Here is Tuesday’s NCMS Morning Rounds.

Nov. 10, 2020

Financial Recovery Program Payout Increases

Independent practices eligible for state funds through the NCMS Foundation administered Financial Recovery Program (FRP), now may receive an increased maximum payout of $160,000 for tier 1 practices and $120,000 for tier 2 practices.

Learn more about practice eligibility requirements and what COVID-19 related expenses qualify for reimbursement at the FRP webpage here.

The deadline to apply for these funds is Nov. 30, so please act today.

The NCMS Foundation has been charged by the NC General Assembly with administering this program and is required to distribute all the funds to eligible practices by the end of the year. As applications have been received, the payout has been adjusted to ensure all funds are equitably dispersed to those in need. Please spread the word to colleagues who may qualify.

The NCMS lobbying team worked closely with the NC Academy of Family Physicians, the NC Pediatric Society, the NC College of Emergency Physicians, the NC Association of Physician Assistants, the NC Obstetrics and Gynecology Society and the NC Dermatology Association in order to secure the state appropriation that funds the FRP.

Don’t forget PPE! The NCMS Foundation also received a $5 million appropriation to purchase and distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) to independent practices.

Even if you currently have adequate supplies, it makes sense to stockpile these products for future needs. Learn more and order your PPE today.

NCMS Board Adopts Health Equity Policy

At its regular meeting last Saturday, Nov. 7, the NCMS Board of Directors approved the NCMS Policy Committee’s recommendation to adopt a health equity policy.

After thorough and robust discussion, the policy was approved to support and enhance the NCMS’ efforts to achieve health equity across all populations. The policy reads:

  • The NCMS supports the achievement of health equity across all populations regardless of race and ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, income, class, disability, health, immigration status, nationality, religious beliefs, language proficiency or geographic location.
    • The NCMS supports elimination of structural racism and all forms of structural discrimination whether overt or unconscious that thwart the achievement of health equity.
    • The NCMS supports efforts to work across health care and other sectors to achieve the goals outlined in the NCIOM Healthy NC 2030 Task Force Report.

In a separate vote, the Board approved several action items in support of the new policy. Namely:
• The NCMS will apply a purposeful assessment of any equity impact or barriers in the development and/or reevaluation of all NCMS actions, policies, statements and programs.
• The NCMS Board of Directors will adopt this as an organizational priority.

The Board also approved the Committee’s recommendation to adopt the national Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) standards as they currently are written and to support their broad adoption.

Plan for Safe Holiday Celebrations

The NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) has issued guidance for fall-related events like the upcoming Thanksgiving holidays when families will likely gather and for college students returning home. The Department outlines the risk for various scenarios as well as how to mitigate those risks when coming together.

Here is the specific guidance for various upcoming holiday events that you may consider sharing with your patients.

In the News

First COVID-19 Vaccine Doses to Go To Health Workers, Say CDC Advisors, NPR, 11-5-20

Learning Opportunity

The National Academy of Medicine’s Culture of Health Program will host a virtual listening workshop on Dec. 8-10 to discuss barriers, models and opportunities to use community knowledge and strength to drive health equity policy and research. The goal of the meeting are to identify the priorities for community-driven efforts to advance health equity, and opportunities to use community knowledge, strengths, and resiliency to inform the way forward, especially in a world affected by COVID-19 and increased calls for racial equity. Learn more and register.

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