NCMS Morning Rounds 9-23-20

Happy mid-week! Enjoy your NCMS Morning Rounds.

Sept. 23, 2020

NC Medicaid Extends COVID Rate Enhancements; Telehealth Policies

NC Medicaid announced yesterday that it has extended temporary rate enhancements until Oct. 23, the current expiration date of the Public Health Emergency. If the federal government extends the federal Public Health Emergency or takes other action, NC Medicaid has indicated it will reassess both needs and available funding at that time.

NC Medicaid also stated that many of the Clinical Policy Provisions, including the telehealth provisions, enacted to support COVID-19 response will now continue past the Public Health Emergency and are in the process of becoming permanent policy. Learn more here.

NC Medicaid also has added a new CPT code, recently released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the AMA, for an antigen test designed to detect proteins from the virus that causes COVID-19 in respiratory specimens. NC Medicaid is adding this CPT code to NCTracks for medically necessary laboratory testing effective Sept. 1, 2020.

More information is included in this Medicaid COVID-19 Bulletin, including example populations or circumstances in which antigen testing could be considered and evaluating and reporting antigen test results.

NCMS + AMA Partner to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Yesterday, the NCMS and the American Medical Association (AMA) announced a joint effort aimed at reducing the incidence of type 2 diabetes in North Carolina. An estimated 2.8 million North Carolina residents live with prediabetes with approximately 1 million adults in the state diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. There are more than 50,000 new diagnoses of the chronic condition per year.

Through the new collaboration, the NCMS and AMA will work to significantly increase the number of North Carolina physicians and health care providers identifying and diagnosing patients with prediabetes—the precursor to type 2 diabetes. The partnership will also encourage more referrals of patients with prediabetes to an evidence-based National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) lifestyle change program recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Across the nation, a majority of the adults with prediabetes are unaware they have the condition—putting them at risk for developing type 2 diabetes without intervention.

“Working with our physician and PA members to help identify patients with prediabetes and to intervene at this early stage to prevent type 2 diabetes is key to good preventative medical care and benefits everyone,” said NCMS Executive Vice President and CEO Chip Baggett, J.D. “Alongside the AMA, we have developed resources to seamlessly connect patients to Diabetes Prevention Programs in North Carolina – many now available virtually – to significantly reduce the number of people acquiring the chronic condition of type 2 diabetes.”

Through the collaboration, the AMA and NCMS are providing physicians and other health care professionals with a digital resource toolkit to support them in identifying patients with prediabetes , evaluating treatment options, and referring patients to a National DPP lifestyle change program—designed to help patients make healthy, sustainable lifestyle choices.

“The goal of this partnership is to get patients with prediabetes into lifestyle change programs that can help them reduce the risk of progressing to type 2 diabetes,” said AMA President Susan R. Bailey, M.D. “By identifying and diagnosing patients with prediabetes and referring them to a National DPP lifestyle change program, physicians and other health care professionals can help their patients stop type 2 diabetes before it even starts. This is particularly important now more than ever as patients with chronic health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, appear to be at greater risk of adverse health outcomes associated with COVID-19.”

The AMA has been working since 2013 to prevent and reduce the burden of chronic disease, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. As part of its commitment to improving the health of the nation, the AMA developed its Diabetes Prevention Guide to support physicians and health care organizations in defining and implementing evidence-based diabetes prevention strategies. This comprehensive and customized approach helps clinical practices and health care organizations identify and manage patients with prediabetes, including referring eligible patients to a National DPP lifestyle-change program based on their individual needs.

Tillman Selected as New Nursing Board CEO

Crystal Tillman, the current Director of the Education and Practice Department at the North Carolina Board of Nursing, has been selected by the Board to succeed Julie George, who will retire this coming January.

Tillman, an advanced practice registered nurse with more than 37 years of nursing experience, including 10 years of service at the Board, will assume the position of CEO elect in early October working collaboratively with Julie George.

Tillman received advanced degrees from Duke University; Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). In addition, she holds certifications as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC) and Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (CPNP-PC).

Established in 1903, the North Carolina Board of Nursing was the first board of nursing in the nation, and today licenses more than 164,000 RNs and LPNs statewide.

In the News

The Road Ahead: Charting the Coronavirus Pandemic Over the Next 12 Months and Beyond, STAT, 9-22-20

Learning Opportunity

Join us for this Friday’s (Sept. 25) Power Hour from 1 to 2 p.m. when we will hold our fourth in a series of discussions on race and health equity. This week’s guest is David McIntosh, PhD, Vice President and Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Learn more and register.

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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