Enjoy your mid-week NCMS Morning Rounds.

April 14, 2021

CDC and FDA Recommend Pause in Administration of J & J COVID-19 Vaccine

On Tuesday, the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) announced it will follow the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to suspend administration of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine.

The CDC and FDA are reviewing data involving six reported US cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the J&J vaccine. The type of blood clot, a cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, was seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets. The six cases occurred in women between ages 18 and 48 with symptoms occurring six to 13 days after vaccination.

Treatment of this specific type of blood clot is different from the treatment that might typically be administered. Usually, an anticoagulant drug called heparin is used to treat blood clots. In this setting, administration of heparin may be dangerous, and alternative treatments need to be given, according to the CDC and FDA. It is important for the health care provider community to be aware of the potential for these adverse events and can plan for proper recognition and management due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot.

Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare. People who have received the J&J vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider. Health care providers are asked to report adverse events to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System here.

Today the CDC will convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to further review these cases and assess their potential significance. FDA will review that analysis as it also investigates these cases. Until that process is complete, these federal agencies are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution.

You can watch a videotaped media briefing with officials from the CDC and FDA as they brief reporters and answer questions about their recommendation here.

As of Monday, more than 6.8 million people in the US have received the J&J vaccine, while about 98 million people have received the Pfizer vaccine and 85 million the Moderna vaccine. According to the CDC, about 9 million J&J shots have been distributed, but are now on hold due to the CDC’s and FDA’s recommendation.

NCMS Foundation’s Our Community Health Initiative Has New Partner

The NCMS Foundation’s Our Community Health Initiative (OCHI) has announced a new partnership with IndividuALLytics to provide remote patient monitoring and behavioral health integration for comprehensive chronic care management, leveraging the company’s precision medicine model.

“We are pleased that IndividuALLytics is joining our team, which will enhance the scope and scale of services provided by OCHI,” said NCMS Vice President for Rural Health Systems Innovation Franklin Walker, MBA. OCHI offers medical practices a way to seamlessly collaborate with and connect patients to community based organizations providing services that improve health. For instance, OCHI offers a referral platform in which physicians and PAs can easily refer patients to evidence-based diabetes prevention programs and others offered through the YMCA in communities throughout the state.

“OCHI has done a great job making it easier for organizations like the YMCA to manage Diabetes Prevention Programs,” Walker said. “Our success with OCHI has allowed us to engage the assistance of the American Medical Association to expand and share this simple to use platform nationally.”

“IndividuALLytics offers our community-based organizations and health provider customers additional expertise in deploying and managing state of the art data collection processes, including physical, biometric and disease specific, which increases the physician’s ability to manage care,” according to Reynold Yordy, founder and Chief Technology Officer for IndividuALLytics.

Michigan-based IndividuALLytics, Inc. employs patent-pending individualized N-of-1 treatment protocols for precision management of chronic illness and employs a comprehensive solution for remote patient monitoring along with a mobile application for patient engagement and multidisciplinary virtual care teams to determine and administer these individualized treatment protocols.

OCHI, part of the NCMS Foundation, uses a software platform that provides custom EHR functionality to community-based organizations allowing them to participate in a collaborative and integrated approach to health. The program enables individual and group interactions, whether face-to-face or virtual, to assist in managing individual care plans. OCHI enables physicians and PAs and community-based organizations to collect and digitally exchange relevant data with the expectation of demonstrating positive health outcomes. Learn more about OCHI.

Resources to Encourage NC Medicaid Enrollment

The NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) has launched a public messaging campaign to encourage Medicaid beneficiaries to enroll in NC Medicaid Managed Care. The “Choose Your Path to Better Health” campaign includes a variety of television and radio spots that are airing in English and Spanish as well as internet and social media messages.

NC Medicaid community partners, advocates, health care providers and other stakeholders may use these materials to help share the word about NC Medicaid Managed Care and the open enrollment period, which runs through May 14. This toolkit includes the advertising listed above plus digital images and flyers that can be printed and posted.

In addition to the Choose Your Path campaign, NC Medicaid is promoting the enrollment period using social media posts, community webinars and events, as well as a prior press release and a Medicaid bulletin.

In the News

Fully Vaccinated But COVID-19 Positive? 4 Notes On Breakthrough Case Prevalence, Becker’s Hospital Review, 4-12-21

Learning Opportunity

Diabetes Prevention & Best Practices Learning Collaborative (LC)
This Learning Collaborative (LC) will consist of four virtual sessions, focused on the current and future landscape of diabetes among migrant and seasonal agricultural workers (MSAW), as well as recommendations for how to best support this community. This LC is designed for Health Centers, community health workers (CHWs), and other enabling service staff who interact with the MSAW community.
Session 2 – April 20, 2:30 – 4 pm
Session 3 – April 27, 2:30 – 4 pm
Session 4 – May 4, 2:30 – 4 pm

Register here.

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