Happy Thursday! Enjoy your NCMS Morning Rounds.

August 19, 2021

Join Us for Our Lifestyle Medicine Summit, Sept. 24-25

As part of the NCMS’ Healthy NC initiative, we will be hosting a Lifestyle Medicine Summit as part of the NCMS Foundation’s Community Practitioner Program Annual Meeting on Sept. 24-25. Watch your email for registration details coming shortly. This educational opportunity has been approved for a total of 9.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.

The purpose of this summit is to provide an introduction to Healthy NC and build knowledge and awareness around Lifestyle Medicine as a branch of medicine that, based on extensive research, focuses on lifestyle factors in the prevention, treatment and reversal of diseases. The two-day virtual meeting includes prominent health care policy experts and Lifestyle Medicine practitioners discussing this innovative approach to medicine.

To learn more about Lifestyle Medicine be sure to check out the feature in our summer issue of the NCMS Bulletin here.


This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essentials and Standards of theNorth Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) through the joint providership of the Southern Regional AHEC and the NCMS. The Southern Regional AHEC is accredited by the NCMS to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

CME Credit Statement

The Southern Regional AHEC designates this live activity for a maximum of 9.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s) ™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Additional Credit

Other health professionals will receive Southern Regional AHEC CEU and/or contact hours and a certificate 
of attendance from an AMA PRA Category 1 ™ activity. These certificates are accepted by the NC boards for 
physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurses. License requirements are subject to change. Southern 
Regional AHEC recommends that participants contact their licensing board with specific questions. Southern 
Regional AHEC will provide 1.0 Continuing Education Units (9.75 contact hours) to participants upon 
completion of this activity.

Disclosure Statement

The Southern Regional AHEC adheres to ACCME Essential Areas and Policies regarding industry support of continuing medical education. Disclosures of faculty/planning committee members and commercial relationships will be made known at the activity. Speakers are also expected to openly disclose a discussion of any off-label, experimental, or investigational use of drugs or devices in their presentations.

HHS Renews COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Declaration 

On July 20, Xavier Becerra, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), issued a 90-day renewal of the existing COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). The renewal is largely procedural in nature given that the Biden Administration has previously indicated they anticipate the PHE to continue through the end of 2021. The PHE was first declared on January 27, 2020, and has been subsequently renewed six times since that date. The PHE provides HHS with the ability to waive a host of existing regulations given the extraordinary circumstances physicians face. Most of these waivers terminate with the end of the PHE, though it remains to be seen which the Biden Administration will choose to continue, eliminate, or otherwise modify. Many of these decisions, such as those related to flexibilities provided for telehealth services, will require Congressional action to be extended or made permanent. A full list of 1135 waivers from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) can be found here.

While CMS has finalized the extension of certain telehealth flexibilities through the end of the year in which the PHE ends (and proposed extensions until the end of CY 2023 in the 2022 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule), there remains a gap in the ability to provide telemedicine services using audio-only technology and appropriate reimbursements for these services. Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI) continues to advocate for physicians in private practice to be allowed to permanently use telehealth technologies to engage with their existing patients when access to facilities is limited or care can be delivered remotely. The reimbursement for this care should be equitable with face-to-face care reimbursement.

Public Listening Opportunity: Wave 4 Clinician Expert Workgroup Service Assignment and Refinement (SAR) Webinars

CMS has contracted with Acumen, LLC to develop episode-based cost measures for their potential use in the cost performance category of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). As part of Wave 4 of measure development, Acumen convenes Clinician Expert Workgroups (“workgroups”) to provide input on all components of cost measure specifications.

Acumen is hosting part-day virtual Service Assignment and Refinement (SAR) Webinars August 23 – September 1, 2021, that will be open to the public with a listen-only option. Stakeholders and members of the public are invited to listen in on the considerations that inform cost measure development. Please share this message with anyone you believe may be interested.

The dates and times for the SAR Webinars are listed below. To register, please click on the webinar(s) you’re interested in attending:

Information about the measure development process and development activities (including this process summary document) undertaken in previous years is on the MACRA Feedback Page.

If you have any questions about measure development, the Wave 4 workgroups, or the workgroup meetings, please contact Acumen at [email protected].

In the News

‘Not The Old Classic Symptoms’: What Early Evidence Reveals About Delta Variant Symptoms, Advisory Board, 8-17-21

Learning Opportunity

Back Porch Chat: Medicaid Managed Care Hot Topics, Thursday, August 19 | 5:30-7 PM

Hosted by Shannon Dowler, MD, Chief Medical Officer of the NC Division of Health Benefits, this 90-minute session welcomes each of the Chief Medical Officers of North Carolina’s five Medicaid Managed Care plans to bring you late breaking information and guidance on NC Medicaid’s transition to Managed Care. Topics covered will include:

  • Updates on Hot Topics
  • Data Overview for Call Center & NEMT
  • Common Claim Issues
  • Common Reasons for Prior Authorization Denials
  • Q & A

Register here.


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