NCMS Morning Rounds 5-14-19

 It’s Tuesday and time for your

 NCMS Morning Rounds.

Celebrate National Women’s Health Week – May 13-18

This week marks the 20th Annual National Women’s Health Week, a reminder for women to make their health a priority and build positive health habits for life. The NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Women’s Health Branch has a link to resources on its website including the National Women’s Health Week online tool to help your patients take steps toward better health. Access the tool. The ’good health at every age’ checklist also is a useful item to share with patients.

You and your practice can participate this week by reviewing the resources the National Office of Women’s Health’s social media and promotional tools. Use #NWHW and #FindYourHealth in any social media messages you share.

New State Health Plan Contracts Sent

Last week the NC Department of Insurance approved the State Health Plan Network Participation Agreement, which will be used by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) to create a custom provider network for state health plan participants. BCBSNC is the plan’s third party administrator and contracts directly with health care providers to deliver medical services to State Health Plan members. You may have already received a contract to participate from BCBSNC, or will soon.

The new network is being developed as part of state Treasurer Dale Folwell’s Clear Pricing Project (CPP). Under this model, the State Health Plan will move away from commercial-based payment to reference-based pricing tied to Medicare rates. Health care providers will be reimbursed for their services at Medicare rates plus a percentage.
Practices have until June 30 to return the necessary documentation to be part of the State Health Plan Network, which will become operational on Jan. 1, 2020.

Meanwhile, HB184-Study State Health Plan Design, which would create a commission to study the design of the State Health Plan, offering the opportunity for an in-depth analysis to ensure future solvency of the plan while simultaneously striving to improve the health of every plan member, has moved to the NC Senate for consideration in the coming weeks.

If you have questions regarding contracting to care for State Health Plan members, please contact the State Health Plan directly at or 855-859-0966.

NCDHHS Encourages Measles Vaccinations

With multiple measles outbreaks occurring in the United States, the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) is encouraging preventive measures and reminding everyone that vaccination is the best way to protect against measles.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that 764 people from 23 states were confirmed to have measles from Jan. 1 to May 3, 2019. No cases of measles have been identified in North Carolina in 2019, however, outbreaks have recently been reported in Georgia and Tennessee.

“Measles is a highly contagious disease and it spreads quickly in children and adults who are not vaccinated,” said State Health Director and NCDHHS Chief Medical Officer Elizabeth Tilson, MD. “All North Carolinians should ensure they and their families are up-to-date on their MMR vaccine. The science is very clear; the MMR vaccine is highly effective, safe and readily available.”

Last week, the NC Division of Public Health sent a memo to clinicians across North Carolina with recommendations to rapidly identify measles cases and control the spread of infection. Measles can be prevented by the combination MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella. Public health experts recommend all children receive two doses of MMR vaccine, with the first dose beginning at 12 months of age and a booster at four to six years of age. Adults born in 1957 or later who have not already been vaccinated should get at least one dose of MMR vaccine. Certain adults should get two doses, including college students, health care workers and people who travel internationally. A second or “booster” dose is not routinely recommended for other adults who have received at least one dose of a measles vaccine.

In 2018, North Carolina reported three cases of measles. One case occurred in an unvaccinated traveler who became ill after returning from overseas, and the disease spread to other members of the household. The last large measles outbreak in North Carolina occurred in 2013, when 23 cases occurred after an unvaccinated traveler returned from India to a community with a low vaccination rate.

Learn more about measles.

In the News

In 2018 More Physicians Were Employed Than Independent, AMA Finds, The Advisory Board Forum, 5-9-19

Learning Opportunity

On Thursday, May 23 from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Durham County is offering ‘A Groundwater Approach to Racial Equity’ in which trainers use data and stories from a variety of sources to demonstrate the ongoing and pervasive impact of race. This research-based presentation focuses on six points essential to understanding the realities of systemic racism as a predictor of outcomes in all institutions. The session will be held at Marriott at Research Triangle Park, 4700 Guardian Drive, Durham. Learn more and register. Registration for this free event will close when the session is full.


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