Welcome to the new week and your

NCMS Morning Rounds.

  April 27, 2020

NCMS Legislative Update

Thank you to everyone who responded to last week’s Action Alert on medical liability protections. A record-setting 1,200+ emails were sent to NC legislators urging them to include such protections in the COVID-19 bill they are considering. Thanks to your efforts and those of Rep. Perrin Jones, MD, (R-Pitt), liability protection language was included in the draft legislation. You can access that Action Alert here.

The draft bill still needs to make its way through the legislative process when the NC General Assembly reconvenes tomorrow, Tuesday, April 28, however. Over the weekend we issued another Action Alert to make sure legislators understand fully the importance of our priorities for the session, which, in addition to liability protections, include tax deferrals, financial relief and telehealth parity. Please take just a minute to review and send this latest alert.

In general, be on the lookout in your email for more Action Alerts in the coming weeks as we ask you to connect directly with legislators to bolster our advocacy efforts as we work remotely on your behalf.

To learn more about the draft legislation considered by the NC House Select Committee on COVID-19, Health subcommittee last week, visit our NCMS Legislative blog for a summary. Guided by your peers on the NCMS Legislative Cabinet, NCMS advocacy staff have been focusing their efforts in four priority areas above at both the state and federal levels with our NC Congressional delegation.

Watch your NCMS Morning Rounds for updates as the NC legislative short session gets underway tomorrow.

Additional Federal Funds Allocated to Paycheck Protection Program

Last week Congress approved an additional $484 billion to replenish and supplement key CARES Act programs including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), small business disaster loans and grants and for testing.

The bulk of the additional funding, $321 billion, will go to the PPP with $60 billion set aside for small, midsize and community lenders. The Disaster Loans Program will receive an additional $50 billion and another $10 billion for Emergency EIDL Grants.

Learn more here on our NCMS Financial Resources page.

Congress also is developing an updated CARES Act that will cover a wider range of issues and is expected to be ready for consideration in early May.

Every Day is Earth Day

Last Wednesday was the 50th anniversary of beginning to observe Earth Day. And, while that news may have gotten lost in the headlines announcing the latest statistics and orders surrounding COVID-19, many are making the point that every day is Earth day.

With that in mind, we will include information on programs that address the intersection between health and the environment throughout the year as part of the NCMS’ dedication to improving the health of North Carolinians.

Here is a national child care program that partners with child care professionals to eliminate environmental health hazards found in or around child care facilities. These hazards can adversely impact children’s health. Learn more here.

And, as child care is in high demand for essential workers like health care providers during this time, continue to monitor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for guidance for open child care facilities as well as the state and local health departments.

In the News

Vaping, Opioid Addiction Accelerate Coronavirus Risks, Says NIDA Director, Kaiser Health News, 4-24-20

Learning Opportunity

The NCMS, NC Healthcare Association and the NC Institute of Medicine are presenting a webinar for clinicians offering ‘Guidance for Implementing a Crisis Standard of Care for NC on Tuesday, April 28 at 7 p.m. Participants will gain an understanding of the Crisis Standard of Care for North Carolina, including the recently developed North Carolina Protocol. Learn more about the webinar and register here. Review the protocol here.


Navigating COVID-19: Charting a New Course Moving Forward as Restrictions Ease will take place on Tuesday, April 28, from 6 to 7 p.m. During this webinar, primary care leaders in NC including Susan Mims, MD, president of the NC Pediatric Society, and David Rinehart, MD, president of the NC Academy of Family Physicians, will discuss strategies that practices are using to prepare to welcome more patients back into the office as restrictions ease. State Health Director and Chief Medical Officer of the NC Department of Health and Human Services Betsey Tilson, MD, MPH, and Chief Medical Officer of NC Medicaid Shannon Dowler, MD, will discuss what easing of restrictions might look like, what practices should be thinking about, the importance of implementing surveillance and the role telemedicine will continue to play in that transition. Click here to connect via Zoom. Or dial: 646-558-8656 using Webinar ID: 131 899 801