NCMS Morning Rounds 5-15-20

Happy Friday! Be well and enjoy your

NCMS Morning Rounds.

  May 15, 2020

State Offers List of COVID-19 Testing Sites

As the state seeks to ramp up testing and contact tracing for the COVID-19 virus, an updated list of testing sites throughout the state is now available. View the list to find locations in your county.

The NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) reiterated its guidance that anyone who is suspected of being infected with COVID-19 or has been exposed to someone with the virus should consider being tested. See the updated guidance issued on April 20 on the NCMS COVID-19 webpage.

Practice Resumption Resources

As the state eases some of the restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, some practices that suspended non-essential procedures or closed completely to stem the spread of the virus, may be looking for how best to resume services. A new AMA checklist provides helpful step-by-step guidance to manage the safe reopening of practices in a manner that protects patients, clinicians, staff and the public. Learn more and download the checklist here.

On the NCMS COVID-19 webpage, we have compiled specialty specific information on resuming practice operations. Access those resources by visiting our COVID-19 webpage and scrolling down to the ‘Resources as You Reopen’ heading.

NC MedAssist Meets Critical Need

NC MedAssist, founded in 1997 by several NCMS members in Mecklenburg County, is the only free mail-order pharmacy serving all 100 counties in NC. Although best known for its mobile pharmacy events where volunteers distribute over-the-counter (OTC) medicine in impoverished communities, this organization’s primary focus is their Free Pharmacy Program. With the COVID-19 pandemic causing massive unemployment and oftentimes accompanying loss of health insurance, this program is critical now more than ever.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, NC MedAssist has restructured their services to be more digitally available. They have added their enrollment application online, as well as transitioned their Free Over-the-Counter Store (located in Charlotte) into a curbside pick-up retail pharmacy with online ordering available. They have also extended re-certification deadlines for current patients who may need additional time to gather their required documentation. For those who may suddenly need assistance, the enrollment process is now available online. Patients may enroll in the Free Pharmacy Program here.

You can refer patients to the NC MedAssist website or have them call 1(866)331-1348 to learn more about the program and whether they qualify for assistance.

Other actions you can take to increase awareness of the Free Pharmacy Program and connect those in need with NC MedAssist’s services include:
• Share NC MedAssist social media posts within your network. Find them at Facebook: @NCMEDASSIST or Linked In.
• Schedule a Mobile Free Pharmacy Drive-Thru event or an OTC Medicine Drop. For more information contact Kinzie Luce, event manager at 704-350-3574 or at
• Consider a donation to the NC MedAssist COVID-19 Crisis Fund to ensure the necessary funds to continue to serve the influx of patients due to loss of jobs or insurance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more and donate.

Last year, NC MedAssist served 18,805 patients and dispensed 229,805 prescriptions valued at $68 million dollars to low-income, uninsured individuals throughout North Carolina. Once enrolled in the Free Pharmacy Program, prescription medication is mailed directly to the patient’s home, usually providing a 90 day supply.

In the News

Telehealth is Having ‘a Moment’ Amid COVID-19. Will It Last?, The Advisory Board Forum, 5-13-20

Learning Opportunity

Two important weekly learning opportunities are taking place today, Friday, May 15:

The NCMS Foundation’s Kanof Institute for Physician Leadership Power Hour from 1 to 2 p.m. will focus on the NC Medical Board’s response to COVID-19. Learn more and join the conversation.

The NC Division of Public Health subject matter experts will be on hand to answer your questions in its weekly Friday Forum from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Please send your questions to And tune in via Zoom here. Or call in at +1-646-558-8656 and enter ID number 705979628#


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