NCMGMA News Sponsor

 

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Twice monthly, NCMGMA News will feature a sponsor on our site. Our sponsors are a vital part of our organization, enabling us to provide the high-level of products and services our members have come to enjoy from NCMGMA.

Our sponsor this period is MDcentric Technologies.

Learn more about MDcentric Technologies by viewing their ad on NCMGMA News and on our website. You can also visit their website here.

NCDHHS Deploys 300 Free Testing Sites in Underserved Communities

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.

 

Call for Nominations to the North Carolina Medical Group Management Association Board of Directors

Volunteer and Join the NCMGMA Board!

Nominations are being solicited from our Active members to serve on the NCMGMA Board of Directors. In accordance with our bylaws, there are two (2) open positions on the Board of Directors as at-large members beginning November 1st, which is a three (3) year term, ending on October 31, 2023.

Any member may nominate another member or themselves. All nominees should complete a leadership profile for review by the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee will convene in August for the purpose of recommending a slate of candidates to the NCMGMA Board of Directors for approval by the membership at our next NCMGMA Business Meeting.

Please click this link to view a copy of our bylaws (PDF).

Recently, NCMGMA’s Board of Directors reviewed and approved an updated association bylaws, recommended by the Governance Committee. One amendment to the bylaws included the structure of the board and allows for a call for nominations to the board, unrestricted by location, as previously stated in our bylaws.

The NCMGMA Leadership Profile Form asks general questions, and asks for a personal letter of commitment and an employer letter of recommendation. Both letters are required and can be submitted through the online Leadership Profile Form or emailed to info@ncmgm.org. Please click on the Leadership Profile Form below to begin.

Leadership Profile Form

Nominations are due NO LATER than 5:00 pm on August 14th.

The Nominating Committee appreciates all nominations received. However, the Committee may only be able to respond to those candidates it elects to recommend.

NC Medicaid Prevent and Protect Public Outreach Campaign.

NC Medicaid has launched a new social media advertising campaign to continue to support your efforts as part of our larger Prevent and Protect public outreach campaign.

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.

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.

 

Click Here to Read More

 

July 21st Webinar: Creating Inclusive Health for People with Intellectual Disabilities

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Special Olympics North Carolina:
Creating inclusive health for people
with intellectual disabilities

Tuesday, July 21, 2020
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT

Learn about the healthy equity challenges that people with intellectual disabilities face and how Special Olympics North Carolina (SONC) is doing its part to help by building inclusive healthy communities.

Speakers

Fahey1Ellen Fahey, MS
SONC Health Director
Special Olympics North Carolina
Ms. Fahey has been the Health Director with SONC for the past four years. Along with her role at SONC, Ms. Fahey is an acting member of the Special Olympics United States Leadership Health and Wellness Committee. Ms. Fahey has almost 10 years of experience working in community health and health policy, including working with the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. She has a Master of Science degree in Public Policy and Health from Durham University in England.

Tane1Annie Tane
SONC Athlete Health Messenger
Special Olympics North Carolina
Ms. Tane has been a Special Olympics athlete for the past 21 years and currently serves on the SONC Athlete Council. This past April, Ms. Tane became certified as an Athlete Health Messenger through Special Olympics International. As an Athlete Health Messenger, Ms. Tane acts as a health and wellness leader, educator, advocate and role model within her Special Olympics community and the community at large.

Registration

This webinar is complimentary 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.

Questions

For questions or more information please contact the NC Medical Society Foundation offices at ncmsfoundation@ncmedsoc.org.

NCMS Legislative Update

Originally published in NCMS Morning Rounds by the NCMS on July 6, 2020
Reprinted with permission from the NCMS

Election day is a few months away, but now is the time to educate yourself and make decisions not only on who you want to vote for, but also how you intend to vote this November. The NCMS is here to help.

First, some background on the electorate in our state. There are approximately 7 million registered voters who are relatively evenly distributed by party affiliation with 2.5 million registered as democrats, 2.1 million as republicans and about 2.3 million registered as unaffiliated. The last presidential election in 2016 saw the state’s highest voter turnout in history. Another interesting tidbit – physicians generally are 9 percent less likely than the general population to vote, which is why the NCMS wants to be sure you have all the information you need to cast your vote this year.

A great source is the NC State Board of Elections website, where you will find information including:

  • How to register or make changes to your registration if you’ve moved since last you voted. If you have an NC driver’s license or state issued ID, you can now register or make certain changes to your registration online.
  • Who is on your ballot. In the coming weeks you will be able to see who your choices are and begin to research who will get your vote. Access who is on your particular ballot through the voter lookup tool.
  • How to request an absentee ballot if you want to vote by mail instead of in-person at a polling place. Anyone can request an absentee ballot and, thanks to newly adopted bi-partisan legislation, you only need one person to sign your ballot as a witness and it does not need to be notarized. You need to request the absentee ballot by Oct. 27, that’s a week before the election, and then return the completed ballot to your county Board of Elections by 5 p.m. on Election Day, which is Tuesday, Nov. 3, this year.

Casting your vote is a crucial way to make your voice heard!

Urgent Practice Data Survey: Week of July 6, 2020

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Your response is needed!

Week of July 6, 2020

NCMGMA, NCMS, and Curi are working together to gather vital practice information from administrators and clinicians across North Carolina relative to the COVID-19 crisis.

To support this effort, we are continuing to send a brief e-survey every other week and we ask that you please complete this survey when you receive it in your inbox.

Take the survey now

Testimonial to the Importance of the Urgent Practice Data Survey
The Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services,
Dr. Mandy Cohen, MD, recognizes the importance of the Urgent Practice Data Survey. Click on this link to hear what she had to say about the survey.

About the NCMGMA, NCMS and Curi Survey
The same set of questions is emailed to our participant distribution list and posted to NCMGMA News every other Monday and the idea is to capture snapshots of North Carolina’s healthcare practices as we continue to move through the coronavirus pandemic. The information and data you share will be compiled and used anonymously to better understand the most acute and immediate needs, and to establish any trends to inform our policymakers and legislative initiatives on behalf of the physicians, PAs, practice administrators and the patients of North Carolina.

We know this is a stressful and uncertain time, but by taking less than 5 minutes to complete this survey, you are allowing us to better respond to and represent your needs. Please click the link above to take this short survey and help us work together to battle back against this healthcare crisis.

Thank you for your time and for your commitment to your communities. We’re in this together and are proud to support you and your practice through this tumultuous season.

– Your Colleagues at the NCMGMA, NCMS, and Curi

Urgent Practice Data Survey Reports
Please click on the links below to access the Urgent Practice Data Survey reports:

 

Urgent Practice Data Survey Practice Well-being Report

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Urgent Practice Data Survey
Practice Well-being Report

NCMGMA, NCMS, and Curi have been working together to gather vital practice information from administrators and clinicians across North Carolina relative to the COVID-19 crisis via the Urgent Practice Data Survey, distributed weekly.

For the week of June 1st we added a practice well-being component to the regular list of survey questions. Follow the link below to access the summary report for the practice well-being component metrics.

Click here to access the Practice Well-being Report

Additional Data Reports

We have also published five other Urgent Practice Data Survey reports: one Summary Report addressing the data averages over the first four weeks of collection; a Trends Report, commenting on several notable, stand-out points and trends within the data; a Financial Summary, reporting the monetary impact of COVID-19 on medical practices in North Carolina; a Telehealth Report, addressing the different components of treating patients virtually; and a Practice Reopening Report, presenting what practices were experiencing at the end of May as North Carolina healthcare restrictions were beginning to lift. Please click on the links below to access the full reports (PDFs).

Thank you to our Survey Participants!

Thank you to all of the practice administrators, clinicians, and staff who have taken the time to complete our survey. Our data is being distributed throughout North Carolina and you are helping us make sure the healthcare voices of North Carolina are being heard!

Want to Join the Survey E-distribution List?

If you are not currently receiving requests to take the survey, please email us at info@ncmgm.org and ask to be added to the Urgent Practice Data Survey list.

Save Your Business Money With Managed IT Services

2020 Alliance sponsor feature article courtesy of Apex Technology

Are you a small business considering managed IT services as a solution for your business in order to save on your bottom line, or to reinvest your savings to other endeavors? You’d be in good company if you did. Globally, Gartner data showed that IT spending by businesses reached roughly $3.7 trillion in 2018, with IT services growing 5% from 2017 and accounting for $980 billion.

Don’t let those numbers scare you, though. There’s a good reason companies are investing in managed IT services at this level – it’s allowing them to save elsewhere in their business and redirect those resources to improving upon the customer experience. Let’s look at some specific ways outsourcing IT to a vendor like Charlotte-based Apex Technology can help keep costs low and efficiency high.

Eliminate the Variables

Do you know the costs of installing, managing, and maintaining an IT department internally for your small business? While it might seem on the surface like a long term investment that could pay off, you have to take into account just how unpredictable the personnel and infrastructure costs might end up being, and how a flat, predictable monthly cost might be more beneficial to your bottom line.

Infrastructure Costs

Technology is not built to last, but rather built to wear out and will often need to be replaced more often than you anticipate. Hardware upgrades to achieve additional functionality balanced against installation, upkeep, and maintenance costs, along with managing all this yourself is starting to not sound appealing. Hardware failure, such as a server or router going down, isn’t going to just cost you the price of the equipment, but also the productivity loss during downtime and the hidden costs of a damaged reputation for being temporarily unreliable as a service provider.

Employing a small business IT services provider changes this dynamic completely, as you’ll be leasing equipment maintained by a third party, and the entirety of your network can be deployed to the cloud, providing a flexibility and level of access that can be scaled to your needs and budget without costly investment. And you’ll never have to worry about the next shiny new piece of equipment breaking the bank. Managed IT services will always make available the technology necessary to do the job, and when upgrades hit the market, transitioning to the new industry standard will be performed as a value added service to you, rather than a budget-killing undertaking on the part of your organization.

Expert Personnel Are Expensive

Information technology is constantly evolving as new software and equipment is constantly being released, and you will either need to train up existing staff or invest in new personnel constantly in order to remain staffed sufficiently for your IT needs. For small businesses on a limited budget, this means your people will be overworked and having to pull double duty, likely performing less efficiently at the tasks that generate income for your business.

Outsourcing to a managed IT services provider, you get the benefit of an entire team of professionals with the sole task of managing your information technology infrastructure, leaving your team to do the heavy lifting by focusing on creating a profitable customer experience for your client base.

It Pays to Be Secure

Along with the benefit of a set monthly bill for a service that scales to your needs, you’ll save money indirectly in that managed IT services offer an expertise in cybersecurity and data security that your personnel might not have brought to the table. Ensuring your data remains secure, you’re less likely to experience a costly and reputation-damaging cybersecurity event and you’ll avoid fines from regulatory agencies, as your service provider will ensure your systems remain compliant with industry standards.

Managing Your Vulnerability Management

By Ben Hunter, III, CPA, CITP, CISA, CRISC, CFE

2020 Alliance sponsor feature article courtesy of Bernard Robinson & Company

Our IT environments are in constant flux. We are installing new laptops, desktops, endpoints, printers, etc. on almost a weekly basis. Not to mention the “bring your own devices” (BYOD) that connect to our WIFI. We have no control over those software and app updates. It seems every week there are new vulnerabilities announced.

Vulnerability assessments help ensure that the policies and procedures are being followed, that patches are being installed within the time frame expected, and that configurations are being maintained. A vulnerability management process or procedure should be documented and followed. Not having a consistent vulnerability and patch management process could result in critical security vulnerabilities existing in the IT environment that could be exploited by external or internal threat agents. Those responsible for governance may assume that patches are being installed timely, correctly, and consistently, only to find out with a breach that the patch had not yet been installed.

Visit the Bernard Robinson & Company’s blog to view the complete article.

New PPP loan forgiveness applications released

The Small Business Administration released two Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness applications: (1) A new, abbreviated application (Form EZ) and (2) a revised version of the original application. Form EZ is intended to be simpler to complete and is available to borrowers who meet one of three conditions. Both forms reflect the changes made to the PPP earlier this month, such as the extended covered period, the 60% payroll cost threshold, and the new safe harbor.