Happy Monday! Enjoy your NCMS Morning Rounds.

September 13, 2021

Legislative Update

It was a short and relatively uneventful week at the General Assembly last week as budget negotiations continue and we continue to advocate for our NCMS budget priorities. We expect to see a final budget document toward the end of September.

One item of note last week involves a letter to key legislators from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC voicing support for SB249/HB277 the SAVE Act. The NCMS opposes this legislation, which would grant independent practice to advance practice nurses. We have re-distributed our SAVE ACT Opposition Letter September 2021 describing our — and many other specialty and county societies’ — opposition. See more on this issue in the following article in this newsletter.

As a reminder, if you would like to reach out to your legislator about this, or any, health care hot topic, we are happy to arrange a meeting for you with your legislator. Register for a White Coat Wednesday (WCW)—or any day that works best for you and your legislator.

BCBSNC Issues Letter in Support of SAVE Act

To keep you fully informed about our work on your behalf at the NC General Assembly, we are sharing a letter Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC sent to legislative leadership voicing support for SB249/HB277 the SAVE Act. The NCMS opposes this proposed legislation, which would grant independent practice to ‘advanced practice registered nurses.’ The NCMS along with a large group of specialty and county medical societies have consistently opposed the SAVE Act, and, in response to Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s letter, again reminded legislative leaders, chairs of the House and Senate Health Committees and other key legislators of our opposition. Read our sign-on letter here. If your specialty or county society is not yet included on this letter, please reach out to NCMS Director of Legislative Relations Sue Ann Forrest, MPA, to be included.

We continue to engage with and educate legislators on our position and will be sure to let you know if we need you, our NCMS members, to reach out directly to your representatives on this issue.

Read BCBSNC’s letter here.

Biden-Harris Administration to Expand Vaccination Requirements for Health Care Settings

The Biden-Harris Administration will require COVID-19 vaccination of staff within all Medicare and Medicaid-certified facilities to protect both them and patients from the virus and its more contagious Delta variant.  Facilities across the country should make efforts now to get health care staff vaccinated to make sure they are in compliance when the rule takes effect.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), announced that emergency regulations requiring vaccinations for nursing home workers will be expanded to include hospitals, dialysis facilities, ambulatory surgical settings, and home health agencies, among others, as a condition for participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The decision was based on the continued and growing spread of the virus in health care settings, especially in parts of the U.S. with higher incidence of COVID-19.

Read the full CMS Special Bulletin (PDF) here.

In the News

‘What the Health?’: The Future of Public Health, KHN, 9-9-21

Learning Opportunity

AMPAC CAMPAIGN SCHOOL (Virtual), December 4-5 and 11-12, 2021, 10:00am – 4:00pm ET

Recognized as one of the top programs in the country, this comprehensive program will mold you into a winning political strategist and help you elect friends of medicine. The Campaign School is renowned for its use of a simulated campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives, complete with demographics, voting statistics and candidate biographies.

Learn more and register 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!