NCMS Morning Rounds 9-4-20

Enjoy your NCMS Morning Rounds and a long weekend!

Sept. 4, 2020

On Monday, your NCMS Morning Rounds will not be published and the NCMS offices will be closed for the Labor Day holiday. We appreciate and honor your work to care for NC communities this Labor Day and throughout the year. Please enjoy your weekend!

NCMS Legislative Update

In a quick, two-day session, the NC General Assembly passed the Coronavirus Relief Act 3.0 yesterday, sending the legislation on to Governor Roy Cooper. Included in the bill is $25 million allocated to the NCMS Foundation to distribute to independent medical practices statewide that have been struggling financially due to the pandemic. The NCMS lobbying team and our specialty society colleagues worked hard leading up to and during the session to secure this funding for our members who have been financially hurt due to the current public health crisis.

The money in the legislation comes from the federal CARES Act and must be spent by Dec. 30. Assuming the Governor signs the bill into law, watch your NCMS Morning Rounds and your email in the coming days for details on how to apply for these relief funds.

In addition to the financial relief funding for independent practices, the legislation also includes $72 million for personal protective equipment (PPE), $10 million for internet connectivity and $6 million for food banks. Review the legislation here. The portion dealing with the NCMS Foundation appropriation is on page 17 line 12 (114b).

Earlier this year, the NCMS also received $5 million to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) to give to independent practices in need of this protective equipment now and for the future. Distribution of the PPE is ongoing (see next article for more information).

Be Sure to Get Your Free PPE

As noted in the previous article, the NC legislature appropriated $5 million to the NCMS to help ensure independent medical practices throughout the state have the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) necessary to protect practice staff and patients during the pandemic. This PPE is FREE to eligible practices, you simply need to complete this confirmation form.

Your practice is eligible for this PPE if:
• Your practice is organized in accordance with North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 55B and registered with the North Carolina Medical Board as a professional corporation or professional limited liability company with the purpose of practicing medicine.
• Your practice currently provides or contracts for professional medical services.
• Your practice is not owned, managed, or otherwise controlled by an entity defined in G.S. 131E-76(3).
• Your practice is not managed by a practice management company unless the practice management company is majority owned by North Carolina licensed physicians.

This appropriation is thanks to your conversations with legislators, the efforts of the NCMS legislative team and our existing purchasing ability via ActionPPE. As stipulated in the appropriation, all funds must be spent by Dec. 30, so, if you qualify, please complete the confirmation form today. We want to ensure that 100 percent of qualifying practices receive this valuable resource before the deadline.

Once the confirmation form is completed, PPE will be shipped to each office location you provide. Learn more about the available PPE and how it will be shipped at the NCMS Free PPE webpage.

The NCMS also offers a variety of PPE through our ActionPPE group purchasing arrangement. Learn more about this purchasing option here.

If your practice is in critical need or have other questions, please contact Jennifer Crowley or Kathy Scott.

NCDHHS Secretary Cohen Honored

Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health Alumni Association recently announced that NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Secretary Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH, class of 2004, received its 2020 Leadership in Public Health Practice Award. Selected by peers through a nomination and voting process, Sec. Cohen was chosen for her “technical and scientific knowledge, vision, communication skills, ability to influence key decision makers, compassion and empathy, commitment to inclusion and diversity, and mentoring.”

Since the start of the current pandemic, Sec. Cohen has been constantly in the public eye at weekly press briefings and in meetings with health professionals as the state seeks to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus.

The nomination statement for Sec. Cohen noted “her strong leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic response, including her use of data and ability to communicate calmly and with empathy, compassion and transparency, led many North Carolina citizens and elected officials to band together, such that the state was called one of five that will recover from the pandemic.”

Congratulations Sec. Cohen! Learn more here.

In the News

How Foundational Moments in Medicaid’s History Reinforced Rather Than Eliminated Racial Health Disparities, Health Affairs, 9-1-20

Learning Opportunity

Join NCMS Director of Legislative and Political Action Sue Ann Forrest, MPA on Tuesday, Sept. 22 from noon to 1 p.m. for a 2020 Legislative and Elections Update. This ‘Lunch and Learn’ webinar will provide a 2020 NC General Assembly legislative overview and an outlook on the 2020 elections including candidates to watch. 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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