Happy Friday! Here is your NCMS Morning Rounds.

Jan. 29, 2021

Grant Funding for ‘Keeping Kids Well’ Initiative

The North Carolina Division of Public Health (DPH), in partnership with NC Area Health Education Centers (NCAHEC) and Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC), are providing grants to independent pediatric and family medicine practices to support interventions aimed at boosting compliance with scheduled immunizations and well-child care. Rates of childhood vaccinations have fallen sharply during the pandemic, leaving children and the adults around them vulnerable to preventable diseases. These grants are intended to provide additional resources to independent primary care practices working to address the problem.

Grants of up to $5,000 maximum per organization will be awarded upon successful completion of the intervention. In addition, practice support coaches from NC AHEC and CCNC will be available to assist in this effort.

Funds are limited and are distributed to accepted applicants on a first come, first serve basis, so you are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Practices will be notified of approval within 1-2 weeks after submitting an application. Practices should then submit data reflecting the aggregate number of children served regardless of payor status, and provide W-9 documentation within two weeks of the completed intervention and no later than May 31, 2021. All required documentation should be sent to [email protected] in order to receive payment.

To apply for the DPH Keeping Kids Well Fund Initiative, please submit your application using this link.

NC HealthConnex Helps Facilitate COVID Vaccine Reporting

The NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), which manages the COVID-19 Vaccine Management System (CVMS) and the state’s Health Information Exchange (NC HealthConnex) are working together to report vaccine administrations statewide.

NC HealthConnex, will offer connectivity to CVMS and patient matching across sources to enhance vaccine data by utilizing the NC HealthConnex master patient index. NC HealthConnex will be receiving COVID-19 vaccine administration data from points of care such as CVS, Walgreens, hospitals and health systems, and electronic health records (EHRs). To reduce double data entry, NC HealthConnex will help with integrating health systems’ EHRs with the CVMS database. This data exchange through NC HealthConnex will reduce the need for manual entry of vaccine administration data directly into CVMS.

HealthConnex is a secure electronic network that gives authorized health care providers the ability to access and share patient information across a statewide information network.

NC HealthConnex is actively working with hospitals and health systems to ensure access to CVMS with plans to onboard additional health care organizations who administer vaccines soon. For more information, contact the NC HealthConnex Team at [email protected]. Get the latest updates from NC HealthConnex here.

PAI Advocates for Equitable Access to Telehealth Funds

The Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI), which advocates for physician practices nationwide, sent a letter last week to the secretary of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) asking that the agency’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program funding be more equitably distributed to independent medical practices.

“While PAI appreciates the FCC’s initial efforts in providing funding to areas hardest hit by COVID-19, the application process expressly favored not-for-profit medical organizations and other ‘public eligible health care providers’ at the exclusion of thousands of independent physician practices,” the letter states. “Unfortunately, the millions of patients living in rural and urban settings served primarily by independent physician practices only receive the benefit of such technology if those practices find alternative funding supports or undertake significant capital investments in technology and equipment at their own risk.”

The letter goes on to make a series of recommendations to improve the application process to ensure distribution of telehealth service funds is fair, equitable and accounts for all physician practice types.

Read the full letter here.

In The News

Johnson & Johnson On Track For 100 Million Vaccine Doses By End Of June, Bolstering US Supply, The Hill, 1-26-21

Learning Opportunity

NC AHEC and CCNC Navigating COVID-19 Webinar Series, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 6 to 7 p.m.
Join the Zoom meeting room on your computer, or dial-in at (646) 558-8656 using webinar ID 131 899 801.

NC AHEC, Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC), the North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians, the North Carolina Pediatric Society, and the North Carolina Psychiatric Association, are hosting a monthly webinar to support North Carolina’s clinicians through the COVID-19 pandemic. This webinar is scheduled for 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. on the last Tuesday of the month.

Learn more here.

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