NCMS Morning Rounds 5-22-20

Enjoy the unofficial start of summer and your  NCMS Morning Rounds.

  May 22, 2020

In observance of the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, May 25, the NCMS Morning Rounds will not be published. Thank you to all who serve our country today and have served in the past. Hope you have a restful and meaningful Memorial Day!

NCMS Monitoring Dozens of Legislative Bills Filed

Yesterday afternoon was the deadline for legislators to file legislation to be considered during this short – and unusual — session. A flurry of proposals were officially filed including several that your NCMS advocacy staff are watching closely. We routinely monitor dozens of bills that may impact your practice and the health of North Carolinians and have provided brief summaries of those filed this week on our legislative blog. Review those summaries here.

We’re paying particular attention to SB808 – Medicaid Transformation Necessities, which, among other provisions, delays implementation of the planned transformation of the state’s Medicaid program to managed care until Jan. 1, 2021. The proposal also would appropriate funds for the operation of the NC Medicaid program, however, it does not give any funding amounts at this point. This is consistent with other Senate appropriation bills filed this week, which reflect legislators’ priorities without actual dollar amounts due to the uncertainty around revenue and the state’s needs due to the ongoing pandemic.

Another bill of note is Rep. Cecil Brockman’s (D-Mecklenburg) proposal, HB1103 – Access to Affordable Health Coverage for All. This bill would create access to health insurance through the federal Health Benefits Exchange for individuals in the coverage gap. The proposed program would be modeled after the federal refundable premium tax credit for purchasing health insurance on the Exchange.

We are encouraged by Rep. Brockman’s proposal as a potentially bipartisan approach to increasing access to health care coverage, long one of our legislative priorities. The NCMS has been working diligently for years in support of a previous proposal – HB655 – NC Health Care for Working Families. We look forward to bringing people together to advance legislation to increase access to care.

Stay tuned to our NCMS legislative blog, our weekly Political Pulse video and your NCMS Morning Rounds for updates from the General Assembly.

NCMS Delivers More PPE

NCMS staff were pleased to provide two eastern NC practices with needed personal protective equipment (PPE) this week. Lumberton Children’s Clinic and Robeson Pediatrics, both part of the NCMS Foundation’s Community Practitioner Program (CPP) providing health care to vulnerable populations in underserved areas of the state, were grateful to receive the equipment in order to continue to serve their communities during the pandemic.

The NCMS is working through many channels to help all our members secure necessary PPE as practices have grappled with the many challenges in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, we have organized a group purchasing effort, and we worked with Carolina Complete Health (CCH) and its subsidiary Carolina Complete Health Network to distribute PPE to primary care practices in North Carolina. The PPE was obtained by Centene and shipped directly to NCMS and CCH staff for distribution to those CPP practices in need. We are grateful for this work, as we continue to do everything within our capabilities to mitigate the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our community.

NCMS CEO Thanks YOU for Carrying Forward the NCMS’ Mission

NCMS Executive Vice President and CEO Robert W. Seligson, MBA, MA, wants you to know how much he appreciates all you have been doing to address the health care needs of your patients and the public during this unprecedented time. He also wants you to know that the NCMS is carrying forward its long-standing mission to help you protect and improve the health of all North Carolinians. Watch this brief video, as he delivers his heartfelt message.

In the News

Hallucinations, ‘COVID Toes’ and More: The Emerging Symptoms of COVID-19, The Advisory Board Forum, 5-20-20

Learning Opportunity

REMINDER: Don’t miss today’s NCMS Foundation Kanof Institute for Physician Leadership POWER HOUR beginning at 1 p.m. Today the focus will be on ‘New Human Resource Challenges Arising during COVID-19 and How to Address Them.’ Learn more and register here.

Also, please note that NCMS Past President Robert Monteiro, MD, will be participating in a live webcast on a Baltimore area radio show, ‘Good Mental Health with Dr. Linda McGhee’ from 1 to 2 p.m. today. The topic will be ‘Moving Forward: How to Protect Yourself from COVID-19 and the Impact of Racial Disparities.’ Listen live here.

The NCMS Morning Rounds newsletter is published each weekday to provide our physician and PA members with information and resources to help you improve the health of North Carolinians. If you have feedback on how we can do better or information you’d like to see included, please simply reply to this email. 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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