NCMS Morning Rounds 4-21-21

Enjoy your Wednesday NCMS Morning Rounds.

April 21, 2021

Be Aware: Disseminated Gonococcal Infections Rise Dramatically

This week, state public health officials issued a health alert on a 173 percent increase in disseminated gonococcal infections (DGI) reported in the state. State officials have called this a significant infection with major impacts and want to be sure that physicians and PAs in urgent cares, primary care practices and emergency departments are aware and can spot it early.

DGI occurs when the sexually transmitted pathogen Neisseria gonorrhoeae invades the bloodstream and spreads to distant sites in the body, leading to clinical findings such as septic arthritis, polyarthralgia, tenosynovitis, petechial/pustular skin lesions, bacteremia, or, on rare occasions, endocarditis or meningitis.

Learn more in this memo from the NC Department of Health and Human Services Communicable Disease Branch.

Blue Cross NC Extends Pandemic Telehealth Policy Through 2021

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s current telehealth policy will remain in place through the end of 2021. After expanding virtual coverage last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state’s largest commercial insurer saw its members’ telehealth usage increase by more than 7,500 percent in 2020, according to a recent press release from the company.

The extended telehealth policy covers doctor visits by video or phone and reimbursement will be the same as for in-person visits. The policy applies to all Blue Cross NC commercial plans and Medicare Advantage plans offered and administered by Blue Cross NC. Members of the Federal Employee Program (FEP) have telehealth covered at parity with in-person visits until further notice. The extended policy does not apply to Blue Cross NC members getting care from out-of-state providers, or members of other Blue Cross Blue Shield plans receiving care in North Carolina.

Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Maternal Health Services

As part of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Initiative to Improve Maternal Health launched in December, the HHS Office of Minority Health created a new, free and accredited e-learning program to help clinicians and staff deliver services that respect a patient’s culture and language preferences.

Learn how to improve your quality of care by understanding, respecting, and responding to a patient’s experiences, values, and beliefs.

In the News

What’s the right way to sneeze in a face mask? Advisory Board, 4-19-21

Learning Opportunity

NC Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology Society 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting, May 21-23
This educational activity will update attendees on the latest medical knowledge available from medical literature, clinical experience and research, to keep practitioners on the
forefront of new discoveries and their application to the practice of AAI for the benefit of their patients.

Learn more here.
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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