Finally Friday! Enjoy your NCMS Morning Rounds 

March 5, 2021

Don’t forget today’s Power Hour: Join us at noon as health care colleagues discuss the benefits and challenges of re-opening schools for more in-person learning as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Learn more and register here.

NCMS Spearheads Opposition to Naloxone Mandate Proposal

The NCMS along with more than two dozen specialty and county medical societies sent a letter to the NC General Assembly opposing HB 93 – Require Naloxone with Opioid Scripts, which would require members to prescribe an opioid antagonist, such as naloxone, when prescribing opioid medications for patients. Read a summary of this bill on our legislative blog.

“We understand the importance of preventing opioid overdoses, and we share the goal that patients at risk of overdose should receive opioid antagonists. However, the decision to co-prescribe naloxone should be one that is based on a prescriber’s clinical judgment. It should not be one mandated by law,” the letter states.

The letter also notes that an existing standing order ‘allows any patient at any pharmacy to obtain naloxone without a prescription.’

Read the full letter and see the list of signatories here. Also be on the lookout in your email for an NCMS Action Alert, so you can directly and easily contact your legislator on this proposal.

NCMB Approves MAT Pilot Program

At its January meeting, the NC Medical Board (NCMB) approved a pilot aimed at expanding the pool of clinicians trained to provide medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder. The Governor’s Institute and the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) have partnered to run the program, which will enable qualified PAs to prescribe buprenorphine for MAT treatment even if their supervising physician is not waivered.

Under current regulations, PAs who have their buprenorphine waivers to treat opioid use disorder OUD may provide MAT as long as their supervising physician is also waivered. Currently, not enough physicians have become buprenorphine waivered to meet the demand for MAT in North Carolina.

Physicians who supervise waivered PAs but have not personally completed all steps to qualify for their buprenorphine waiver are invited to join this pilot program. The Governor’s Institute and NC Society of Addiction Medicine will connect participants with resources and experienced buprenorphine mentors at no cost to participants. Licensees who need to complete buprenorphine/MAT training can also get support through the program.

This pilot program is time limited. Currently the pilot is open to PAs who are waivered. The question of including NPs in the pilot will go before the Board at the March meeting. At the end of one year, the Governor’s Institute and NC DHHS will report data from the program to NCMB.

Learn more about the program here.

Keep in mind the NCMS Foundation’s Project OBOT as well for waiver training opportunities as well as a unique collaborative platform that helps ensure patient success.

Learn more about Project OBOT here.

Nominations Now Accepted for NCMS Leadership Positions

Nominations to serve on the NCMS Board of Directors, AMA delegation, Nominating and Leadership Development Committee as well as the NCMS Foundation (NCMSF) Board of Trustees are now being accepted for the coming year. If you are interested in a leadership role or know someone who you would like to nominate as a good candidate, be sure to read the recently updated document links below.

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.

In the News

Support For Telehealth Medicare Reimbursement Gains Steam In Congress, Health Care Dive, 3-3-21

Learning Opportunity

Webinar: NC Medicaid Transition to Managed Care for Community Partners – The Beneficiary Experience, 3:00-4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 10.
Please join NC Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH; Secretary for NC Medicaid Dave Richard; Assistant Secretary for NC Medicaid Jay Ludlam and other senior leaders as we provide an update on key dates and resources for beneficiaries as they choose a health plan under Medicaid Managed Care. There will also be an opportunity to submit questions for the panelists.

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!