Happy Monday! Here is your

NCMS Morning Rounds.

  June 22, 2020

NCMS Legislative Update

The flurry of activity at the NC General Assembly last week makes our NCMS advocacy team think that the end of this session is near. Many bills moved and the ones that could impact your practice are updated regularly here on our legislative blog.

Here are several bills we’d like to highlight:

SB730—No Patient Left Alone was passed in the Senate and now moves on to the House for consideration. This proposal provides hospital visitation rights that would not be impacted during declared disasters and public health emergencies. The bill states that a hospital would provide the opportunity for at least one visitor per patient subject to the guidelines, conditions and limitations of the normal visitation policy. It remains to be seen if the House will take up this proposal and, if so, what changes if any would be made. Watch the blog for updates.

SB808—Medicaid Funding Act will be considered in the House this week. If passed, the ‘go live’ date for the state’s move to Medicaid managed care would be July 1, 2021. We’re watching this closely.

HB1105 – COVID/Supplementary GREAT Grant Period is one of several broadband proposals under consideration this session. While this is not directly related to health care, but because of the importance of telemedicine for you and your patients, particularly during this pandemic, broadband access is crucial. We are carefully tracking these bills.

You may not expect us to be tracking an education and transportation bond bill, however, HB1125 – WSSU/Online Education/CARES Act Funds contains a provision that would provide funding for a new Brody School of Medicine facility. As this bill was under consideration in the House, two Pitt County representatives, Rep. Kandie Smith and NCMS member Rep. Perrin Jones, MD, both recognized the Brody medical students who were present for the discussion as they were participating in the NCMS’ White Coat Wednesday. NCMS’ Immediate Past President Timothy Reeder, MD, MPH, FACEP has been instrumental in engaging medical students in the NCMS and its advocacy efforts. If you would like to make a difference, please consider signing up for a White Coat Wednesday, which is now available virtually. Learn more and sign up here.

NC Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH also appeared before the House Health Committee to answer committee members’ questions about the state’s response to COVID-19. Read a summary of the meeting and see the Secretary’s presentation here.

If the General Assembly completes its business this week, it is likely they will be back later in the summer, especially if Congress allocates more money for COVID-19 relief.

NCMS Joins NCHA and NC Chamber in COVID-19 Message

Last Friday the NCMS issued a joint statement with the NC Chamber and the North Carolina Healthcare Association (NCHA) calling on all North Carolinians to be united in voluntarily practicing CDC-recommended behaviors to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, including wearing a face covering when in public or high-risk indoor group settings, practicing social distancing and washing hands often.

The unified message urged the public to follow public health guidance “so that the state can move forward toward full economic recovery.” The statement emphasized that “we can relaunch our economy and protect our health simultaneously.”

Read the full statement, which was distributed to statewide media here.

ICYMI: The Latest NCMS Community Conversation

The next in our series focused on NCMS members’ reflections on timely topics features longtime NCMS member Harry Gallis, MD. Dr. Gallis is an infectious disease specialist, who has an interesting perspective on the current pandemic.

Read the NCMS Community Conversation with Dr. Gallis.

If you have some thoughts on a topic you’d like to share with your colleagues, please contact Elaine Ellis, [email protected].

In the News

Patients Are Still Avoiding Medical Care. This Time It’s Not Just About Coronavirus Fears, The Advisory Board Forum, 6-18-20

Learning Opportunity

Launching Into Telehealth 2020’ is a virtual conference being co-hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center (MATRC) and the Northeast Telehealth Resource Center (NETRC) over the next three Fridays, June 26, July 10 and July 17 as an alternative to the annual in-person events due to COVID-19.

The pandemic has resulted in a massive and rapid increase in the need for telehealth implementation across the globe, to maintain access to care while physically distancing to protect public health. This virtual event will benefit anyone interested in telehealth and will help your practice ramp up quickly. Learn more and register here.

BONUS opportunity

“The Talk”. You may be familiar with the phrase, ‘the talk,’ referring to a conversation Black parents have with their kids about how to act in the world around white people, especially law enforcement.

Given recent events, Playwright and performer Sonny Kelly’s one-person show, “The Talk,” is available to stream until July 10. This one-and-a-half hour production examines the difficult conversation a father must have with his son in a racially-divided America.
Watch 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!