Enjoy your Thursday NCMS Morning Rounds.

Jan. 14, 2021

NC Legislature Back in Session

The NC General Assembly officially reconvened yesterday at noon. On Tuesday, one day prior to the start of the session, the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Medicaid and NC Health Choice met to receive updates on two issues sure to occupy legislators’ time this session – the COVID-19 vaccine distribution and the state’s transition to Medicaid managed care. View the meeting agenda here.

NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Secretary Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH provided the Committee an overview of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution process. The rollout of the vaccine in North Carolina has come under the scrutiny of legislators as the state ranks toward the bottom nationwide for number of people vaccinated thus far. The latest vaccine administration statistics for each state can be seen at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC vaccine dashboard here.

Sec. Cohen told committee members that the vaccination rate in the state is improving, with a 113 percent increase in vaccines given over the last seven days. To help get the available vaccine administered more quickly, Sec. Cohen said the state will soon be opening 10 vaccine administration sites that can handle 45,500 vaccinations a week out of the approximately 120,000 doses of vaccine the state expects to receive weekly.

Locations of the sites will be in the following cities, counties or hospital systems:
• Forsyth County
• Albemarle
• Vidant Health (eastern North Carolina)
• Cone Health (Guilford County)
• Atrium Health (Charlotte and surrounding counties)
• UNC Health (Orange County clinics)
• Duke Health (Durham)
• WakeMed (Wake County)
• Western North Carolina collaboration with Dogwood, MAHEC and FQHCs

To further aide in the vaccination effort the National Guard is on site in Forsyth and Alamance counties.

Review Dr. Cohen’s presentation to the committee here.

Visit NCDHHS’ Find Your Spot To Get Your Shot website to learn more about who is currently eligible to receive the vaccine according to the state’s prioritization as well as where the vaccine is being offered.

Key Dates as the State Moves to Medicaid Managed Care

At Tuesday’s meeting of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Medicaid and NC Health Choice, the state’s Deputy Secretary for Medicaid Dave Richard assured committee members that Medicaid managed care is on track to ‘go live’ July 1, 2021. Review Richard’s presentation here.

Richard noted several challenges such as getting practices stretched thin by the pandemic to sign on with the pre-paid health plans that hold contracts with the state to provide Medicaid services. Nonetheless Richard said the transformation to managed care is on schedule. He offered the timeline below with the upcoming deadlines for enrollment including provider deadlines for inclusion in the various stages of enrollment.

Study to Evaluate Telehealth Use and Documentation Issues

American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Foundation Research Network’s (AFRN) Population Health Committee is conducting a research study to evaluate telehealth use and documentation issues. Please consider taking this brief survey (one response per office) to help the researchers identify future office management best practices for telehealth. The deadline to complete the confidential survey is Jan. 26, 2021.

If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Dr. Shannon Houser, AFRN Chair, by email at [email protected]. Your participation is greatly appreciated. Thank you for sharing your valuable information.


In the News

Feeling Left Out: Private Practice Doctors, Patients Wonder When It’s Their Turn for the Vaccine, Kaiser Health News, 1-13-21

Learning Opportunity

The North Carolina Allergy Asthma and Immunology Society invites you to participate in a Virtual Roundtable on Jan. 28 from 7-8:15 p.m. titled “Finding Solutions for AIT as we Emerge from the Pandemic.” Dr. Sally Bailey of Allergy Associates of Northern Virginia, Assistant Professor in the Division of Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology at Georgetown University School of Medicine and recognized as one of the leading Allergists in the region, will be a presenter. This virtual program will bring colleagues together to discuss the state of allergy practices in North Carolina and how to move forward in these unprecedented times.

As a part of this virtual program, we will provide dinner delivered to your location. We will be hosting this event on Thursday, January 28th from 7:00-8:15pm EST. Please register here before Jan. 22 or contact Lille Tidwell, Medical Science Liaison, at [email protected].

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