Happy Friday! Enjoy your

NCMS Morning Rounds.

  June 12, 2020

Practice Reopening Considerations

As practices throughout the state encourage patients to once again seek care for non-emergent issues and routine check-ups, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released guidelines for practices and patients to safely reopen.

Read CMS’ facility guidelines and its guide for patients.

The NCMS, along with our partners the NC Medical Group Management Association and Curi, recently surveyed our members on what they are experiencing as they fully reopen. The results reveal that 69 percent of your responding colleagues had a least a few patients who expressed reluctance about scheduling an in-person visit. See a summary of the survey results here.

The NCMS Board of Directors have initiated a letter-to-the-editor campaign encouraging patients in their communities not to forego routine care. NCMS Immediate Past President Timothy J. Reeder, MD, MPH, FACEP recently had his letter published in his community newspaper, the Greenville Reflector. Read his letter.

Having good solid information on COVID-19 in North Carolina is key to successful planning and understanding the virus’ spread. The state recently announced that data from the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) COVID-19 dashboard is now downloadable and computable for your county or zip code and by demographics. You an learn more about these new functions and view the latest data here.

Another resource to consider as the state responds to the pandemic and practices reopen is this issue brief from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, “Health Equity Principles for State and Local Leaders in Responding to, Reopening and Recovering from COVID-19.” These principles are billed as “a compass that continually points leaders toward an equitable and lasting recovery.”

As an organization dedicated to ‘leadership in medicine,’ and to pursuing health equity, the NCMS seeks to provide the information and resources to empower you to make educated and thoughtful decisions.

NC Medical Board News

The latest issue of the NC Medical Board’s Forum newsletter has been published and includes several heartfelt messages from NCMB President Bryant A. Murphy, MD, MBA and NCMB CEO R. David Henderson, JD, responding to the recent national event, including the death of George Floyd and the unrest that followed.

Read these messages and all the NCMB’s news in the latest edition of the NCMB’s Forum here.

NCMS Urges Congress to Pass Provider Protections

The NCMS was among dozens of other state medical and specialty societies to sign on to a letter to Congressional leadership urging them to include liability protections for physicians in the next COVID-19 relief package. In particular, the letter praises the provisions included in a bipartisan bill, HR7059, the ‘Coronavirus Provider Protection Act.’

“During this unprecedented national health emergency, physicians and other health care professionals have been putting themselves at risk every day while facing shortages of medical supplies and safety equipment, and making critical medical decisions based on changing directives and guidance,” the letter states. “These physicians and other health care professionals are now facing the threat of years of costly litigation due to the extraordinary circumstances.”

The liability protections sought are intended to provide targeted and limited protections where health care services are provided or withheld in situations that may be beyond physician control. The protections extend to those who provide care in good faith during the COVID-19 public health emergency and not in situations of gross negligence or willful misconduct.

Read the full letter here.

In the News

The Biggest Psychological Experiment in History is Running Now, Scientific American, June 2020

Learning Opportunity

Don’t forget to tune into TODAY’S Power Hour from 1 to 2 p.m. to hear the medical student perspective on the response to COVID-19 and what it has meant to their medical education. Sign up here.

Also, on Monday, June 15 at 2 p.m. the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) Health Equity Commission will present ‘Lessons Learned from the Past: Addressing COVID-19 Disparities for a More Equitable Future.’ COVID-19 has shed a bright light on the deeply rooted inequities in our health system. Health equity experts, and SGIM colleagues will share why it is critical to address racial and ethnic disparities during this pandemic and how we can use this moment to advance health equity in a post-COVID future. Register to attend this webinar 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!