Happy Friday! Enjoy your NCMS Morning Rounds!

  August 14, 2020

Get Ready for the NCMS Election!

Voting for NCMS leadership begins on Oct. 1 and to insure you are able to cast your ballot we ask you to please make sure you have paid your 2020 membership dues and we have your most recent email address on file. Voting to fill positions on the NCMS Board of Directors, AMA delegation and Nominating and Leadership Development Committee is electronic via email. For those without email access, we will mail a paper ballot.

You can easily renew your membership here. If you need to update your email address, please send it to our membership services department here.

The electronic ‘polls’ will open on Oct. 1 and you will receive a secure ballot via email to complete by Oct. 15 when the balloting will end and those elected will be announced at the NCMS Annual Business Meeting.

The NCMS’ Nominating and Leadership Development Committee put forth the following slate of candidates:

Board of Directors
President Elect: Mike Utecht, MD
Secretary Treasurer: John Meier, IV, MD
Region 3 Representative: Karen Smith, MD
Region 4 Representative: Rachel Keever, MD
At-Large Member: Eileen Raynor, MD
At-Large Member: Bryant Murphy, MD

American Medical Association Delegation
Delegate: Hadley Callaway, MD
Delegate: William Bowman, MD
Delegate: Darlyne Menscer, MD
Delegate: Liana Puscas, MD
Alternate Delegate: Rebecca Hayes, MD

Nominating & Leadership Development Committee
Region 1: Chris Grubb, MD
Region 1: Jugta Kahai, MD
Region 2: Justin Hurie, MD
Region 4: Gregory Evans, MD

According to the NCMS Bylaws, component societies, specialty societies, and sections may submit additional nominations for these positions by the end of the day today, Aug. 14, 2020. Please use this form to submit nominations. For questions on the nominating process, contact Evan Simmons. The final slate of candidates will be published by Sept. 24.

Governor Extends Immunization Requirement Deadline for School, Day Care

Earlier this week Governor Roy Cooper issues an Executive Order extending, but not waiving, the proof of immunization deadline for schools and child-care facilities. The extension is in recognition of difficulties some families may face due to the COVID-19 pandemic in getting in to see their doctor to receive the required vaccines and health assessments.

Typically, proof of required immunizations and health assessments are required within 30 days of the first date of school attendance. After that, children are excluded from school until the family provides documentation of the requirements. This year, the 30-day “grace period” for all students will begin on Oct. 1. The requirements apply to children who are home-schooled, attend school in-person or by remote learning.

The requirements are listed on the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) website according to school or grade level, as well as the requirements for young children who attend child care facilities. NCDHHS’ Immunization Branch offers comprehensive guidance on immunization recommendations, as well as advice for families on navigating access issues during COVID-19.

The Vaccines for Children (VFC) program offers free vaccines to families who cannot afford to pay for their children’s vaccines (through 19 years of age), and federal law requires most private insurance plans including Medicaid to cover recommended preventive services such as vaccinations at no out-of-pocket cost.

NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH stressed the importance of meeting the requirements.

“With kids headed back to school and flu season right around the corner, it’s more important than ever this year for all North Carolinians to get their recommended immunizations,” she said. “Childhood immunizations keep kids safe and protect public health by lowering the likelihood of an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease like measles.”

The Executive Order and a State Health Director Memo issued by State Health Director Elizabeth Tilson, MD, MPH will extend, but not waive, North Carolina’s current proof-of-immunization requirement deadlines for students enrolled in public, private or religious educational institutions, including child care facilities and K-12 schools as well as colleges and universities. The Executive Order also extends the deadline for each child entering a North Carolina public school for the first time to submit a school health assessment.

Accelerate for Value Deadline TODAY + Federal Relief Fund Deadline

Today, Friday, Aug. 14, is the deadline for primary care practices that want to join the Blue Cross and Blue Shield NC’s Accelerate to Value program.

Independent practices that join the program will receive approximately $48 per attributed life in 2020 (all Blue Cross NC commercial products with the exception of the State Health Plan and Blue Cross NC MA are included). Practices approved for participation will receive these funds (likely in late August- early September) and will not have to pay any of this payment back as long as they remain independent through 2022.

Those independent primary care practices that choose to remain in the Accelerate to Value Program beyond 2020 must sign up with a Blue Premier ACO by Dec. 31 and will continue in the Accelerate to Value Program receiving additional payments to “true up” revenue in 2021, assuming COVID-19 continues to impact patient volume.

Learn more and apply here.

Reminder: Two weeks from now, Friday, Aug. 28, is the deadline for federal relief for those practices that bill Medicare, Medicaid or CHIP and have experienced lost revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to reimburse claims for testing and treatment of uninsured patients diagnosed with the coronavirus. The funding can be up to 2 percent of patient revenue. You can apply for this funding even if you received a previous disbursement.

Learn more and apply here.

In the News

CDC Issues Dire Warning for the Fall If Coronavirus Measures Are Not Followed, CNN, 8-13-20

Learning Opportunity

Mark your calendar for next Friday, Aug. 21, Kanof Institute for Physician Leadership Power Hour from 1 to 2 p.m. when we will continue our ongoing discussion around racism in the United States and what we can do as individuals, as a health care community and as a medical society to address racial injustice and health inequities. Join your colleagues and our guests, who are focused on change at all levels to address health inequities and disparities, as we grapple with these issues. Learn more and register here.

The KIPL Power Hour aims to provide a forum for ongoing conversation, collaboration and community. Tune in to Power Hour weekly to hear from different experts, decision makers and influencers on a variety of topics. The format is informal and conversational and sessions are easy to access through Zoom. Power Hours will be recorded and made available to you through your NCMS Morning Rounds and on the KIPL webpage.