Happy Friday! Enjoy your NCMS Morning Rounds.

Nov. 13, 2020

REMINDER: The deadline for NC independent practices to order FREE PPE is this Sunday, Nov. 15. Visit our PPE webpage to learn more and order TODAY!

We Need Your Input on Important NCMS Draft Policies

The NCMS Policy Committee will hold its regular meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 1, when they will review your input on three DRAFT policies. Your perspective is key to informing committee members’ discussion and helps ensure sound policy development.

Please take just a moment to answer several questions on the policy topics being considered, and to review the DRAFT policies that will be before the committee.

Please respond by Friday, Nov. 20. Thank you!

Digital Equity

Watch your NCMS Morning Rounds for updates on the committee meeting and any resulting recommendations to the NCMS Board of Directors.

Medicare Covers COVID Monoclonal Drug

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that Medicare beneficiaries will not have to share the cost for COVID-19 treatment with monoclonal antibodies during the public health emergency. CMS’ coverage of monoclonal antibody infusions applies to bamlanivimab, which received an Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA on Nov. 9. Patients can receive this therapy in a physician office, nursing home, infusion center as long as safety precautions can be met.

CMS anticipates that this monoclonal antibody product will initially be given to health care providers at no charge. Medicare will not pay for the monoclonal antibody products that providers receive for free but this action provides for reimbursement for the infusion of the product. When health care providers begin to purchase monoclonal antibody products, Medicare anticipates setting the payment rate in the same way it set the payment rates for COVID-19 vaccines, such as based on 95 percent of the average wholesale price for COVID-19 vaccines in many provider settings. CMS will issue billing and coding instructions for health care providers in the coming days.

Learn more here.

Celebrate – and Learn About – Rural Health

Next Thursday, Nov. 19, is National Rural Health Day. Throughout the week the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is offering a variety of opportunities to celebrate and learn more about health in our rural communities. Topics include addressing COVID-19 testing, social determinants of health, caring for indigenous peoples and the unique challenges and opportunities present in our rural communities.

Get the complete schedule of events here and celebrate rural health next week!

Learn more about the NCMS’ Community Practitioner Program here.

In the News

How a Minneapolis Clinic Is Narrowing Racial Gaps in Health, NPR, 11-11-20

Learning Opportunity

Join the NC Institute of Medicine on Tuesday, Dec. 8 from 2 to 4 p.m. for their Virtual Annual Meeting. Panelists and speakers will discuss the factors that drive these impacts, such as changes in insurance coverage, capacity of the health system, changes to models of care and payment models and drivers of health. Learn more here. 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!