Here is your Tuesday

NCMS Morning Rounds.

Jan. 21, 2020


We hope you had a meaningful observance of

Martin Luther King, Jr. day yesterday.

NCMS Legislative Update

The North Carolina General Assembly met briefly last Tuesday, but unfortunately were unable to break the budget stalemate. A number of NCMS priorities are included in the budget including a new building at the Brody School of Medicine at ECU; creation of new residency positions; beginning the implementation of Medicaid managed care as well as several public health initiatives. The one bit of legislation that did pass provides additional funding for scholarships for children of wartime veterans.

Legislators will return to Raleigh to begin the short legislative session on April 28. The first NCMS White Coat Wednesday will be on April 29. Please look at your calendar now to identify a time to come to the capital to speak with legislators about the issues of concern to you and your practice this spring and early summer. Learn more about White Coat Wednesday and sign up.

With just about 40 days until the March 3 primary, now is the ideal time to speak with candidates in your district to share your thoughts at local fundraising events or by simply inviting them for a cup of coffee. Now is also a good time to visit the NC Board of Elections website to ensure you’re properly registered – especially if your address has changed since the last election – to decide how you’re going to vote in the upcoming primary (early, absentee) and the details on how to accomplish that and to review your ballot. All of that information is readily accessible on the Board of Elections website.

Finally a reminder that two NCMS members are running for office in the upcoming primary election.

Mark Hollo, PA, is a candidate for a NC Senate seat to represent Catawba County. Hollo previously served in the NC House of Representatives from 2010 to 2015. He also served in the chamber from 2005 to 2006. Hollo did not run for re-election to the House in 2014. He lost a primary bid for a seat in the NC Senate in 2018. Learn more about him.

The other NCMS member candidate is Kristin Baker, MD, a psychiatrist from Concord, running for a House seat representing Cabarrus County. Learn more about her.

Data Dive: Data Shows 1 in 7 US Adults are Physically Inactive

The findings were compiled from 2015-2018 data collected as part of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which is a telephone-based survey of people’s health activities, chronic conditions, and use of preventive health services. Learn more.

CDC: Prevalence of self-reported physical inactivity for adults 2015-18.

The CDC recommendations are adults get at least 2.5 hours each week of moderate-intensity physical activity.

Broadband A Key to Access in Rural Communities

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is preparing to disburse the first chunk of the $20.4 billion allocated to its Rural Digital Opportunity Fund to increase broadband coverage in rural areas. Some controversy exists about the maps used to identify the areas in need (read a recent Raleigh News & Observer article on this issue).

The NCMS supports rural infrastructure improvements including greater access to broadband, and we have advocated for this at the NC General Assembly. Greater access to reliable internet service facilitates implementation of telemedicine in areas that may be underserved by clinicians.

The FCC estimates that in North Carolina 169,000 homes and businesses currently are without high-speed broadband access. Learn more about the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.

In the News

Novel Virus Tied to Chinese Outbreak Found in Japan, as Second Death is Reported, STAT, 1-16-20

Learning Opportunity

The Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine (CUSOM), the NC Osteopathic Medical Association and the NC Society for the American College of Osteopathic Physicians will host their Annual Winter CME Conference on Feb. 15 at CUSOM. The conference will focus on the diagnosis of lung disease and will feature Kevin Davidson, MD, Interventional Pulmonologist with Wake Med Raleigh. Dr. Davidson identified the first cases of vaping-related lung injury in North Carolina and is the senior author of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report on the subject. Learn more about the lecture topics and registration here. AMA and AOA CME credit will be offered.