthier NC in the coming months and as the NC General Assembly reconvenes this Wednesday, Jan. 13 at noon.

Before the opening of the session on Tuesday, Jan. 12 at noon, the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Medicaid and NC Health Choice will meet. The meeting will stream live at this link, if you’d like to watch the proceedings. Watch your NCMS Morning Rounds later this week for any news out of this meeting as well as updates on the opening of this legislative session.

The roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine has been a topic of much discussion with the NCMS listening and responding to your needs and feedback about the equitable distribution of the vaccine to you and your patients. Discussions with the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) are ongoing to help ensure that all practice staff and patients are vaccinated according to the prioritization plan and as supplies of the vaccine become available. Visit NCDHHS’ Your Spot Your Shot webpage to find out where those who are eligible for vaccination according to the prioritization plan can be vaccinated. [See the following articles in this newsletter for more on the COVID-19 vaccine roll out.]

Last week Governor Roy Cooper announced his modified stay-at-home order under Executive Order 188, which requires people to remain at home from 10pm to 5am, will remain in effect until Friday, Jan. 29.

Under Executive Order No. 188:
• The statewide mask mandate remains in effect;
• The capacity limitations for businesses, indoor and outdoor gathering limits (10 indoors and 50 outdoors), and other public health safety protocols such as social distancing and sanitation requirements must continue to be observed;
• Certain businesses and facilities such as restaurants, entertainment venues, fitness facilities, museums and personal care businesses must continue to close from 10pm to 5am;
• Retail businesses that sell groceries, medications, health care supplies, and fuel are permitted to remain open during curfew hours; and
• Workplaces in manufacturing, construction and agriculture continue to be exempt from the statewide curfew.

NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH reinforced these measures by issuing a Secretarial Directive advising North Carolinians to avoid indoor spaces without masks; avoid social gatherings between households; and to stay home and limit public interactions to essential activities such as going to work or school, seeking medical care, or buying food.

At the federal level, US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar extended the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency declaration for an additional 90 days, meaning it will remain in effect until at least April 21, 2021. This means that all telehealth and other waivers and flexibilities for Medicare implemented during the emergency will continue.

We Need Your Input on the COVID-19 Vaccine Process So Far

To help in our advocacy efforts on your behalf, we need your input on any challenges or concerns you may have about the COVID-19 vaccination process thus far. Please take just a moment to complete our survey. Thank you!


COVID Vaccine Management System Training Sessions

The NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Immunization Branch is offering special training sessions beginning tomorrow to help familiarize practices with the COVID Vaccine Management System (CVMS), which documents and tracks immunization with the vaccine.

The agenda for the ‘Train the Trainer’ session is:
• Welcome and what to expect today
• CVMS overview
• CVMS Provider Portal
• Checking in and verifying recipient eligibility
• Documenting vaccine administration
• Exploring list views on recipients
• Train the Trainer “in the box” materials
• Break time included

Tomorrow’s session, Tuesday, Jan. 12, will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. and can be accessed at this Zoom link with the passcode: 202106. The next session will be held Thursday, Jan. 14, 9 a.m. to noon at this Zoom link with passcode 799559.

In the News

In Los Angeles and Beyond, Oxygen is the Latest COVID Bottleneck, Kaiser Health News, 1-7-21

Learning Opportunity

The Annual Winter CME Conference co-hosted by the Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine, NCOMA, and NCS-ACOFP will be held on February 13 – 14 as a virtual event. Attendees can earn up to 16 hours of AOA Category 1-A credit or 16 hours of AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Conference registrants will have 30 days to view the conference content and earn CME credit. You can review the lecture topics on the proposed agenda here.

Register by Jan. 15, 2021 to take advantage of the early bird registration rates. You can view the registration rates here. Register on-line on the NCOMA website at Attendee Registration 2021 Annual Winter CME Conference. If you have questions, contact Nancy Guy, Conference Coordinator at [email protected] of 910-893-7960.

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