NCMS Morning Rounds 9-3-20

Happy Thursday! Enjoy your NCMS Morning Rounds!

Sept. 3, 2020

NC Medical Board Seeks Input on Non-Compete Agreements

As noted in your NCMS Morning Rounds on Aug. 21, 2020, the NC Medical Board (NCMB) is asking its licensees to provide input on the impact of non-compete clauses in physician employment contracts.

The use of non-compete clauses is widespread in the health services industry, in part because of the significant up-front costs associated with beginning or purchasing a medical practice, and the desire to amortize those costs over time. To avoid breaching a non-compete agreement, departing physicians may be required to move out of their current health services market, or dismiss their current patients. The impact on patients can arise as an issue in medical board proceedings.

The NCMB’s Policy Committee will be discussing physician non-compete clauses at its next meeting on Sept. 23, 2020, and is seeking licensee feedback and information.

Feedback and relevant documents can be submitted to Senior Board Attorney, Todd Brosius at todd.brosius@ncmedboard.org. Please send your feedback by Tuesday,. Sept. 8, 2020.

Updated State Guidance on COVID-19 Antigen Testing

On Tuesday, state epidemiologist Zack Moore, MD, MPH reminded health care providers of the requirement to report all COVID-19 test results and issued updated guidance on antigen testing.

Physicians and PAs are required by State Health Director Order to report all results, positive and negative, of diagnostic testing for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This includes antigen test results. As a reminder:

• Physicians and other health care providers are required to report all test results that will not be reported by a laboratory within 24 hours of receiving the test result by telephone or secure fax to the local health director in the county or district where the patient resides.
• Physicians are required to report accompanying data for all positive tests by telephone or secure fax to the local health director in the county or district where the patient resides, even if it the result is reported by a laboratory.
• The full guidance for reporting results is available on the health care guidance section of the NC DHHS COVID-19 website.
• Review the updated guidance regarding appropriate use of antigen testing.

Access to testing remains a critical part of North Carolina’s response to COVID-19, Dr. Moore said. Testing helps inform control measures that a person must take to decrease viral transmission and provides data to understand the level of disease spread across North Carolina. Although the CDC gave some flexibility to states to revise their testing criteria, North Carolina has widespread viral transmission and the state has not changed its testing guidance at present.

Generally, the guidance on individuals who should be tested is as simple as anyone who has symptoms and anyone who thinks they’ve been exposed. Please continue referring patients for testing when they meet these criteria. For more information, see the detailed testing guidance.

If you need more information or a consultation call the NC Division of Public Health epidemiologist on call at 919-733-3419.

Why These Physicians Are DPP Champions

The NCMS is working closely with the AMA and other organizations to achieve a DiabetesFreeNC. Part of the effort involves working with physician champions, those committed to diabetes prevention programs (DPP) to help their patients avoid this chronic condition.

Watch three DPP physician champions Brian Klausner, MD, Jeffrey Viar, DO and Karen Smith, MD, explain why this initiative is important to them in these quick video testimonials.

Learn more about this initiative and how you can engage your patients in virtual diabetes prevention programs now.

In the News

Telehealth Grew Wildly Popular Amid COVID-19. Now Visits Are Dropping, Forcing Providers to Recalibrate, STAT, 9-1-20

Learning Opportunity

‘Population Health in Challenging Times – Insights from Key Domains: A Workshop’ will be held Monday, Sept. 21 to Thursday, Sept. 24 via webcast. Speakers will explore how some of the main sectors in population health view the COVID-19 public health emergency and the movement for racial justice, and how are they using this moment as:

1. a platform for reimagining how they work (i.e., not merely rebuild, but build anew),
2. an opportunity to develop and deploy solutions (including policy) to extraordinary challenges, and
3. a bridge for more effectively working with other organizations.

The workshop will be organized in six 90-minute panel discussions with Q&A, with each panel focusing on a key domain such as government public health, non-profit, academia, philanthropy, health care, and cross-sector partnerships.

This event is public and free to join. Learn more here.

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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