Enjoy your Thursday NCMS Morning Rounds.

Oct. 15, 2020

Additional Federal Funds for Medicaid/CHIP Providers

Last week, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced an additional funding opportunity for those physicians and PAs seeing patients receiving Medicaid/CHIP. HHS has allocated $20 billion for this round of funding. The application period runs through Nov. 6, 2020, and HHS encourages you to apply early for this round of federal Provider Relief Funds. Learn more here.

Download COVID Exposure App to Stay Safe

More than 100,000 people have downloaded SlowCOVIDNC, the official exposure notification app of the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS).

SlowCOVIDNC alerts users when they may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. The app relies on users to anonymously submit their positive result to notify others. It is free, completely anonymous and does not collect, store or share personal information or location data.

You can easily download the app for free on your smart phone through the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. SlowCOVIDNC leverages Google and Apple’s Exposure Notification System (ENS) and alerts users who have the app if they have been in close range of an individual who later tests positive for COVID-19. It is voluntary to download and use and is designed to enhance the state’s existing contact tracing efforts.

Learn more here.

NCHICA Announces Permanent Closing

Yesterday the NC Healthcare Information and Communications Alliance (NCHICA) made the sad announcement that it was permanently closing down due to the impact of COVID-19 on its finances.

NCHICA was established in 1994 by Executive Order of Governor James B. Hunt, Jr. The founders’ vision 26 years ago was that the delivery, quality, accessibility and efficiency of health care could be vastly improved through the use of information technology. Through workgroups made up of volunteers from its member organizations including corporations, nonprofits, public agencies and educational entities, the Alliance did make major strides toward its vision.

The NCMS as a member organization has long been involved with NCHICA and NCMS Strategic Planning Officer Karen L. Smith, MD, FAAPP and NCMS Vice President for Rural Health System Innovation Franklin Walker, MBA are members of its Board of Directors.

In the News

Coronavirus Infections are Real, But Very, Very Rare, The New York Times, 10-13-20

Learning Opportunity

A webinar hosted by the NCMS Foundation’s Kanof Institute for Physician Leadership will focus on ‘Connecting Communities of Care Via Health Information Exchange’ on Tuesday, Oct. 20 from noon to 1 p.m.  Jessica Brehmer, in her role as Business and Outreach Specialist for the NC Health Information Exchange Authority will describe the NCHIEA’s role in helping to close care gaps and look ahead to 2021. Learn more and register here.

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