Morning Rounds for July 27, 2020

Welcome to a new week and your NCMS Morning Rounds!

  July 27, 2020

This week, regular NCMS Morning Rounds editor, Elaine Ellis, is on vacation. In her absence, other NCMS staff members will serve as guest editors for the remainder of the week. Enjoy this opportunity to get different perspectives on our work.

NCMS Legislative Update: First Virtual Town Hall Forum

Tonight, Monday, July 27 from 6 to 7 p.m. please join us for an opportunity to engage with the only two physician legislators currently serving in the NC General Assembly in our first ever virtual Town Hall Forum.

NCMS members Rep. Perrin Jones, MD (R-Pitt) and Rep. Kristin Baker, MD (R-Cabarrus) will answer your questions and share their health policy perspectives.

Register here to participate.

Please submit questions or topics you would like the legislators to address to NCMS Director of Legislative Relations Sue Ann Forrest, MPA, at prior to the meeting.

Volunteering for COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Trials

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is among six study locations for a COVID-19 vaccine Phase 3 clinical trial. The vaccine in this trial has been developed by Moderna, a research and vaccine development company based in Massachusetts. The six sites in North Carolina are among 87 nationally, according to information from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Eligible volunteers for the trial must be over 18, are at appreciable risk of acquiring COVID-19, not pregnant or planning to become pregnant and are healthy or with a stable pre-existing health condition. Those who have a known history of COVID-19 infection or are immuno-compromised are not eligible to participate. The trial is slated to officially begin today, July 27 and conclude at the end of October. Learn more about this clinical trial and it eligibility criteria here.

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a volunteer through UNC, email them at, or call (919) 966-6712.

Telehealth Impact – What is Your Practice’s Experience?

The COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition Telehealth Workgroup, made up by the American Medical Association (AMA), American Telemedicine Association (ATA), Digital Medical Society (DiMe), MassChallenge Health Tech, Mayo Clinic and MITRE Corporation, is asking for your input on its Telehealth Impact Study.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a significant shift towards telehealth. The goal of this study is to learn more about your experience with telehealth to identify the challenges and barriers, as well as the benefits. Your confidential response will help inform additional resources needed across the industry and health care community, provide insights to federal and state policymakers, and identify gaps in current research.

The survey will take about 15 to 20 minutes to complete. The deadline is Aug. 13.


In the News

Why Your Patients Are Still Avoiding Care (And What You Can Do About It), The Advisory Board Forum, 7-22-20

Learning Opportunities

[Editor’s note: So many worthwhile educational sessions are planned these days that we have expanded this section to include more than one opportunity to learn.]

TODAY, Monday July 27 from 3 to 4 p.m. the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will conduct an informational webcast for Medicaid providers applying for Provider Relief Funds (PRF). Learn more about the application process and deadlines for the PRF. Learn more and register here.

The Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy invites you to a webinar on TOMORROW Tuesday, July 28 from 3 to 4:45 pm featuring state health care leaders including NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Secretary Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH; NCMS Strategic Planning Officer Karen L. Smith, MD, FAAFP; Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Rahul Rajkumar, MD, and Executive Vice President and President of Diagnostics, LabCorp Brian Caveney, MD, JD, MPH among others.

Discussion will focus on opportunities to enable health care resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Speakers will address public and private policies enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic that resulted in widespread and massive changes to health care delivery, what payers and health care providers perceive to be working well, and what additional changes are needed for the future. Participants will discuss strategic considerations for health care resilience as we move toward a “new normal” in a dramatically changed health care and economic landscape.

The full agenda and registration link are available here.

NC AHEC is offering a 30-minute Lunch and Learn webinar on Aug. 14 from noon to 12:30 to introduce participants to STop UNhealthy (STUN) Alcohol Use Now. In this project, AHEC practice support coaches will work with primary care practices to implement screening, brief interventions and treatment or referral for patients who engage in risky drinking or have an alcohol use disorder. Alcohol is the 3rd leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., and primary care providers can make a difference in outcomes for their patients. Learn more and register here.


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