NCMS Morning Rounds 10-16-20

Enjoy your Friday NCMS Morning Rounds!

Oct. 16,2020

COVID-19 Telehealth Updates

Earlier this week the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded the list of telehealth services that Medicare Fee-For-Service will pay for during the coronavirus Public Health Emergency (PHE). CMS is also providing additional support to state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) agencies in their efforts to expand access to telehealth.

CMS is adding 11 new services to the Medicare telehealth services list and will begin paying eligible practitioners who furnish these newly added telehealth services effective immediately, and for the duration of the PHE. These new telehealth services include certain neurostimulator analysis and programming services, and cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation services. The list of these newly added services is available here.

Between mid-March and mid-August 2020, over 12.1 million Medicare beneficiaries – over 36 percent – of people with Medicare Fee-For-Service have received a telemedicine service.

CMS also released a preliminary Medicaid and CHIP data snapshot on telehealth utilization during the PHE. This snapshot shows there have been more than 34.5 million services delivered via telehealth to Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries between March and June of this year, representing an increase of more than 2,600 percent when compared to the same period from the prior year. The data also shows adults ages 19-64 received the most services via telehealth, although there was substantial variance across both age groups and states. View the snapshot here.

To further drive telehealth, CMS added a new supplement to its State Medicaid & CHIP Telehealth Toolkit: Policy Considerations for States Expanding Use of Telehealth, COVID-19 Version providing numerous new examples and insights into lessons learned from states that have implemented telehealth changes. The updated supplemental information is intended to help states strategically think through how they explain and clarify to providers and other stakeholders which policies are temporary or permanent. It also helps states identify services that can be accessed through telehealth, which providers may deliver those services, the ways providers may use in order to deliver services through telehealth, as well as the circumstances under which telehealth can be reimbursed once the PHE expires.

The toolkit includes approaches and tools states can use to communicate with providers on utilizing telehealth for patient care. It updates and consolidates in one place the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and resources for states to consider as they begin planning beyond the temporary flexibilities provided in response to the pandemic.

Since the start of the pandemic, the NCMS has advocated for telehealth payment parity, and continues to offer a telehealth platform free of charge to all practices. Learn more about that platform, Presence, here. The NCMS also has compiled this useful grid showing the array of telehealth coverage policies for both public and private insurers. Access the grid here.

Roll Your #SleeveUp to #FightFlu

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in an effort to ensure everyone gets an annual flu shot is offering social media tools to help get the message out in your community. By increasing the number of people vaccinated, the goal is to reduce flu illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths this fall and winter, which can in turn help reduce the burden on our medical system and save medical resources for the care of COVID-19 patients.

Encourage your staff and patients to take a photo of them rolling up their sleeves for an annual flu vaccine and/or showing off a bandage after getting a flu vaccine and then sharing the photo on social media networks.

Access the social media toolkit here to help promote the flu vaccine.

Curi Announces Next CEO & Transition for Current CEO in 2021

Yesterday, Curi, longtime NCMS partner and administrator of the NCMS Employee Benefit Plan, announced the appointment of Jason Sandner as its next Chief Executive Officer. Sandner will take the helm on July 1, 2021, when current CEO Dale Jenkins steps down after more than 25 years of service to the member-owned company. Jenkins will continue to serve on Curi’s Board of Directors.

Sandner, who is currently Curi’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, was selected following a multi-month nationwide search led by Curi’s Board with the assistance of executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles. A senior executive with two decades of financial, operational, and managerial expertise, Sandner has managed the financial strategy of Curi and its affiliates, inclusive of its insurance and investment operations, for more than a decade—helping to grow the company to $1.2 billion in assets in partnership with Jenkins and Curi’s leadership team. Sandner also serves as a trustee on the NCMS Foundation Board of Trustees.

“We believe Jason Sandner will help the company deliver ever-greater success to our member community,” said NCMS Past President and Curi’s current Board Chair, Robert Schaaf, MD. “We looked for someone who has a passion for serving doctors and who believes in the vision and strategy we’re aggressively pursuing. Jason is an extremely capable leader, and our search process proved to us that he is the very best person to lead Curi into the future.”

Curi was founded as Medical Mutual Insurance Company in 1975 by NCMS physicians and today provides professional liability and other lines of insurance as well as wealth management and advisory services.

“It has been incredibly rewarding to be part of Curi’s growth and evolution over the years, especially alongside leaders like Dale and our physician colleagues on the Board,” said Sandner. “I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead the company and our team into this next phase of growth in support of our mission to help physicians in medicine, business, and life.”

In the News

Sleepless Nights, Hair Loss and Cracked Teeth: Pandemic Stress Takes Its Toll, Kaiser Health News, 10-15-20

Replay — Yesterday’s In the News feature had a typo in the headline. Here it is again:
Coronavirus Reinfections are Real, But Very, Very Rare, The New York Times, 10-13-20

Learning Opportunity

Senior executives from Duke Health, UNC Health and WakeMed Health & Hospitals will be on hand to answer questions at a free virtual town hall conversation about the state of health care in the Triangle Region on Tuesday, Oct. 27 from 1 to 2 p.m. The guests will discuss the state of health care in the Triangle, including an update on the COVID-19 pandemic. 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!


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