Enjoy your first NCMS Morning Rounds of February

Feb. 1, 2021

Enjoy your image for February from the 2021 NCMS calendar. You may print out this month’s calendar image and page by following this link.

Legislative Session 2021-22 Now Underway

The 2021-22 session of the NC General Assembly began in earnest last Wednesday and many bills have already been filed. One proposal of particular note, HB6/SB18 – Funds for Planning and Construction of a New Brody School of Medicine at ECU — was introduced on the first day of session. The NCMS has long be a supporter of this proposition as the Brody School of Medicine has a proven track record of educating physicians who tend to stay in the state to practice and is committed to improving access to health care in North Carolina. The bill allocates $15 million from the General Fund and Infrastructure Fund for the 2021-22 fiscal year and $13 million in 2022-23. The total amount to complete the project is $215 million.

Throughout the session be sure to follow the bills filed at our NCMS legislative blog and get the highlights in your NCMS Morning Rounds.

Also, be on the lookout in your email for our Action Alert to help you send a welcome message to your legislators. Building a relationship with your representatives and serving as a physician or PA constituent resource is a great help to our advocacy efforts. If you have not yet signed up for our grassroots Action Alerts, do so here.

Nominations Now Open for NCMS and NCMS Foundation Leadership Positions

Do you want to make an impact in improving health statewide? The NCMS Board of Directors, AMA delegation, Nominating and Leadership Development Committee as well as the NCMS Foundation (NCMSF) Board of Trustees have positions open for the coming year and are now soliciting nominations for these leadership roles.

The NCMSF, the philanthropic arm of the NCMS, seeks to improve access to quality health care for all North Carolinians. The Foundation’s portfolio of programs demonstrates our commitment to this vision. Learn more about each of these programs here.

A full description of what is expected of members of the NCMSF Board of Trustees along with details on the nomination process are outlined in this document. Nominations are due by Aug. 30, 2021.

The NCMS’ Nominating and Leadership Development Committee is seeking nominations for individuals to serve on the NCMS Board of Directors, NC American Medical Association (AMA) Delegation and on the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee itself. Nominations are due by May 17, 2021.

An overview of each of the roles on the NCMS Board of Directors, AMA delegation and Nominating and Leadership Development Committee along with details on the nomination process are included in this document.

COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance for Pregnant, Lactating Women

Last week the World Health Organization released guidance for the COVID-19 vaccination for pregnant and lactating women. Their recommendation is inconsistent with guidance developed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) experts.

In a joint statement with the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM), both organizations “continue to stress that both COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should not be withheld from pregnant individuals who choose to receive the vaccine. ACOG’s and SMFM’s current guidance on the COVID-19 vaccine in pregnant patients remains in place.”

These guidance recommendations are made by expert physicians and based on preliminary developmental and reproductive toxicity (DART) data as well as data that have demonstrated symptomatic pregnant individuals with COVID-19 are at increased risk of more severe illness and death compared with nonpregnant peers.

Further, the joint statement recommends that there should not be barriers to access for pregnant and lactating women, including additional documentation prior to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

Read the joint statement here.

In the News

NCDHHS Launches “Find My Vaccine Group” to Help North Carolinians Know When They Have a Spot to Take Their Shot, NCDHHS,1-25-21

Learning Opportunity

Understanding Digital Health Today—and Preparing For Its Next “New Normal”, Tuesday, Feb. 2 from 3 to 4:30 p.m.
Digital health has achieved a new normal of acceptance and prevalence. Telehealth, remote patient monitoring, and digital applications of all kinds have become mainstream tools. Many organizations admit that they made as much as five years of progress on digital health within just a few weeks in 2020. This webinar will look at where health care is at the beginning of 2021 and the essential next steps that our industry needs to take to use digital solutions to their fullest potential.

Things you’ll learn:
-What is the new normal for digital health utilization?
-How are new money and emerging partnerships changing the digital health landscape?
-Why data is essential to make progress on telehealth reimbursement and quality?

Learn more and sign up 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!