COVID-19

This page contains primarily North Carolina and NCDHHS resources and information. Please visit ACEP’s COVID-19 resource page for national/CDC news and updates.


Stakeholder Calls Information: CMS Atlanta: IFC-4, COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkits, and Listening Session Invitation

November 11, 2020

CMS Atlanta is hosting two calls for stakeholders on Thursday, November 12, 2020 to further discuss the new regulations related to COVID-19 issued on October 28, 2020..  We strongly encourage you to review the IFC and toolkits prior to the conversation and look forward to hearing your feedback.

The following IFC resources are also available:

E-mail us for login information.


Launch of NC Medicaid’s Enrollment Website

November 9, 2020

DHHS has announced the launch of NC Medicaid’s enrollment website, www.ncmedicaidplans.gov, in preparation for the launch of Medicaid Managed Care scheduled for July 1, 2021. Medicaid Managed Care open enrollment will begin March 15, 2021, and will continue through May 14, 2021.

The purpose of the enrollment website is to help Medicaid beneficiaries learn more about Medicaid Managed Care. In 2015, the NC General Assembly enacted legislation directing NCDHHS to transition Medicaid and NC Health Choice from a primarily fee-for-service delivery system to managed care. Under managed care, the state contracts with insurance companies, which are paid a predetermined set rate per enrolled person to provide all services.

The enrollment website provides information about who will have to choose a health plan, who will stay in the traditional Medicaid program (NC Medicaid Direct) and who can choose between the two. It will also share the basic medical and behavioral health benefits that are offered. There will be a list of frequently asked questions and answers to help beneficiaries understand the changes.

Most people currently receiving Medicaid benefits will need to enroll in Medicaid Managed Care. Medicaid beneficiaries will be able to choose from five health plans — WellCare, United HealthCare, Healthy Blue, AmeriHealth Caritas and Carolina Complete Health (serving regions 3, 4 and 5). Those who are federally recognized tribal members or qualify for Indian Health Services are exempt from managed care. Those who live in Cherokee, Graham, Haywood, Jackson or Swain counties or in a neighboring county may choose to enroll in the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) Tribal Option.

A small number of people will not need to choose a Medicaid Managed Care health plan because of the type of health services they need. They will stay enrolled in NC Medicaid Direct. To learn more, beneficiaries can visit the NC Medicaid Direct services page on the enrollment website.

To learn more about North Carolina’s transformation to Medicaid Managed Care, visit the Medicaid Transformation webpage.


COVID-19 | ‘Imminent’ EUA for Antibody

November 9, 2020

In a special call on Friday, Nov. 6, the HHS announced that they anticipate an ‘imminent’ Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Lilly COVID-19 antibody

 

This medication will be limited for individuals with confirmed COVID-19 disease, early in the course of their infection (likely within 7-10 days).

 

In phase 1, patients who have confirmed COVID + risk factors (such as age or BMI cut offs) will be eligible to receive an infusion of the antibody. The infusion is given via a standard IV over 1 hour in a monitored setting and patients will then need to be monitored for an additional hour, according to the HHS.

 

The amount of drug, distributed similarly to remdesivir, will be determined based on the number of hospitalizations and the number of positive tests in a state as reported to the HHS Protect database. The state will then distribute the drug to individual hospitals and hospital systems. Weekly shipments will begin as quickly as possible after the EUA. 

 

Reimbursement for the drug and infusion has not been fully decided, but it is likely the drug will be free, according to HHS officials. The infusion administration can be billed and information will be available on the CMS COVID page under FAQs. 

 

In phase 2, it is likely the drug will be available for all confirmed infected patients.

 

Many hospitals already have infusion sites Monday though Friday, however emergency departments may need to serve some role in these infusions. Pharmacies and other sites may be used, especially in the second phase. 

 

ACEP recommends that it would be prudent for emergency departments and hospitals to begin discussions about the appropriate site for these infusions. 

 

ACEP leaders remain in ongoing conversations with the HHS and will continue to update our members as new clinical information emerges.


CMS Atlanta: IFC-4, COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkits, and Listening Session Invitation

November 6, 2020

In anticipation of when a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is taking action to ensure the participants in our programs have access to a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine at no cost. With a vaccine expected before the end of the year, CMS, along with the Departments of Labor and the Treasury, is laying the groundwork now to ensure immediate coverage and payment for preventive COVID-19 vaccination for individuals covered by group health plans and health insurance issuers.

In an Interim Final Rule with Comment Period (IFC) issued on October 28, 2020, CMS removes administrative barriers to eliminate potential delays to patient access to a lifesaving vaccine. In addition, the rule:

  • Creates flexibilities for states maintaining Medicaid enrollment during the COVID‑19 PHE;
  • Establishes enhanced Medicare payments for new COVID-19 treatments;
  • Takes steps to ensure price transparency for COVID-19 tests, and
  • Provides an extension of Performance Year 5 for the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model; and
  • Creates flexibilities in the public notice requirements and post-award public participation requirements for a State Innovation Waiver under Section 1332 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act during the COVID-19 PHE.

CMS Atlanta wants to make sure you are aware of the interim final rule and to make sure you have access to resources and information regarding the rule. The IFC (CMS-9912-IFC) is scheduled to display at the Federal Register as soon as possible with an immediate effective date, and a 30-day comment period. It can be downloaded from the Federal Register at: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/covid-vax-ifc-4.pdf.  The following IFC resources are also available:

CMS also released a set of toolkits for providers, states and insurers to help the health care system prepare to swiftly administer the vaccine once it is available.  These resources are designed to increase the number of providers that can administer the vaccine, ensure adequate reimbursement for administering the vaccine in Medicare, while making it clear to private insurers and Medicaid programs their responsibility to cover the vaccine at no charge to beneficiaries. The COVID-19 vaccine resources for providers, health plans and State Medicaid programs can be found here:  https://www.cms.gov/covidvax 

For stakeholders:

Finally, we would like to invite you and your members to participate in a conversation with the CMS Atlanta office regarding IFC-4 and the COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkits. We are hosting two, 1-hour education and listening sessions, Thursday, November 12th at 10:00am  EST and 4:00pm EST, and will be sending a separate e-mail with detailed information regarding the sessions. We strongly encourage you to review the IFC and toolkits prior to the conversation and look forward to hearing your feedback.

For Congressional offices:

Finally, we would like to invite you to attend a special briefing for Congressional District Offices on the IFC-4 and COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkits. The briefing will be held on Thursday, November 12th at 11:00am EST, and we will be sending out a separate e-mail with detailed information on how to access the briefing.  We strongly encourage you to review the IFC and toolkits prior to the session.

Additional CMS Updates:

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Teresa Zayas for assistance.


Office Hours w Drs Tilson and Moore – Friday, November 6th, 12:30 – 1:30

November 4, 2020

Dr. Betsey Tilson, State Health Director and Chief Medical Officer, and Dr. Zack Moore, State Epidemiologist, will hold Office Hours to provide updates on the State’s COVID-19 response and to respond to questions this Friday, November 6th, from 12:30 – 1:30.

Please plan to participate and inform your members. Please send questions in advance to questionsCOVID19forum@gmail.com.

E-mail us for login information.


Office Hours w Drs Tilson and Moore – Friday, October 25th, 12:30 – 1:30

October 19, 2020

Dr. Betsey Tilson, State Health Director and Chief Medical Officer, and Dr. Zack Moore, State Epidemiologist, will hold Office Hours to provide updates on the State’s COVID-19 response and to respond to questions this Friday, October 23, from 12:30 – 1:30.

In response to feedback during their last Office Hours, they announced that they will hold Office Hours on the first and third Fridays of the month for the remainder of this year.

Please plan to participate and inform your members. Please send questions in advance to questionsCOVID19forum@gmail.com. E-mail us for login information.


Financial Recovery Program

October 15, 2020

The North Carolina Medical Society Foundation (NCMSF) is proud to oversee the state-funded Financial Recovery Program (FRP) to assist eligible practices throughout the state that are experiencing economic distress due to the pandemic.

Funding will be based on reimbursement for COVID-19-related expenses incurred between March 1 and Nov. 30, 2020.

Read more information here.


Lunch and Learn Webinar – The Financial Recovery Program

October 12, 2020

The Financial Recovery Program (FRP): How Independent Practices Can Apply to Receive Covid-19 Relief Funds featuring Franklin Walker, MBA, Vice President of Rural Health Systems Innovation, NCMS, and Reynold Yordy, Co-founder of Greenlight Ventures

Tuesday, October 13, 2020 |  12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Learn more about this newly launched state-funded program, which is overseen by the North Carolina Medical Society Foundation and seeks to distribute grants to independent medical practices that have suffered financially due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Learn what the criteria are for applying and how your practice can benefit from the FRP.

VISIT OUR SITE for details on the FRP’s requirements and eligibility:

https://www.ncmedsoc.org/financial-recovery-program/

Register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3904952240085465356

Presented by the North Carolina Medical Society Foundation in cooperation with the North Carolina Medical Group Management Association.

This webinar is free but you must be registered to attend. Space is limited so register early!

 After you register, you will receive an emailed confirmation with webinar and phone-in instructions.


Financial Recovery Program

October 12, 2020

Today is the official launch of the Financial Recovery Program run through the NCMS Foundation. Here is information on the program. Embedded in the document are links to the FRP webpage, the application portal and the email address for questions. Here are those links for your reference:

FRP webpage: https://www.ncmedsoc.org/financial-recovery-program/

FRP application portal: https://frp.ncmedsoc.org/

Email address for questions: FRPNCMS@ncmedsoc.org

A list of FAQswill be a dded to the webpage shortly. This will be a dynamic document as we get questions and will be updated regularly. If you have any questions about practice eligibility or eligible expenses, please contact Franklin Walker.

Applications for these funds are now being accepted. The timeframe to distribute the money is short (Nov. 30 is the deadline). Please spread the word widely. We want to be sure to get this funding to those who need it!


Office Hours w Drs Tilson and Moore – Friday, October 9th, 12:30 – 1:30

October 5, 2020

Dr. Betsey Tilson, State Health Director and Chief Medical Officer, and Dr. Zack Moore, State Epidemiologist, will hold Office Hours to provide updates on the State’s COVID-19 response and to respond to questions this Friday, October 9th, from 12:30 – 1:30. They will also hold Office Hours on Friday, October 23, from 12:30 – 1:30.

Please plan to participate and inform your members. Please send questions in advance to questionsCOVID19forum@gmail.com. E-mail us for login information.


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.


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.


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.


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.

You can send questions in advance to questionsCOVID19forum@gmail.com. E-mail us for login information.


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.


Office Hours with Drs. Tilson and Moore, Friday, August 14th and Friday August 28th,  12:30 – 1:30

August 3, 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 on Friday, August 14th and Friday August 28th, all from 12:30 – 1:30. You can send questions in advance to questionsCOVID19forum@gmail.com. Contact us for Zoom information.


Provider Relief Fund Reminder

July 17, 2020

Monday, July 20, 2020, is the federal deadline for Medicaid providers to receiving federal relief funding through the Provider Relief Fund. This funding is aimed at Medicaid providers that have not yet received an allocation from the CARES Act.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has observed that as few as 2% of providers nationally have applied for these funds. We understand there has been confusion in accessing different CARES funding streams and challenges in submitting required information amidst the public health emergency. We encourage providers to apply if they think they might be eligible.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services detailed FAQs has helpful information about accessing the funding portal. More information is available in SPECIAL BULLETIN COVID-19 #111: REMINDER: Provider Relief Fund Deadline Monday, July 20, 2020.

Thank you for your dedication and commitment to ensure our North Carolina Medicaid beneficiaries receive the services and treatment they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Announcement – Free Testing Initiative

July 8, 2020

The NC Department of Health and Human Services announced a new effort to deploy up to 300 free testing sites in underserved communities. This targeted testing initiative seeks to confront historical health disparities by increasing access to no-cost COVID-19 testing for African American, Latinx/Hispanic and American Indian communities across the state.

A disproportionately high percentage of North Carolina’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 have occurred among historically marginalized populations. Mounting evidence shows the members of these populations experience higher rates of COVID-19 mortality and serious complications.

As many as 300 temporary testing sites will be deployed throughout the month of July, including drive-thru and walk-up sites. The initiative will increase testing capacity in more than 100 ZIP codes, providing testing access for 2.2 million African American, Latinx/Hispanic and American Indian individuals. Two vendors have been identified to begin this work, Vidant Health and Orig3n, Inc.

The initiative emphasizes a community testing approach. The awarded vendors are required to connect individuals with medical homes and provide services with culturally and linguistically appropriate standards, working within existing trusted community partnerships; additionally, no payment from the individual will be needed for the testing. Insurance, if available, will be billed but no co-pays or cost-sharing will be asked of anyone seeking testing. Those who are uninsured will have full access to free testing at these sites.

Communities were selected based on low testing capacity and high African American, Latinx/Hispanic and/or American Indian populations. Higher concentration of elderly populations with multiple chronic conditions and higher rates of construction and seasonal farm work were also factors.

For more information on testing, please see the Frequently Asked Questions about Testing. For more information about North Carolina’s response to COVID-19, visit nc.gov/covid19.


State Health Director Issues Temporary COVID-19 Reporting Order

July 7, 2020

Today, July 7, 2020, North Carolina State Health Director Elizabeth Tilson, MD, MPH issued a temporary order requiring physicians, laboratories and others ordering or conducting COVID-19 diagnostic tests to report negative test results in addition to the requirement to report postive results.

The reason for the order is to track diagnostic test results necessary “for surveillance of a communicable disease that presents a danger to public health.”

The order is effective immediately and expires in 90 days.

Read Dr. Tilson’s order.

Get more information on the method of reporting and what must be included in the report here.

Review the full statewide standing order for COVID-19 diagnostic testing here.

As outlined in the standing order document, testing sites are now authorized to receive the results of the test directly from the testing laboratory. The NC Department of Health and Human Services believes this will help reduce barriers to testing, especially for historically marginalized populations.

The Isolation and Quarantine (Spanish) guidance explains to patients what they should do while waiting for test results to come back and then once they have received the results.


New Tools to Share

July 1, 2020

As you continue to work tirelessly to slow the spread of COVID-19 in your communities, I am writing to announce a new social media advertising campaign we’ve launched to continue to support your efforts as part of our larger Prevent and Protect public outreach campaign.

The baseline social media advertising campaign has been made possible through a grant from Facebook, Inc., which has provided advertising credits and design support. The ads will run in English and Spanish.

We are asking for your help to amplify these Prevent and Protect campaign messages in your communities. The social media ads can be downloaded and shared on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media and online platforms.

These ads are part of our larger Prevent and Protect communications campaign, which launched earlier this month. Prevent and Protect encourages North Carolinians to:

  • Practice the 3Ws (known as PEL in Spanish) and wear a cloth covering over their nose and mouth; wait six feet apart; and wash their hands often.
  • Get tested for COVID-19 and use Find My Testing Place to locate a nearby testing site.
  • Answer the call and participate in the contact tracing process if they may have been exposed to COVID-19.

As you know, data shows that historically marginalized populations across North Carolina are being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. For that reason, our Prevent and Protect campaign strategy is:

  • Creating a baseline, statewide focus on reaching historically marginalized populations.
  • Adding additional focus on reaching:
  • people who work in occupations that are being most impacted and have a large representation among those from historically marginalized populations;
  • and counties currently seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases.
  • Relying on community partners (like you!) to amplify the messages on social media.

Prevent and Protect campaign resources (social media ads, infographics, flyers, posters for businesses in your community, and more) are available at covid19.ncdhhs.gov/PreventAndProtect. We encourage you to share these materials and resources through your own communications channels and with your local community partners. Materials are available in English and Spanish.


COVID-19 Preventive Materials

June 25, 2020

Scientific research shows that preventative measures such as hand washing and wearing cloth coverings over the nose and mouth are effective ways to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities by lowering risk of exposure to COVID-19.

That’s why Governor Roy Cooper announced that coverings over the nose and mouth must be worn when people are in both indoor and outdoor public spaces. This step, in addition to encouraging people to stay six feet apart, wash hands, and stay home when ill, will help us

  • protect our families, friends and neighbors from getting seriously ill, and
  • restore our economy and get people back to work and get our children back to school.

Growing evidence shows that cloth face coverings, when worn consistently, can decrease the spread of COVID-19, especially among people who are not yet showing symptoms of the virus.

We are writing to you today to ask for your help. We have created resources to empower community partners and small businesses to communicate about the cloth coverings state requirement to protect their loved ones, employees, and customers.

We ask that you share these materials widely through your own communications channels and with your partners. Our Prevent and Protect Media Toolkit includes:

  • Social media graphics in English and Spanish answering basic questionsabout wearing coverings over the mouth and nose. Images used in the graphics reflect the diversity of North Carolina.
  • Posters for businesses and community organizations to print and hang that remind people to wear cloth coverings over their nose and mouth and celebrate the commitment businesses in your community have made to protect employees and customers. We encourage you to place the posters in your breakrooms, waiting rooms, building entrances or doors, and other frequented locations.

You can find more information about the new cloth covering Executive Order in this press release and answers to frequently asked questions in this Guidance and FAQS.

In addition to materials about cloth coverings, the Prevent and Protect Media Toolkit is full of social media posts and images, infographics, customizable flyers, and more to get the word out about preventative measures (3Ws), testing and contact tracing and help North Carolinians protect themselves and their loved ones against the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to update the page with new materials, so please check back often. All materials are available in English and Spanish.

Thank you for your continued efforts to work together to slow the spread of COVID-19, and for your commitment to ensuring your community and the communities you serve are informed and supported.


Special Bulletin COVID-19 #101

June 23, 2020

North Carolina providers that participate in Medicaid may be eligible to receive federal relief as a result of lost revenue or new expenses relating to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. On June 8, 2020, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a targeted distribution for Medicaid providers that have not yet received payment from the Provider Relief Fund. Eligible providers will receive at least 2 percent of reported annual gross revenue from patient care. Providers can apply by July 20, 2020 to receive payments. For more information, please see SPECIAL BULLETIN COVID-19 #101: Medicaid Providers May Be Eligible for Federal Funding.

HHS is hosting webcasts at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, June 23, 2020, and Thursday, June 25, 2020, to provide information about the application process for providers. Pre-registration for the webcast and additional information is available here.

Additionally, updates have been made to Key Federal Funding Available for Health Care Providers and Hospitals to include Provider Relief Fund allocations for Medicaid and CHIP providers, safety net hospitals, Indian Health Services, and COVID-19 High Impact Areas, and reflect updates to the COVID-19 Telehealth Program and Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program.

All NC Medicaid Bulletin articles, including those related to COVID-19, may be found here.


Learning Opportunity

June 18, 2020

Southern Regional AHEC is offering a livestream webinar on Saturday, June 25 from noon to 1:30 p.m. titled ‘A Critical Conversation: Listening and Learning Together.’

The persistent and pervasive injustices to black and brown people and other multicultural populations have long been documented over many generations. Persons of color continue to experience health disparities at an alarmingly disproportionate rate as evidenced by recent and historical acts of racism, violence, inequities and power paradigms. While many are sensitive to and saddened by these unfortunate realities, civil unrest across the nation has driven a call to action. The purpose of this activity is to facilitate a critical yet necessary conversation surrounding race relations, providing an open space for dialogue and bridging gaps at the public sector level, so that communities can listen and learn together. Learn more and register here.


$15B More in Relief Available for Those Participating in Medicaid/CHIP

June 9, 2020

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), announced additional distributions from the Provider Relief Fund to eligible Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) providers who participate in state Medicaid and CHIP programs. HHS expects to distribute approximately $15 billion to these eligible clinicians who have not already received a payment from the Provider Relief Fund General Allocation.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, June 10, HHS is launching an enhanced Provider Relief Fund Payment Portal that will allow eligible Medicaid and CHIP providers to report their annual patient revenue, which will be used as a factor in determining their Provider Relief Fund payment. The payment to each provider will be at least 2 percent of reported gross revenue from patient care; the final amount will be determined after the data is submitted, including information about the number of Medicaid patients served.

Learn More


New Testing Tools and Supports

June 4, 2020

Today, NCDHHS is announcing new testing and contact tracing tools to help slow the spread of COVID-19. As we continue to increase testing and expand contact tracing, we want to ensure each and every person has the information and support they need to protect themselves and their loved ones. By working together and each doing our part, we will slow the spread of this virus.

We are asking for your help to share information and increase awareness of the COVID-19 Community Team (what North Carolina is calling our contact tracers) and new tools being launched today. These tools and supports are described below. We have also included a promotional toolkit to help share these new resources with your community.

New Testing Tools for Everyone to Use

There are several new digital tools available to help expand testing capacity, streamline contact tracing efforts, and provide members of your community with guidance on how to protect themselves and their families. These tools include:

  • Check My Symptoms (www.ncdhhs.gov/symptoms),apublic website that allows people to enter their symptoms and determine if they should get tested for COVID-19. If they are recommended to be tested, they will receive a link to a list of nearby testing sites via email or text.  Note: The symptom checker is an informational tool to help people determine if they may need to be tested; however it is not a physician order. Testing sites may require their own screening.
  • Find My Testing Place (www.ncdhhs.gov/TestingPlace), a public website that allows people to input their county or ZIP code and access a list of nearby testing site locations online.

The COVID-19 Community Team

The COVID-19 Community Team is made up of trained Local Health Department staff and Community team members who  are serving as contact tracers across the state.

Team members reach out to people who have tested positive for COVID-19, or anyone who has been near someone with COVID-19, and get them the information and support they need. This support can include helping someone understand what it means to have been exposed to COVID-19, how to monitor their symptoms, when to get tested, if needed, and how to protect their loved ones.

When the COVID-19 Community Team reaches out, it is important that people answer the call. Individuals being contacted would get an initial text from the number 45394 or email from NC-ARIAS-NoReply@dhhs.nc.gov with follow-up phone calls from NC OUTREACH (844-628-7223) or the Local Health Department. The Community Team represents North Carolinians across the state and will be available to provide support and information in multiple languages.

A Promotional Toolkit to Help Spread the Word

To help you get the word out about the COVID-19 Community Team and the new tools announced today, we have created a promotional toolkit that we hope you will use. This shared message helps us all overcome misinformation and ensure that everyone is getting the right information. The toolkit includes:

  • Flyers about getting tested for COVID-19 and using the Check My Symptoms online tool.
  • A flyer reminding people to practice the 3Ws of prevention: Wear. Wait. Wash.
  • Sample Facebook and Twitter posts with images for you to share on social media.
  • COMING SOON:An infographic explaining the COVID-19 Community Team and the contact tracing process.

You can find the toolkit resources at covid19.ncdhhs.gov/preventandprotect.

For more information on testing and contact tracing, please see covid19.ncdhhs.gov/testing and covid19.ncdhhs.gov/contacttracing.


NCMB Role in North Carolina’s COVID-19 Response

April 30, 2020

Since mid-March, NCMB has taken numerous actions to support our state’s response to COVID-19. As the state’s licensing and regulatory board for physicians and physician assistants, NCMB’s efforts have focused primarily on ways to maximize the supply of qualified medical professionals available to assist with pandemic response.

Our efforts fall in two main areas: emergency temporary licensure for out-of-state or inactive clinicians who want to help in North Carolina and numerous actions to reduce barriers to licensure and practice. We’ve also developed FAQs on several issues related to practice during the current state of emergency, and organized actions related to COVID-19 on this resource page. For your convenience, we’ve compiled all of NCMB’s COVID-19 actions to date in a summary document, which you can access here.


Protocol

Apr 27, 2020

Please see the NCMS COVID-19 Update re: the North Carolina Protocol for Allocating Scarce Inpatient Critical Care Resources in a Pandemic (2020 protocol), a set of recommendations from the North Carolina Institute of Medicine (NCIOM), North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) and North Carolina Healthcare Association (NCHA). An educational webinar for clinicians on the protocol will be held on Tuesday, April 28 at 7 p.m.

Learn More


NC Medicaid Update Regarding COVID-19

Apr 27, 2020

NC Medicaid will reimburse providers for lost copay revenue. The reimbursement method and timing will be announced in the future. Note that providers can continue to collect copays for non-COVID-19 related services.

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COVID-19 Resources

Apr 1, 2020

We know there is a lot of information already coming your way, but we wanted to share some resources with you. Keep up the great work, and know that you are appreciated!

    • ACEP COVID-19 Clinical Alerts – Learn More
    • ACEP COVID-19 Field Guide – Learn More
    • ACEP COVID-19 Physician Wellness – Learn More
    • ACEP COVID-19 Discounts and Support – Learn More
    • CDC Guidance for Healthcare Professionals – Learn More
    • NC DHHS Guidance and Information – Learn More
    • NC Medical Board’s Latest Updates – Learn More
    • Help finding child care for health care and emergency employers – Learn More