Welcome to spring and Monday’s NCMS Morning Rounds.

March 22, 2021

NCMS Legislative Update

If you haven’t already accessed our Action Alert expressing opposition to HB 277 / SB 249 – The SAVE Act, please consider doing so now. This legislative proposal would allow nurse practitioners, certified registered nurse anesthetists and certified nurse midwives to practice without the supervision of a physician, essentially creating the authority for the independent practice of medicine.

Education, training and experience are essential in health care decision making. Ignoring the need for additional training when providing additional authority puts patients at risk.

Send this Action Alert now. Your voice as a health care professional constituent is key to our advocacy efforts.

Another bill of note introduced last week is HB329 – Chiropractic Care Copayment Parity. This proposal prohibits insurers from offering a health benefit plan that imposes any limitation on treatment or levels of coverage if performed by a chiropractor unless a comparable limitation is also imposed on the medically necessary treatment if performed or authorized by a physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner. It also prohibits insurers from offering a health benefit plan that imposes a copayment amount charged to the insured for chiropractic services that is higher than the copayment amount for the services of a primary care physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner for a comparable medically necessary treatment or condition.

At its meeting last week the Joint Appropriations Committee on Health and Human Services heard presentations on mental health and specifically telepsychiatry. See the agenda and presentations at the committee website here. Two proposals currently under consideration SB161 – NC Statewide Telepsychiatry Program/Funds and HB209 – Support Statewide Telepsychiatry Program call for funding for telepsychiatry programs. The NCMS supports increased funding for programs that address the dire need for mental health services. Last week, as previously reported in your NCMS Morning Rounds, the NCMS joined with the NC Psychiatric Association in a media statement highlighting the increased needs due to the pandemic. Read the statement here.

Finally, HB316 – Support Maternal Health/Extend Medicaid Coverage, directs the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) to implement continued Medicaid eligibility of pregnant women for 12 months postpartum beginning on April 1, 2022.

To keep up with all the bill filing action each day at the NC General Assembly, be sure to check our NCMS legislative blog regularly.

Reminder: Tomorrow is Diabetes Alert Day!

Just a reminder that tomorrow, March 23 is Diabetes Alert Day, and the NC Diabetes Advisory Council is hosting a webinar to review NC’s Guide to Diabetes Prevention and Management.

If you haven’t already registered, click here and register today! This webinar will discuss prediabetes and diabetes in NC, provide an overall review of the Guide, and address actions that individuals/organizations can take to decrease the burden of diabetes in NC.

Arm Yourself: COVID-19 Vaccine Planning and Resources

This month’s NCMS Foundation/NC Medical Group Management Association Lunch and Learn webinar will address COVID-19 vaccine planning and resources with guest speaker Bill Shenton, JD, a partner at Poyner Spruill. Be sure to join in this webinar tomorrow, Tuesday, March 23 from noon to 1 p.m.

This presentation will provide an overview of key considerations in planning a COVID-19 vaccine administration program in a medical practice and will touch on some available resources that can be accessed to prepare.

Topics covered will include:
• Planning and organizing the effort
• Selecting and training staff to administer vaccine
• Administration of the vaccine and documenting immunizations
• Planning for contingencies
• Addressing HIPAA compliance issues

Learn more and register here.

In the News

What Amazon Care’s Nationwide Expansion Means For The Telehealth Industry, STAT News, 3-18-21

Learning Opportunity

Addiction and COVID-19: A Conversation with Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Nora Volkow, Tuesday, March 23 from 2 to 3:30 PM

Addiction Policy Forum invites you to a webinar with Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), both part of the National Institutes of Health, about the intersection of addiction and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Topics covered will include the impact on people with substance use disorders, the latest on safe and effective vaccinations for COVID-19, and the unique challenges that the pandemic has presented for people in recovery.

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!