Welcome to Thursday’s NCMS Morning Rounds!

Feb. 11, 2021

New NC Executive Order Expands Number of COVID-19 Vaccine Providers

On Tuesday, Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 193, which extends regulatory flexibility to “increase the pool of professional health care workers, including those who can administer FDA-authorized COVID vaccines.” Read the order here.

This Order continues the current ability of each professional health care licensure board to waive or modify enforcement of legal or regulatory constraints as needed to:

  • allow clinicians unlicensed in NC but licensed in other states to provide care/administer vaccines
    • allow retired/inactive clinicians to provide care/administer vaccines
    • allow skilled, but unlicensed volunteers to provide care/administer vaccines
    • allow students at appropriately advanced stage of professional study to provide care/administer vaccines
    • allow NC licensed dentists to administer vaccines and to administer epinephrine or diphenhydramine for treatment of severe allergic reaction to vaccine

In issuing the order Cooper said it “gives the [NC Department of Health and Human Services, NCDHHS ] authority to expand types of providers to administer vaccines. I’m ordering state officials to marshal all state resources, including property, facilities and personnel, upon request by NCDHHS, to help with vaccination efforts as supply increases.”

NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH stated that the state is not short on providers, but rather short on the vaccine.

“That is our limitation at this point,” Cohen said. “We do want to get ready and onboard providers so when our supply does increase that we make sure we can continue both the speed and equity we are working under.”

If you are a physician or PA who would like to volunteer in the state’s vaccination effort, please register though the NC Training, Exercise, and Response Management System (NC TERMS). Access that system here.

Medicaid Transformation Updates

Late last week the state issued an update on progress toward its transition to Medicaid managed care. In addition to highlighting key dates between now and the July 1, 2021 ‘go live’ date for Medicaid managed care, the update included links to the Medicaid Provider Directory. This contains all active Medicaid and NC Health Choice providers, including primary care providers, specialists, hospitals and organizations. View the directory and health plan lookup tool here.

NC Medicaid encourages you to review your listing if you have already contracted with the pre-paid health plans to provide services to Medicaid beneficiaries. This page provides information on how to report an error on your listing.

Even though the Feb. 1 deadline to be included in the current, open enrollment Medicaid and NC Health Choice Provider Directory and Health Plan Look-up Tool, (open enrollment begins on March 15) you can still negotiate and execute contracts with health plans to have your information included for the auto-enrollment period, which begins on May 16. To be included in this, contracts need to be signed and submitted to health plans by April 12, 2021.

NC Medicaid encourages you to contract with health plans in a timely fashion to avoid losing patients when Medicaid beneficiaries are assigned to in-network providers. More information is available here.

Building a Culture of Health Requires Diverse Leadership

Applications are now open for a unique leadership program dedicated to increasing diversity in senior medical, dental and nursing faculty.

Are you a physician, dentist, or nurse faculty member who is committed to eliminating health disparities? The Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development program through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation offers four-year postdoctoral research awards to physicians, dentists and nurses from historically marginalized backgrounds.

  • Hone your research and leadership skills.
    • Receive mentoring from a distinguished national advisory committee.
    • Become a more effective influencer.
    • Deepen your understanding of social determinants of health, health equity, and a Culture of Health.

Scholars will receive an annual stipend of up to $75,000 each, complemented by a $30,000 annual grant to support research activities. The application deadline is March 17.

Learn more about eligibility, selection criteria, and how to apply.

In the News

‘Keep Your Guard Up’: CDC Chief Urges States Not To Lift Pandemic Restrictions, Cites Rising Variant Cases, Becker’s Hospital Review, 2-8-2021

Learning Opportunity

Black Maternal Health and the History of Eugenics in North Carolina with Dr. Kimberly Harper, Friday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. via Zoom
In this session of Community Class, a new series for educators, students, and community members at large, Harper will reveal that the current Black maternal health crisis is not a new issue, but rather that it ties back to America’s history with chattel slavery. Through the lens of North Carolina’s eugenics movement—a state-led movement that provided for sterilization as birth control from 1933 to 1973—and medical segregation, she will examine reproductive justice in contemporary society.

Learn more and register here.


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