Special Bulletins Update
September 23, 2020
NC Medicaid is committed to ensuring beneficiaries continue to receive Medicaid and NC Health Choice services with no interruptions or delays due to COVID-19. In August, NC Medicaid released SPECIAL BULLETIN COVID-19 #119: NC Medicaid Extends Temporary Clinical Coverage Policy Provisions and Temporary Rate Enhancements, which provided information on extensions of the COVID-19 rate enhancements and Clinical Coverage Policies in response to the extension of the federal Public Health Emergency declaration.
SPECIAL BULLETIN COVID-19 #134: Clarification of COVID-19 Temporary Rate Increases and Clinical Policy Changes clarifies and further updates information provided in Special Bulletin 119.
NCMB Launches MedBoard Matters Podcast
September 21, 2020
NCMB has announced the launch of their podcast, MedBoard Matters. The podcast will highlight important issues in medicine and medical regulation. The goal is to present compelling content in an easy-to-digest and enjoyable format. The very first episode is on suicide prevention awareness. Jean Fisher Brinkley had a great and uplifting conversation about a very heavy topic with Dr. Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Dr. Moutier discusses ways to overcome stigma associated with mental health issues in medical professionals and strategies and resources for getting help – as well as what to do if a colleague is in crisis.
The episode has been published in recognition of Physician Suicide Awareness Day, September 17th.
Here is a link to the episode: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1230689/5455090. We hope that folks will subscribe by searching for “MedBoard Matters” on their podcast platform of choice so they can be notified of future episodes.
If NCCEP members have questions they have always wanted to ask the Board, or ideas for specific topics for future episodes on MedBoard Matters, we would love to get feedback! Send suggestions and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NCDHHS-Covered Services Available to Help NC Residents Isolate or Quarantine
September 14, 2020
Please review the fact sheet outlining the new NC DHHS COVID-19 Support Services Program and Community Health Worker Initiative as announced in late August (press releases are available online here and here). This document provides an overview of NCDHHS-covered services and the community health worker program in target counties, including:
- What are the CHW and Support Service programs
- What support services are available at no cost to individuals
- Who is eligible for support services
- How you play a role in connecting residents to support
- Who to contact for more information
We urge you to send this around your organization to ensure our partners have the most updated information and can refer our residents to the support they need to quarantine and isolate safely and effectively.
Firearm Injury Surveillance Through Emergency Rooms (FASTER) Award Recipients Announced
September 11, 2020
North Carolina is participating in the FASTER program. See more information below:
The CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention announces funding to 10 state health departments to gather surveillance data in near-real time on emergency visits for nonfatal firearm injuries. This competitively awarded funding falls under CDC-RFA-CE20-2005, Firearm Injury Surveillance Through Emergency Rooms (FASTER).
CDC awarded a total of $2,224,482 distributed among 10 recipients:
- District of Columbia Department of Health
- Florida Department of Health
- Georgia Department of Health
- New Mexico Department of Health
- North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
- Oregon Health Authority
- Utah Department of Health
- Virginia Department of Health
- Washington State Department of Health
- West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services
Timely state- and local-level data on ED visits for nonfatal firearm injuries are currently limited. The collection of near-real-time data on ED visits for nonfatal firearm injuries overall and by intent (intentional self-directed, unintentional, and assault-related) at the state and local level could improve state and local practitioners’ ability to identify and respond to emerging public health problems.
The goal of this award is for recipients to improve the timeliness and dissemination of surveillance data of ED visits for nonfatal firearm injuries. Collaboration among states will include sharing data to strengthen syndrome definitions, data collection methods, analysis of surveillance data, and presentation and dissemination of findings.
Additionally, this collaborative award will result in tools and methods that can be used by state and local health departments across the nation to rapidly track and respond to firearm injuries.
Announcement to NC Medicaid Associations
September 3, 2020
NC Medicaid is reimbursing COVID-19 testing costs for individuals without insurance who enroll in the NC Medicaid Optional COVID-19 Testing (MCV) program. This option was made available to all states through Section 6004(a)(3) of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Enrolled MCV beneficiaries will also qualify for coverage of COVID-19 tests retroactive to June 1, 2020 provided they were uninsured at the time of the test.
To qualify, individuals must be uninsured, a resident of North Carolina, and meet the citizenship and legal immigration status requirements of the Medicaid program. NC Medicaid is required to verify citizenship and immigration status. Individuals must qualify for MCV at the time the test was obtained.
SPECIAL BULLETIN COVID #128: NC Medicaid Optional COVID-19 Testing Program Online Applications Available and a fact sheet describe the program in more detail. Additionally, a one-page flyer/signage is designed to help raise awareness of this program at testing locations, practices, clinics, health systems, Departments of Social Services and any organization that sees uninsured residents. The fact sheet and flyer are available at: https://medicaid.ncdhhs.gov/about-us/covid-19-guidance-and-resources/providers.
Special Bulletin COVID-19 – Antigen Testing Guidance
September 2, 2020
On Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020, NC Medicaid published a reminder to Medicaid providers that they 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. More information is available in SPECIAL BULLETIN COVID-19 #127: Antigen Testing Guidance
Office Hours with Drs Tilson and Moore – Extended through October 2020
September 2, 2020
During last Friday’s Office Hours, participants made it clear that they value the Office Hours and would like them to continue, especially as we enter into flu season. Drs Tilson and Moore have agreed to continue these Office Hours through October. They will be held from 12:30 – 1:30 on 9/11, 9/25, 10/9 and 10/23. Questions can be submitted in advance at questionsCOVID19forum@gmail.com.
EDPMA Webinar: The Future of Emergency Medicine on Weds., September 16 at 4pm ET
September 1, 2020
Office Hours with Drs. Tilson and Moore – Friday, August 28, 12:30 – 1:30
August 25, 2020
As part of the State’s continuing efforts to ensure providers have the information they need, Dr. Betsey Tilson, State Health Director and Chief Medical Officer, and Dr. Zack Moore, State Epidemiologist, will provide brief updates on the State’s COVID-19 response and will respond to questions this Friday, August 28, from 12:30 – 1:30.
NC Medicaid Will Cover COVID-19 Testing Costs for the Uninsured
August 18, 2020
Effective Sept. 1, 2020, NC Medicaid will begin reimbursing COVID-19 testing costs for uninsured individuals enrolled in the NC Medicaid Optional COVID-19 Testing (MCV) program. This option was made available to all states through Section 6004(a)(3) of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). A provider webinar on the MCV process will be held in the future.
Individuals must be uninsured, a resident of North Carolina, and meet the citizenship and legal immigration status requirements of the Medicaid program. Individuals must meet eligibility qualifications at the time the test was obtained. Note that uninsured individuals currently enrolled in NC Medicaid’s limited “Family Planning Only” benefit and who have no other health insurance coverage will automatically be enrolled in the MCV program and will not need to complete an application.
A simple online application for the MCV program will be available in September, and individuals will be able to apply using the Internet or mobile device. Until the online application is ready, we encourage Medicaid-enrolled providers who perform COVID-19 testing to download paper applications, available in English and Spanish, and collect them for mailing to the Medicaid address on the form. Paper applications are estimated to take 2-6 weeks for processing.
Please refer to SPECIAL BULLETIN COVID-19 #122 for more details.