It’s Thursday and time for your NCMS Morning Rounds.

April 22, 2021

Dr. Crockett speaks at Tuesday’s press conference at the NC General Assembly.

NCMS, NC ObGyn Society Support Dignity for Incarcerated Women Proposal

On Tuesday the NCMS and NC Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (NCOGS) issued a joint media statement in support of NC House Bill 608 — Dignity for Women Who Are Incarcerated. This legislative proposal, introduced on Tuesday, addresses the health needs of incarcerated women and their babies by codifying standards of care for women’s health and perinatal care.

Rep. Kristen Baker, MD (R-Cabarrus), the only physician in the NC General Assembly, is one of the bill’s co-sponsors. At a press conference held at the General Assembly just after the bill was filed, Rep. Baker and the co-sponsors were joined by Kerianne Crockett, MD, a Greenville Obstetrician-Gynecologist and NCOGS board member, who spoke emotionally about one of her patients.

“Nearly two years ago I took care of a patient who was in detention at an area jail during her pregnancy. She was restrained with ankle and wrist cuffs during her labor, delivery, part of her post-partum time. She also suffered the devastating loss of her infant,” she said. “In the months that followed, I grappled with my own grief over her loss and thought nonstop about how her difficult and heartbreaking experience was turned into a traumatic one by the shackles she was forced to wear.”

The proposed legislation would protect the health and safety of mother and baby by prohibiting shackling of pregnant women in the second and third trimesters, during labor and delivery and allowing only limited restraint for six weeks post-partum. Also, the bill insists mothers receive adequate nutrition to support their baby’s health and welfare.

Read the NCMS’ and NCOGS’ media statement here.

Improved Communication Access Pilot Project

The NC Division of Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DSDHH) has partnered with the NC Division of Health Benefits to establish a pilot initiative to improve access to communication services for deaf, blind and hard of hearing patients – and their companions – who have Medicaid and Health Choice.

One reason many medical practices are resistant to providing communication accommodations is the cost related to these services. Through this initiative, practices can register to be reimbursed for communication access services such as American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters and Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART). Register here.

Examples of visits covered are medical appointments, eye exams, in-home health care, mental health counseling sessions and more.

Learn more about this initiative here.

For more information about this pilot service, please reach out to the Medicaid Communication Access Coordinator at [email protected] or (984) 884-1093.

More Telehealth Funding Available

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently announced that applications for Round 2 of funding for the COVID-19 Telehealth Program will be accepted beginning on April 29 and ending on May 6. The $249.95 million federal initiative builds on the $200 million program established as part of the CARES Act.

You can learn more about this funding opportunity in a webinar this Friday, April 23 at 1 p.m. Access the webinar at this Zoom link.

Community Health Centers are encouraged to consider applying.

  • The application will be fairly simple. Applicants must provide some basic data, but no extensive narratives are required.
    • Given the scoring system that the FCC has established, community health centers are well-positioned to be approved for funding – particularly those who applied in Round One (last spring/ summer) but were not funded.
    • Applicants can receive up to $1 million to support 100 percent of the cost of services and supplies needed to expand telehealth.

Learn more about this opportunity here.

In the News

New Coronavirus Variant Found In Texas, Becker’s Hospital Review, 4-20-21

Learning Opportunity

Priorities on the Health Horizon: Informing PCORI’s Strategic Plan Webinar, April 27 | 11 am – 2 pm
The meeting will be anchored by two compelling, forward-looking questions:
-What will it take to create a patient-centered learning health system (with respect to infrastructure, technologies, and engagement)?
-How can PCORI use its research strategies, unique role, and activities to improve patient experience, outcomes, and value in health and health care?

Learn more and 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!