Enjoy your Thursday NCMS Morning Rounds.

March 25, 2021

Take Action! Your Voice Makes a Difference

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. So far, we’ve had the biggest response ever to this call to action with over 2,000 emails sent to legislators. Thank you to those who have already responded. Your voice as a health care professional constituent is key to our advocacy efforts

Medicare Sequester — Grassroots Advocacy at the Federal Level Also Needed

Congress has just over a week to decide whether to extend Medicare sequester relief to physicians until the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency. If the extension is not adopted, an across the board 2 percent cut to Medicare payments will go into effect.

Please reach out to Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis to urge them to support S748 – The Medicare Sequester Relief Act.

The AMA has an easy way for you to reach out to the Senators on this legislation. Access their grassroots message on S748 here.

This bill is bipartisan and would prevent the cuts for the duration of the public health crisis. The proposal recognizes that due to COVID-19 physician practices are already facing a steep decline in revenue and additional payment cuts could jeopardize operations unless the moratorium on the Medicare sequester is kept in place until the end of the pandemic.

Please act now since time is short before action must be taken. Contact the Senators now!

Practice Survey Results on COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts

The results of our most recent survey of North Carolina medical practices with particular emphasis on the COVID-19 vaccination are available in this summary.

Just over a third (32 percent) of responding practices identified patient volume as their foremost concern with vaccination issues the second most pressing concern for 16 percent of respondents. Those COVID-19 vaccine concerns included access to the vaccine for patients as well as vaccine hesitancy among practice staff and patients and having adequate staffing for vaccine clinics. See all the results here.

As we have for the past year, the NCMS, Curi and the NC Medical Group Management Association will continue to send our survey regularly to identify trends among North Carolina practices as the state continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and its various impacts.

In the News

Vaccine Passports’ Are Coming. But Not All Experts Are Sure That’s A Good Thing, Advisory Board, 3-23-2021

Learning Opportunity

Mitigating Burnout and Maintaining Provider Satisfaction During Vaccination Rollouts (Webinar), Wednesday, March 31 at noon

The COVID-19 pandemic forced health centers to change the way health care is delivered. Virtual health care visits were widely and quickly implemented and staff were redeployed to accommodate the demand for testing. This rapid change in health care delivery came with significant challenges including changes in staffing and care team makeup, furloughs, lack of PPE at the beginning of the pandemic, and fear of infection for those in direct contact with patients. As health centers continue to meet community needs related to the pandemic and engage in mass vaccination efforts, it will be important to consider lessons learned over the past year. In this webinar series, we will explore provider burnout and satisfaction in the context of the pandemic, lessons learned, and strategies that health centers can take to minimize burnout and maintain provider satisfaction in the next several months.

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!