It’s Monday! Enjoy your Morning Rounds

March 7, 2022


The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. — Amelia Earhart


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In the News


1.  AMA Seeks Relief For Physicians through the Extension of the “Protecting Medicare and American Farmers from Sequester Cuts Act” 

The American Medical Association (AMA) co-signed a letter seeking relief that could help physicians weather the challenges of the COVID-19 virus and its variants and to maintain patient access to care. The letter asks Congress to retain Medicare Sequester cut relief for health care providers that was put in place as part of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) federal response included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Specifically, the letter emphasizes the following: “The Protecting Medicare and American Farmers from Sequester Cuts Act authorized a three-month delay of 2% Medicare sequester payment reductions (January 1, 2022 – March 31, 2022), followed by a three-month, 1% reduction in Medicare sequester payment reductions (April 1, 2022 – June 30, 2022). The resumption of the Medicare sequester before the end of the PHE would unnecessarily hinder our caregiving abilities, especially when the emergence of a new, potentially more dangerous and/or contagious variant continues to loom. Consequently, we urge you to extend the current 2% Medicare sequester moratorium for the duration of the COVID-19 PHE, and to take action before April 1 when sequestration is scheduled to resume.”

For more read: AMA Urges Congress to Extend Current Medicare Sequester Moratorium


2. AMA Successfully Gets CMS to Re-open MIPS Hardship

In response to the AMA’s advocacy, CMS has re-opened the 2021 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) extreme and uncontrollable (E&C) hardship exemption process. Physicians have until March 31, 2022 to submit a 2021 exemption to avoid a 2023 negative payment adjustment. Learn more here.

APPLY for MIPS Hardship here, before March 31, 2022


3. Calling NCMS Members to Apply for Physicians Foundation Fellowship Program before March 25 Deadline

The Physicians Foundation has launched the Physicians Foundation Fellowship Program and is seeking applicants among NCMS members. The Foundation is specifically looking for applicants who are new or mid-career in their practice and have experience with or an interest in addressing social drivers of health (SDOH), improving physician wellbeing, and lifting physician perspectives in health policy discussions. Applications are due Friday, March 25, 2022.

Learn more about the Fellowship and apply here. For questions, email [email protected]



COVID-19 Updates


1.     Masks to Become Optional in State Agencies Starting March 7

2.     NCDHHS Makes Key COVID-19 Vaccine Information Available in N.C.’s Most Used Languages

3.     NC DHHS COVID-19 Dashboard


Learning Opportunities


Climate Change and Health: The Risks to Community Health and Health Care Utilization 

Thursday, March 17, 1-2 p.m. ET.

HRSA and CDC’s Climate and Health Program invite you to consider the impacts of climate change on the U.S. health care system. CDC will share its work to build resilience to these public health effects.



Upcoming Events


·       2022 NC Obstetrical and Gynecological Society Annual Meeting (April 8-10, 2022)

·       2022 NC Society of Pathologists Annual Meeting (April 22-23, 2022)

·       2022 NC Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Society Annual Meeting (May 20-22, 2022)