Recognizing Public Health Week in today’s

 NCMS Morning Rounds.

  April 8, 2020

It’s National Public Health Week at a time when preserving the public’s health has never been more in the spotlight! A special THANK YOU to all public health professionals during this unprecedented crisis.

NCMS Pushes State for Adequate PPE Supplies

Yesterday, in follow-up to the NCMS member call with Governor Cooper on Monday evening, NCMS Executive Vice President and CEO Robert W. Seligson, MBA, MA, and leaders of several medical specialty groups and county medical societies strongly re-iterated the need for personal protective equipment (PPE) in a conversation with NC Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH and State Health Director Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson, MD, MPH.

Seligson together with Executive Vice President of the NC Academy of Family Physicians Greg Griggs, MPA and Executive Director of the NC Pediatric Society Elizabeth Hudgins, MPP expressed serious concerns over the lack of PPE and the negative impact it is having on physician practices throughout North Carolina. They asked state officials to procure the needed equipment rapidly to fulfill the current day-to-day needs of practices as well as in anticipation of a surge in COVID-19 cases that could overwhelm hospital capacity.

The NCMS will continue to work with the state, our partner health care societies and other entities to exhaust every avenue to secure PPE for North Carolina physicians.

Review Your Financial Options

On Monday two experts from the NCMS’ partner Smith Anderson held a call to review the various financial options available to you and your practice. We recorded the call so you can tap into the information provided. Listen here.

Robert Shaw, chair of Smith Anderson’s health care practice, and Peter Bosman, a partner in Smith Anderson’s Private Equity group, reviewed the menu of financial options provided thus far by the federal government and offered some strategic considerations as you may weigh the various programs. Topics covered in the hour-long call, in the following order, included:

  • An overview of the CARES Act and its two provisions of most interest to small businesses, the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL).
    • Payroll tax credits.
    • Medicare accelerated or advance payments and what private insurers are doing in this area. They also discussed the NC Department of Insurance and their ‘strongly worded encouragement’ to insurers to defer premium payment requirements to help ensure there is no lapse in coverage for beneficiaries.
    • The distinctions between permanent and temporary layoffs of staff and furloughs.
    • Obligations if you need to close your practice.
    • The Family First Act and its provisions.

Shaw and Bosman also answered questions submitted before the call. If you have a follow up question, you may email it to [email protected]. Watch for details on future calls to address other financial topics of concern to NCMS members as you respond to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

NCMS Joins in Urging Azar to Provide Financial Assistance to Physicians/PAs

The NCMS has signed on to a letter calling on US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to provide immediate financial assistance to physicians and PAs who are on the frontlines in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The letter recommends that “HHS provide immediate relief to ensure a sufficient physician workforce is available in this country now and throughout the pandemic. Specifically, we urge HHS to provide one month of revenue to each physician (MD or DO), nurse practitioner, and physician assistant enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid to account for financial losses and non-reimbursable expenses.” It goes on to outline exactly how to arrive at the amount and the mechanism by which to provide the reimbursement through the CARES Act.

Read the letter.

In the News

Dispatch from a Country Doctor: Seeing Patients Differently in the Time of Coronavirus, Kaiser Health News, 4-7-20

Learning/Well-being Opportunity

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Stanford Wellness is offering their ‘Fireside Chat’ series free. These 30-minute conversations offer strategies for coping and improving emotional health during crises with national experts, including Bryan Sexton, PhD, from Duke University.

To help maintain your well-being during this stressful period, access the fireside chat series below [this information is also posted on the NCMS’ Emotional Support resource page]:

  • Thursday, April 9 from 12:30 – 1 PM with Vic Strecher, PhD REGISTER HERE
    • Tuesday, April 14 from 12:30 – 1PM with Kim Cameron, PhD  REGISTER HERE
    • Thursday, April 16 from 12:30 – 1 PM with Al’ai Alvarez, MD, REGISTER HERE
    • Wednesday, April 22 from 12:30 – 1 PM with Robert Emmons, PhD REGISTER HERE
    • Tuesday, April 28 from 12:30 – 1PM with J.Bryan Sexton, PhD REGISTER HERE