NCMS COVID19 Update and Discussion, 4 May 2020

  • Palmer Edwards, MD (NCMS president) – update on last 6 weeks – what has NCMS been up to?
    • Recommended stopping elective procedures, promoted shelter in place on 24 March 2020, 3 days before Governor Cooper
    • Guidance on ventilators
    • Guidance on when to restart procedures
  • How can NCMS communicate better with all specialties?  Should they have called all specialties together sooner?
    • NC Family Physicians – felt initial guidance was not helpful and only related to elective procedures (one of three societies to reach out to NCMS to complain about response)
    • NC Pediatric Society – another one of the three societies that reached out to complain
    • NC Psychiatry Society – recommended more communication so everyone on same page
    • Gaurang Palikh (Neurology Society) – need more involvement from presidents of state societies
  • Chip Baggett (Advocacy NCMS)
    • Liability – practices are protected (by law now, signed by governor today) across the board for protection for litigation concerning providing patient PPE, issues of testing, and many other issues related to COVID19 (including employer protection)
    • Working on additional funding for PPE, testing, telehealth, and help for practices to get back on feet (including practices that rely on Medicaid)
    • 5% state increase for Medicaid for period of emergency
  • Stephen Keene (COO and General Counsel for NCMS)
    • Multi-state coalitions to buy PPE (increase buying power and lower prices) – practices need to build inventory
    • State money for surveillance and vaccine development
  • Robert Seligson (CEO of NCMS) – coordinating w/ multiple lab companies about testing (Mako, others)
  • Comments from specific societies:
    • NC Association of PA – supporting PAs with decreased hours and job loss
    • Family Medicine – struggling to figure out what is best to do in office and what to do as telemedicine
    • Child Psych – Telehealth has actually helped kids as they enjoy technology and open up more, want to be able to continue this after COVID19 time is over
    • Ophthalmology – appreciate help with PPP/funding, practices working on PPE individually
    • Western Carolina Medical Society – trouble finding PPE, need to work on when to see patient in office and when to use telehealth
    • NC Ortho – concerned that hospital doesn’t want any patients (currently only one patient in hospital in Craven County)

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