Spring ahead to your

NCMS Morning Rounds.

  March 9, 2020

NCMS Legislative Update

Before you fully embrace the brief lull in election news, here is a recap of those 2020 Super Tuesday primary election results with an NCMS link.

NCMS member Mark Hollo, PA-C was narrowly defeated in the Republican primary in the 42nd NC Senate District by Hickory businessman Dean Proctor. Hollo previously served in the NC House of Representatives.

NCMS member Kristin Baker, MD, a psychiatrist from Concord comfortably won the Republican primary race in 82nd district for the NC House of Representatives representing Cabarrus County. Dr. Baker now will face Aimy Steele, who won the Democratic primary in the district.

NCMS member Rep. Perrin Jones, MD, an anesthesiologist from Pitt County, ran unopposed in the NC State House District 9 seat to represent Pitt County. In November’s General Election, he will face Brian Farkas, the Democratic winner last Tuesday. Dr. Jones currently serves in the General Assembly after being appointed to the District 9 seat after fellow NCMS member US Rep. Greg Murphy, MD, moved on to the US House of Representatives to fill the late US Rep. Walter Jones’ seat.

NCMS member Phillip Stover, MD, a family physician with Louisburg Family Practice and Pain Management in Louisburg, was unopposed in the primary and will compete in the general election to represent Franklin and Nash Counties in a newly redrawn NC District 7.

Sarah Conway, MD, a retired radiologist in the western part of the state, lost her bid for in the Republican primary for the NC Senate District 50 seat.

Kudos to all the physicians and PAs who are willing to serve the public through elected office.

The NC General Assembly will reconvene on April 28 for its regular short session, but in the meantime, tomorrow the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee for Health and Human Services will meet to discuss matters related to the NC Department of Health and Human Services and the state’s Medicaid program. Listen in on the proceedings here in real time. The discussion on NCDHHS begins at 9:30 a.m. The Medicaid discussion begins at 1 p.m. Watch the NCMS’ Legislative blog and your NCMS Morning Rounds for a synopsis of the committee’s work.

If you haven’t yet completed this week’s NCMS Sunday Survey, you have until Thursday to give your thoughts on insurance payer improvements you’d like to see the NCMS focus it advocacy efforts on in the coming legislative sessions. Take the survey now. Results will be reported in Friday’s NCMS Morning Rounds.

Keeping Up with Covid-19

The general media is filled with the latest news and stories about Covid-19. In the NCMS Morning Rounds we will try to provide information and links to resources specific to health care professionals as a ready reference and to keep you informed.

Here, once again, is the link to the state’s webpage for health professionals on local protocols for screening and testing patients.

For patients with questions, the state also has a toll-free Covid-19 Helpline — 1-866-462-3821. To submit questions online, go to www.ncpoisoncontrol.org and select “chat.”

For information about domestic and international travel advisories, guidance for health care facilities and businesses and for distinct groups like pregnant women, visit the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 website.

News: On Wednesday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) called on all health care providers to activate infection control practices and issued guidance to inspectors as they inspect facilities affected by Covid-19. CMS also stated that until further notice, State Survey Agencies and Accrediting Organizations will focus their facility inspections exclusively on issues related to infection control and other serious health and safety threats, like allegations of abuse – beginning with nursing homes and hospitals. Get more information about this guidance, which primarily impacts hospitals.
Here is the information that affects nursing homes.

Input Needed on Medicare Administrator’s Performance

If you see Medicare patients, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) wants to hear from you about the performance of your Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC), Palmetto GBA. This MAC Satisfaction Indicator (MSI) survey is done each year to gauge provider satisfaction with Palmetto GBA’s processes and service delivery. This year’s survey began on Monday, March 2.

The results provide CMS with valuable insight into helping improve your experience. Initiatives undertaken as a results of survey feedback include eTicket, ePass and eChat enhancements.

Medicare Part A, Part B and Home Health and Hospice providers can find links to the survey at www.palmettogba.com/survey. Please select the Jurisdiction M Part B (JMB) survey intended for Part B providers in North Carolina. If you need assistance, the Provider Contact Center can help you. JM Providers please call 855–696–0705 ∙ JJ providers please call 877–567–7271.

In the News

During a Pandemic, States’ Patchwork of Crisis Strategies Could Mean Uneven Care, Kaiser Health News, 3-5-20

Learning Opportunity

A Movement Disorder Review Course will be offered April 4 in Charlotte. Physicians of all disciplines, physicians-in-training, fellows, RNs, NPs and PAs, who are interested in movement disorders, are invited to attend. Movement disorders include Parkinson’s disease and other forms of Parkinsonism, essential tremor and other tremor disorders, restless legs syndrome, Tourette syndrome, tics, dystonia, Huntington’s disease, tardive disorders and other hyperkinetic disorders. Learn more and register.