Finally Friday! Enjoy your NCMS Morning Rounds.

Oct. 9, 2020

Thank a PA in honor of PA Week!

Updated Antigen Testing Guidance from NCDHHS

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) yesterday released updated guidance on Antigen Testing for Clinicians and Laboratories. Updates to this guidance include:

• Use of antigen tests
• Evaluation of antigen test results
• Steps to take after a positive or negative test result
• Reporting requirements and methods

Access the memo describing the updates here.

NC COVID-19 Vaccination Planning Underway

While it’s still uncertain exactly when a COVID-19 vaccine will be ready for distribution, the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) vaccination planning team has been working with a variety of stakeholder organizations, including the NCMS, on building a NC COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign Plan.

Along with providing information and guidance to local, state and tribal partner agencies, the state plan will be the framework to accomplish the overall mission of vaccinating every North Carolinian who wishes to receive the vaccine. The plan is currently working its way through the executive review process with an Oct. 16 deadline for final submission to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

NCDHHS’ planning team has been encouraging local health departments to form local planning teams that should include providers within their community. If you would like to be engaged in this work, please contact your local health department.

All providers wishing to receive and administer COVID-19 Vaccine once it becomes available, will have to sign a COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Agreement. NCDHHS is currently working on incorporating this legal agreement provided by the CDC into an electronic enrollment process. NCDHHS will soon begin enrolling providers, starting with local health departments and hospitals first and then expanding to others. More information about how and when providers can begin to enroll will be forthcoming.

In the meantime, here is a graphic from the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed illustrating the vaccine distribution process. Also, this document outlines the CDC’s vaccination planning assumptions.

Over 125 vaccines are currently in development with over 25 in currently running clinical trials. Two COVID-19 vaccines have been approved in other countries (Russia and China), however none are currently approved for use in the US. Six manufacturers already have federal contracts for vaccine purchase when the vaccines are approved.

Become a Political Strategist – Virtually!

If you are interested in becoming a political strategist or a political candidate yourself, consider attending the AMPAC Campaign School. Recognized as one of the top training programs in the country, this comprehensive program will mold you into a winning political strategist to help you elect friends of medicine or help you become a candidate for public office. Due to the pandemic, this year’s program will be virtual and conducted over the course of two consecutive weekends in January 2021.

The Campaign School is renowned for its use of a simulated campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives, complete with demographics, voting statistics and candidate biographies and much more. Virtual attendees may include physicians, spouses of physicians, residents, medical students and state medical society staff interested in becoming more involved in politics. Past participants ranged from those attracted to grassroots efforts to those considering becoming a candidate for public office. No matter where you are in the process, you will develop a new understanding of how campaigns are run.

This year’s Virtual Campaign School will be conducted over two consecutive weekends: Jan. 15-17 and 23-24, 2021. Both weekends are part of the full program and all sessions must be attended by participants. This includes a 90-minute virtual welcome reception on Friday, Jan. 15 and each Saturday and Sunday session will run approximately four hours (11 am to 3 pm).

To help participants prepare for the virtual program in January, AMPAC has developed a set of online tools, to be completed before the main program begins. These include the Campaign School simulation and workbooks which you will receive shortly after you register.

The registration fee is $350 for AMA Member/$1000 for non-AMA members. This fee is waived for AMA residents and students; however, space is limited and the AMPAC Board will review and select four participants from the pool of qualified resident and student applicants. Space is limited and deadline to register is November 10, 2020.

Learn more and register here. For questions or more information please contact: [email protected].

In the News

New Hanover County Commissioners OK Sale of the County Hospital, NC Health News, 10-7-20

Learning Opportunity

Addiction Professionals of North Carolina will present a webinar on ‘Confronting Addiction Treatment Fraud in Florida, North Carolina and Beyond,’ on Thursday, Oct. 15 from 12:30 to 3 p.m. Learn more and register here.

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