Halfway through the week and time for your NCMS Morning Rounds.

  August 26, 2020

NCMS Board Adopts New Policies

At its meeting Monday evening, your NCMS Board of Directors unanimously adopted policies around maternal and infant health as well as hospital medical staff bylaws.

The NCMS Policy Committee formed a special work group to review existing NCMS policies around infant and maternal health and compare recommendations included in the NCIOM Perinatal System of Care Task Force’s final report and the state’s Perinatal Health Strategic Plan. The workgroup found significant overlap existed in policies and recommendations from each organization and was ultimately able to synthesize and simplify the recommendations into one comprehensive policy document addressing maternal and infant health. Review the background and resulting policies here.

After review of the legal and regulatory issues impacting hospital bylaws, current hospital bylaws from facilities across the state, and position statements from the AMA and other state medical societies, the NCMS’ Hospital Medical Staff Task Force recommended a new policy statement. The Board adopted this recommended policy, which emphasizes the need for each medical staff to have flexibility when determining the appropriate composition, voting rights and structure necessary to promote the highest quality patient care based upon the facility’s unique needs and local circumstances. Read the background and resulting policy statement here.

State Health Plan Reopens Network Enrollment

The State Health Plan recently announced that it will be reopening the NC State Health Plan Network for new medical providers to join. Medical providers will have from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, 2020, to sign up. Providers who join will be included in the network effective Jan. 1, 2021.

The NC State Health Plan Network, which went live Jan. 1, 2020, currently consists of more than 25,000 providers who signed on to the new network last year as part of the Plan’s Clear Pricing Project (CPP). Under the CPP, physicians and PAs in the Network will be reimbursed at Medicare rates plus an average of 60 percent.

If you have questions, you may call Blue Cross NC Provider Relations at 800-777-1643. All other questions can be sent via email to [email protected]. For additional information please visit the Plan’s website. This will be the same website providers will visit once the window opens Sept. 15, 2020, to start the sign up process.

Tell Your Legislator If Your Practice Needs Assistance

The NCMS has requested a $50 million appropriation from the NC General Assembly to offer financial assistance to independent medical practices throughout the state. If your practice has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, please tell your legislator.

When the General Assembly reconvenes in September, the NCMS’ request will likely be considered, so please share with your elected representatives how this pandemic has affected your patient volume, staffing levels and other ways the situation may be making it hard for you to make ends meet.

To help you, we have an Action Alert message that will automatically send to the appropriate legislators. Please feel free to add details or anecdotes specific to your practice. Take Action here.

In the News

Florida’s Cautionary Tale: How Gutting and Muzzling Public Health Fueled COVID Fire, Kaiser Health News, 8-24-20

Learning Opportunity

The National Academy of Medicine and American Public Health Association’s ongoing COVID-19 Conversations webinar series offers information on ‘Returning to K-12 Education: Using Science to Keep Children, Teachers and Staff Safe.’ Watch the recorded session from Aug. 12 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!