NCMS Morning Rounds 8-7-20

Finally Friday and here’s your NCMS Morning Rounds!

  August 7, 2020

NC Medicaid Extends COVID-19 Provisions

With the recent extension of the federal Declaration of Emergency through Oct. 25, 2020, NC Medicaid has extended its COVID-19 related temporary Clinical Coverage Policy provisions to Dec. 31, 2020. NC Medicaid has also determined it is both necessary and feasible to continue temporary enhanced rates related to COVID-19 through Sept. 30, 2020. In the fall, NC Medicaid will reassess both needs and available funding.

Learn more in this special Medicaid Bulletin. Review the relevant Medicaid fee schedules here.

Additionally, public comments are being accepted on proposed Medicaid and North Carolina Health Choice policies to adopt permanent changes based on certain temporary modifications. The comment period closes for two telehealth policy proposals on Aug. 15. Other comment periods extend into September. All stakeholders are encouraged to provide feedback. Review all the proposals here.

There’s an App for – Physician Wellness!

The University of North Carolina School of Medicine and UNC Health have launched the Heroes Health Initiative to help support the mental health of first responders and health care workers during the COVID-19 global pandemic. The app is available through the App Store/Google Play Store and is free to first responders, health care workers and their organizations. Learn what it offers and how to download it here.

For individual health care workers, the Heroes Health app delivers short mental health self-assessments each week and displays symptom summary reports to help individuals better understand the state of their own mental health and changes over time. The app also provides links to immediate support and mental health resources, emphasizing free and low-cost services.

The app can also help organizations by providing anonymous group-level summaries and trends in the mental health of workers in the organization. The summaries can be shared with unit and organizational leaders each week, to help them identify times/organizational areas that would benefit from additional support.

Heroes Health Initiative was founded by UNC School of Medicine physician Samuel McLean, MD, research vice-chair in the Department of Anesthesiology and an attending physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine. As a practicing emergency physician and COVID-19 unit worker, and a COVID-19 survivor who contracted COVID-19 and infected two of his family members, McLean understands firsthand the great challenges COVID workers face.

Read more about Dr. McLean and the Heroes Health Initiative here.

Seeking Input on Vibrio Infections

If you are an infectious disease specialist, work in an emergency department or in a coastal area where people eat a lot of shellfish or may be impacted by flooding from hurricanes, the Columbia Journalism Investigation team is seeking to understand your experience in dealing with Vibrio infections.

The project is a joint undertaking by Columbia Journalism Investigations, The Center for Public Integrity, Mother Jones and McClatchy newspapers in North and South Carolina. The team is seeking input from medical professionals nationwide to identify successes and challenges in fighting Vibrio infections in their communities.

If you have encountered such infections and would like to participate, please answer this brief list of questions. Your answers will help the team assess what you currently have and what you need to effectively battle this growing health risk.

Your answers will not be published without your permission. All personal information is confidential.

Here are the questions.

In the News

What You Need to Know About Trump’s Telehealth and Rural Health Executive Order, The Advisory Board Forum, 8-4-20

Learning Opportunity

DON’T FORGET TODAY’S POWER HOUR at 1 p.m. when we will discuss access to health care during COVID-19 for LGBTQ+ patients. Get a variety of perspectives on this topic from our distinguished guests including: Carly Kelley, MD, an endocrinologist and co-director of Duke’s Adult Gender Medicine Clinic; Holly Christopher Lewis, MD, PhD, general surgery resident at Duke University Medical Center; Jugta Kahai, MD, a pediatrician with Columbus Regional Health Care System and Dane R. Whicker, PhD, Director of Gender and Sexual Diversity Initiatives as Duke’s School of Medicine. Register here for this Zoom session.


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