Here is your Election Day NCMS Morning Rounds!

Nov. 3, 2020

Election Day is upon us! If you haven’t cast your ballot yet, TODAY is the final day to do so in your precinct. Look up your polling place here and VOTE!

State Portal Open for Reimbursement Requests

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) portal where primary care providers (PCP) may submit a reimbursement request for COVID-19 related primary care services (e.g. follow-up care) to uninsured individuals living in North Carolina is now open. Access it through NCTracks secure portal.

Patients are eligible for the NCDHHS program if they live in North Carolina and have no health care coverage (e.g. Medicaid, Medicare or other health insurance). Eligible providers are PCPs who operate in the state of North Carolina and are registered in NCTracks, North Carolina’s Medicaid payment platform.

Approximately $8 million is available to support the program on a first-come, first-serve basis until exhausted or until Dec. 30, 2002, whichever comes first. A payment of $150 per eligible in-person or telehealth visit enables providers to recoup costs for COVID-19 related services provided for uninsured patients. PCPs should check the COVID-19 Related Services for Uninsured Individuals webpage for finance updates; Remaining funds will be updated on the website weekly.

NCTracks is offering training on how to submit claims beginning Nov. 9 and running through Nov. 20. Watch your NCMS Morning Rounds and the NCTracks portal for more information on these trainings.

The state has compiled a list of financial resources available to practices responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the NCMS Foundation’s Financial Recovery Program.

Access the listing here.

NCDHHS Extends School Immunization Deadline

The NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) has further extended until Nov. 30, the temporary suspension of immunization requirements and school health assessments. State Health Director Elizabeth Tilson, MD, MPH issued the extension due to reported barriers caused by COVID-19 to meeting the immunization and school health assessment requirements.

The requirement for parents to submit their child’s certificate of immunization will be reinstated on Dec. 1, 2020 with a grace period until Dec. 30, 2020 or 30 calendar days from the child’s first day of attendance, whichever is later. This temporary suspension of time to complete immunization requirements also applies to individuals attending NC colleges and universities.

The requirement to present a school health assessment for every NC child entering kindergarten or higher grade in public schools for the first time will align with the presentation of the certification of immunization – beginning Dec. 1, 2020 with a grace period until Dec. 30, 2020 or 30 calendar days from the child’s first day of attendance, whichever is later.

Read Dr. Tilson’s memo here.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

November is national Diabetes Awareness month, a time to focus on one of the most chronic conditions in our country. Learn more about the national observance at the National Institute of Health website here.

The NCMS, along with the American Medical Association (AMA), has been working to reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes in North Carolina. An estimated 2.8 million North Carolina residents live with prediabetes with approximately 1 million adults in the state diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. There are more than 50,000 new diagnoses of the chronic condition per year.

The NCMS and AMA will work to significantly increase the number of North Carolina physicians and health care providers identifying and diagnosing patients with prediabetes—the precursor to type 2 diabetes. The partnership will also encourage more referrals of patients with prediabetes to an evidence-based National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) lifestyle change program recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Across the nation, a majority of the adults with prediabetes are unaware they have the condition—putting them at risk for developing type 2 diabetes without intervention.

“Working with our physician and PA members to help identify patients with prediabetes and to intervene at this early stage to prevent type 2 diabetes is key to good preventative medical care and benefits everyone,” said NCMS Executive Vice President and CEO Chip Baggett, J.D. “Alongside the AMA, we have developed resources to seamlessly connect patients to Diabetes Prevention Programs in North Carolina – many now available virtually – to significantly reduce the number of people acquiring the chronic condition of type 2 diabetes.”

Watch as three NCMS physicians describe why they are committed to a DiabetesFreeNC in these short videos.

The AMA has been working since 2013 to prevent and reduce the burden of chronic disease, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. As part of its commitment to improving the health of the nation, the AMA developed its Diabetes Prevention Guide to support physicians and health care organizations in defining and implementing evidence-based diabetes prevention strategies. This comprehensive and customized approach helps clinical practices and health care organizations identify and manage patients with prediabetes, including referring eligible patients to a National DPP lifestyle-change program based on their individual needs.

Quit Practicing or Retired Early Due to COVID-19?

We have had inquiries from national media outlets interested in speaking with physicians and PAs who have decided to quit practicing or to retire early due to financial or other pressures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. If you fall in that category and are willing to share your story, please send your name and the best way to contact you to Elaine Ellis, [email protected]. Thank you!

In the News

How Your Brain Tricks You Into Taking Risks During the Pandemic, ProPublica, 11-2-20

Learning Opportunity

Learn how independent practices can apply to receive COVID-19 relief funds through the state-funded Financial Recovery Program, administered by the NCMS Foundation, on Tuesday, Nov. 10 from noon to 1 p.m. Find out what the criteria are for applying and how your practice can benefit from the FRP. Learn more and register here. For questions or more information please contact the NCMS Foundation at [email protected].

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