NCMS Morning Rounds 3-24-20

It’s Tuesday and time for

your NCMS Morning Rounds!

  March 24, 2020

NCMS to Testify Before NC House COVID-19 Committee

This week, NCMS Board of Directors at-large member Eileen Raynor, MD, FACS, FAAP and NCMS Senior Vice President for Advocacy and Advancement Chip Baggett, JD, will testify on your behalf before the NC House Select Committee on COVID-19. The meeting will convene virtually.

Planned NCMS testimony will outline the perspectives we’ve been hearing from our physician and PA members working on the front lines of this pandemic to educate legislators about your experiences. The testimony also will outline both short and long-term actions legislators can take to provide resources and support to the health care community and ensure access to care for the people of North Carolina in response to this pandemic now and in the future.

The comprehensive overview that the NCMS will present includes what is needed by our members immediately like personal protective equipment and financial help to keep practices afloat when they are most needed to protect public health as well as enhanced ability to use telehealth and remove regulatory barriers to care for patients. The testimony also outlines larger, systemic changes necessary to protect patients and practices.

NCMS member Rep. Perrin Jones, MD (R-Pitt), is a member of this select committee and sits on its health care working group.

Watch your email inbox for updates on when the committee will meet and summary of the discussion.

NCMS Works Closely with Federal Partners As Well

Your NCMS also is working closely with our partners at the national level like the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Physicians Advocacy Institute to address the challenges you face in response to COVID-19.

Yesterday evening we sent an Action Alert to help you contact your congressional delegation to vote in favor of the federal stimulus package under consideration to help ensure access to personal protection equipment, telemedicine service payment parity and funding for all practices to remain viable.

The AMA has been very active on Capitol Hill advocating for additional funding to protect and support physician practices and waive certain regulations to allow for better access to care for patients. Here is a letter to the US House and Senate leadership from the major specialty groups outlining some of what the AMA is advocating for.

Coming Together as a Community

In this time of seemingly endless stress and bad news, there are also many examples of people coming together to help and support each other. For instance, last Sunday, Burke County Medical Society and Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge teamed up to offer free thermometers to the public, in part to combat the spread of COVID-19. Anyone who wanted a thermometer could go to one of several drive-through locations to receive one.

“One of the symptoms we screen for is temperature,” Gandhari Loomis, D.O., a family physician at Table Rock Family Medicine, former NCMS Community Practitioner Program (CPP) participant and president of the Burke County Medical Society, told the local newspaper. The thermometers are intended for any community member who does not have a working thermometer in their home.

Dr. Loomis said patients often say they have a temperature, but when asked for the recorded number, they respond: “I don’t know. I don’t have a thermometer.”

Kudos to the Burke County Medical Society for taking this step to help their community.

In the News

OPINION: Coronavirus Hero – Anthony Fauci is a Great Public Servant in a Time of Great Public Need, USA Today, 3-23-20

Learning Opportunity

Free webinar presented by the National Institute of Medicine and the American Public Health Association on “The Science of Social Distancing” on March 25 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. This first in a series of webinars titled ‘COVID-19 Conversations’ will review how COVID-19 is transmitted, historical lessons from past pandemics, the state of the science on social distancing, and the targeted and layered nature of how social distancing practices are enacted. Learn more and register.


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