NCMS Morning Rounds 7-9-20

Welcome to Thursday and your

NCMS Morning Rounds.

  July 9, 2020

NC Medicaid to Continue Enhanced Rates

NC Medicaid Deputy Secretary Dave Richard announced yesterday that it “is both necessary and feasible to continue” the enhanced reimbursement rates that were temporarily put in place due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While NC Medicaid will continue to evaluate the situation, Richard anticipates the enhanced rates will remain in place through September 2020.

The purpose of the continuation of these rates into the state’s new fiscal year, which began July 1, is to help ensure Medicaid beneficiaries continue to receive Medicaid and NC Health Choice services with no interruptions or delays due to COVID-19, Richard said. Read the announcement here.

The enhanced reimbursement rates include medical home per member per month payments. Review all current Medicaid fee schedules here.

More COVID-19 Testing in Underserved Communities

In an effort to reach those who may not have easy access to a medical practice, the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) announced it will launch 300 free testing sites in underserved communities. This targeted testing initiative seeks to confront historical health disparities by increasing access to no-cost COVID-19 testing for African American, Latinx/Hispanic and American Indian communities across the state, the NCDHHS announcement said. Read the full announcement here.

A disproportionately high percentage of North Carolina’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 have occurred among historically marginalized populations. Mounting evidence shows the members of these populations experience higher rates of COVID-19 mortality and serious complications, NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH, has said.

Throughout July, the 300 temporary testing sites, which will include both drive-thru and walk-up sites, will increase testing capacity in more than 100 ZIP codes statewide. NCDHHS anticipates providing testing access for 2.2 million African American, Latinx/Hispanic and American Indian individuals.

Communities were selected based on low testing capacity and high African American, Latinx/Hispanic and/or American Indian populations. Higher concentration of elderly populations with multiple chronic conditions and higher rates of construction and seasonal farm work were also factors.

Two vendors have been identified to begin this work, Vidant Health and Orig3n, Inc. These vendors are required to connect individuals with medical homes and provide services with culturally and linguistically appropriate standards, working within existing trusted community partnerships.

Learn more about the state’s testing guidance and where testing sites are located.

Want to Be a Primary Care Champion Fellow?

The Primary Care Champions Fellowship at the Campbell University Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine is now accepting applications for the 2021 program. The year-long course is designed to help clinical professionals of all disciplines develop exemplary leadership and teaching skills, preparing you for much needed and meaningful service in health professions education. Upon completion of the program, fellows will be confident, service-minded clinical leaders, equipped with skills to manage thriving practices, improve physical wellness and expand learning opportunities in rural areas.

An optional, second year of coursework fulfills requirements for a Master of Health Professions Education (MHPE) degree.

Several NCMS staff members and a Kanof Institute of Physician Leadership (KIPL) alumnus serve as faculty in the first semester of the program, which is run by KIPL.

Learn more and apply.

In the News

Window into Virus Surge: Death, Recovery at Houston Hospital, The Associated Press, 7-8-20

Learning Opportunity

Tomorrow’s Kanof Institute for Physician Leadership Power Hour (Friday, July 10 from 1 to 2 p.m.) will continue our ongoing discussion around racism in the United States and what we can do as individuals, as a health care community and as a medical society to address racial injustice and health inequities. Join your colleagues and our guests, who are focused on change at all levels to address health inequities and disparities, as we grapple with these issues. Register here.

The KIPL Power Hour aims to provide a forum for ongoing conversation, collaboration and community. Tune in to Power Hour weekly to hear from different experts, decision makers and influencers on a variety of topics. The format is informal and conversational and sessions are easy to access through Zoom. Power Hours will be recorded and made available to you through your NCMS Morning Rounds and on the KIPL webpage.

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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