News

 

The information contained herein is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be medical or legal advice, and no information contained within (including any general information about medical or legal matters) should be considered or relied upon as medical or legal advice on any specific matter. You should not act solely on the information in these materials. You should consult an attorney when appropriate for individual advice regarding your own situation.

These materials are not guaranteed to be correct or up to date and may not reflect the most current legal or medical developments. The links in these materials are provided without endorsement and we assume no responsibility for the contents of those other websites.

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Contact Colleen Kochanek. (919) 881-0872 or executivedirector@nccep.org.

 

Scam Alert: NC Medical Board Urges Awareness and Caution

The North Carolina Medical Board (NCMB) recently issued an alert urging physicians and physician assistants to beware of telephone calls from individuals claiming to be investigators from the Board. The callers have been saying the physician or PA is under investigation and asking for personal or financial information. Such calls are not legitimate.

The NCMB does NOT contact licensees by telephone to give notice of pending action or investigation. If you receive such a suspicious call, hang up and do not release any information.

If you have questions, please send an email to info@ncmedboard.org.

ACEP Wellness & Assistance Program

At ACEP19 in Denver, ACEP launched the ACEP Wellness & Assistance Program. This service is now available to all members and provides access to three, FREE confidential counseling or wellness coaching sessions.

Call 1-800-873-7138 to register and receive support whenever, however you need it.

  • Counseling is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Sessions can cover stress, anxiety, depression, family issues, drug and alcohol abuse, relationships, death, grief, and more
  • The service is strictly confidential and can be scheduled face-to-face, over the phone, via text, or through online messaging
  • Wellness coaching sessions are 30-minute phone calls to help reach your personal wellness goals which can include weight loss, nutrition, healthy habits, stress, caffeine reduction, injury recovery, relationships, sleep, smoking cessation, and more

You may choose to use your three sessions using any combination of counseling and wellness coaching, up to the session limit.

If interested, ACEP members can pay just $15 a year to have additional resources to manage legal and financial issues through our partner, Mines & Associates. Participants will have unlimited access to an extensive online resource library and unlimited 30-minute in-person consultations for each individual legal or financial matter and a 25% discount on legal and financial services within the Mines network. 

For more information, visit: www.acep.org/life-as-a-physician/…

Dr. Kyle Roedersheimer Recognized for Work with Shelter Health Services

Congratulations to Dr. Kyle Roedersheimer, NCCEP Resident Board Member, on his recognition by Shelter Health Services in Charlotte, NC for his work as a volunteer physician, board member, and SHS-CMC EM Liaison.

The plaque (on the clinic wall) reads: “Thank you for your dedication and commitment to providing physician care to uninsured, medically indigent, homeless women and children living in poverty and staying in the Salvation Army Center of Hope shelter. Without your regular volunteering in the clinic and at Saturday Health Fairs, they would truly lack access to healthcare and medical services. Thank you also for being on the clinic’s Board of Directors and primary liaison to recruit volunteer physicians from Atrium Health Emergency Medicine Department.”

Shelter Health Services is a free health clinic providing healthcare and health information to uninsured, medically indigent, homeless women and children living in poverty and staying in the Salvation Army Center of Hope, the region’s largest shelter for homeless women and children. All shelter residents may access our free walk-in clinic simply by showing their shelter ID. Lacking money, Medicaid and mobility, for most of our clients, the free clinic is their only source of healthcare.

Dr. Tommy Bernard Appointed to NC Human Trafficking Commission

Congratulations to NCCEP Board Member Dr. Tommy Bernard on his recent appointment by Governor Cooper to the NC Human Trafficking Commission. Fighting human trafficking is one of Dr. Bernard’s passions, and he hopes to make a difference as physicians are often the first point of contact for human trafficking victims. Prior to Dr. Bernard, there wasn’t any physician representation on the NC Human Trafficking Commission. The N.C. Human Trafficking Commission was established in 2012, and studies and combats human trafficking in the state, develops regional response teams to address trafficking, and helps identify gaps in law enforcement’s response to the problem.

ACEP18 Council Update

Jennifer Casaletto, MD, FACEP
Board of Directors and Councillor, North Carolina College of Emergency Physicians

Political satirist Paul Paulsen once proclaimed, “Assuming either the Left Wing or the Right Wing gained control of the country, it would probably fly around in circles.”  While we might be very close to verifying the veracity of Paulsen’s prediction on a federal level, you’ll be happy to know that our 51%-49% Red-Blue divided ACEP Council came together to accept 32 and defeat 5 resolutions during its annual two-day meeting.  Three resolutions were referred to the ACEP Board of Directors for further consideration addressing: generic injectable drug shortages, development of ACEP policy regarding immigration, and revision of ACEP policy regarding the qualifications of expert witnesses.

For those members unfamiliar with the Council, it is a deliberative body of ACEP members representing the 53 chartered ACEP chapters (50 states, District of Columbia, Government Services, and Puerto Rico), the Sections of Membership (Young Physicians, EMS, etc.), Emergency Medicine Residents Association (EMRA), Council of Residency Directors (CORD), Association of Academic Chairs of Emergency Medicine (AACEM), and Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM). The Council debates and votes on resolutions submitted by no less than two members or component bodies. Ultimately, the actions of the Council are considered and ratified by the ACEP Board of Directors (BOD). In addition, the Council elects the members of the Board of directors and the ACEP President-Elect.

read more…

NC Alert: Life-threatening Coagulopathy associated with Synthetic Cannabinoids

Three cases of coagulopathy in patients reporting synthetic cannabinoids use have been reported in North Carolina. See the NC DHHS Provider Memo for more details and recommendations (including case reporting info) and the most recent CDC Health Alert Network (HAN) which includes multiple states reporting more than 200 cases through May 2018.

Click the links below for additional information:

NC DHHS Provider Memo

CDC Health Alert Network

North Carolina Statewide Opioid Overdose Surveillance: May 2018 Update

The Injury and Violence Prevention Branch, NC Division of Public Health has posted an update of provisional data on opioid-related poisoning deaths (NC OCME), opioid overdose emergency department visits (NC DETECT), and statewide harm reduction data (NCHRC).

All reports are posted to the website linked here and below.

NC DETECT Opioid Overdose ED Visits Reports

NC OCME Poisoning Deaths Surveillance Reports
NC Harm Reduction Slides

CDC Clinical Action Outbreak Alert: Potential Life-Threatening Vitamin K-Dependent Antagonist Coagulopathy Associated With Synthetic Cannabinoids Use

Please see the CDC Clinical Action Outbreak Alert regarding bleeding problems associated with synthetic cannabinoids use.  We are not aware of any similar cases in North Carolina. Clinicians caring for patients with suspected suspect vitamin K-dependent coagulopathy associated with synthetic cannabinoid use are encouraged to contact the Carolinas Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for questions about diagnostic testing or management. 

 

ED Based Peer Support Request for Applications

The North Carolina Healthcare Association is soliciting applications to participate in The North Carolina Emergency Department Peer Support Program for Improving Response to Opioid Overdose. Please see the request for application and the application below. All acute care hospitals with accredited emergency departments are eligible for application. Health systems are encouraged to work together and select one site for which to submit an application. The award is dependent and contingent upon selection and subject to the availability of funds. All questions may be submitted to Jai Kumar at jkumar@ncha.org, until May 20th, 2018. The application period will run until March 30th, 2018 until 5:00pm. Incomplete or late applications will be ineligible for consideration.

EDPS_Application_FINAL EDPS_Budget _Template EDPS_RFA_FINAL

Required for Submission:

  • Completed application form with all questions answers and required signatures.
  • Completed budget and budget justification. Include all sources of revenue for your peer support programs, staffing allocations, and all relevant program expenses.
  • Letters of support or commitment documentation from key community partners: LME/MCO; Hospital Administration.
  • An organizational chart for the program.
  • Narrative explaining need, willingness to engage, commitment to data submission, and community readiness.
  • Applications should be no more than 4 pages excluding attachments.
  • Electronic application submissions only.
  • Applications must be submitted no later than March 30th, 2018

ATTN: Jai Kumar, MPH, Director of Planning & Development, NC Hospital Foundation, jkumar@ncha.org

NC HealthConnex Poised for Growth; Adds Three of the State’s Largest Health Care Systems and a Regional Health Information Exchange

Duke Health, Novant Health, and Carolinas HealthCare System have signed agreements to connect to NC HealthConnex, North Carolina’s state-designated Health Information Exchange (HIE). Additionally, Coastal Connect, a regional HIE in southeastern North Carolina, has formally agreed to connect to NC HealthConnex. This connection will add five hospitals and more than 100 data contributors, acute and ambulatory, to the growing statewide HIE. Read the full press release more information.

NC Health Information Exchange Authority | NC HealthConnex | June 2017 Update

Take a moment to review the June 2017, NC Health Information Exchange Authority and NC HealthConnex Update. The Update includes information on HIE Legislation in the 2017 Appropriations Act, including connection timeline revisions, and an update on current participation and connection. You may view the June 2017 Update here.

NC HealthConnex

The North Carolina state-operated health information exchange, called NC HealthConnex, is a secure electronic network that facilitates conversations between authorized health care providers by allowing them to access and share health-related information statewide. This electronic health information is compiled by the North Carolina Health Information Exchange Authority (NC HIEA). Please visit the following links to learn more information: NC HIEA and NC HealthConnex.

Measles in Wake County, NC

Please review the memo from Megan Davies, MD, State Epidemiologist and Chief, Epidemiology Section, and Wendy Holmes, RN, Head, Immunization Branch, regarding a case of measles in Wake County with potential exposures at multiple venues. As noted, clinicians who suspect measles should immediately contact their local health department or the state Communicable Disease Branch (919-733-3419; available 24/7) to discuss laboratory testing and initiate control measures.

New NCMB Program to Address Opioid Crisis

North Carolina Medical Board is launching a new effort to address potentially unsafe opioid prescribing in an attempt to reduce patient harm from misuse and abuse of these medications. The Board emailed licensed physicians and physician assistants (PAs) about the new Safe Opioid Prescibing Initiative this week.

Using data provided in accordance with state law by the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), the Board will investigate prescribers who meet one or more of the following criteria established by NCMB:

1)  The prescriber falls within the top one percent of those prescribing 100 milligrams of morphine equivalents (MME) per patient per day.

2)  The prescriber falls within the top one percent of those prescribing 100 MMEs per patient per day in combination with any benzodiazepine and is within the top one percent of all controlled substance prescribers by volume.

3)  The prescriber has had two or more patient deaths in the preceding twelve months due to opioid poisoning.

The Board will determine the appropriateness of prescribing through standard methods, including review of patient records, independent expert medical reviews and written responses from the prescriber.

NCMB recognizes that prescribers identified through the stated criteria may be practicing and prescribing in accordance with accepted standards of care. Given the known risks of opioids and the rising incidence of unintentional overdose deaths, the Board has an obligation to verify that care and prescribing is clinically appropriate.

Physicians and others who treat chronic pain are encouraged to review current standards of care by reading NCMB’s position statement on use of opiates for the treatment of pain. Cases that result in public action against the prescriber universally involve one or more significant departures from accepted standards of care.

Review responsible opioid prescribing resources

Additional information may be found on the NCMB website here.

 

Updated Zika Virus Guidance

Please review the updated version of North Carolina’s Zika virus guidance for clinicians and laboratories. This version has been updated to include more specific information about risk of exposure in areas with active transmission and links to updated laboratory biosecurity information and guidance. Procedures for receiving approval and submitting specimens for testing have not changed.

 

 

Mumps Update

Please review the update from Megan Davies, MD, State Epidemiologist, here. The North Carolina Division of Public Health is working with local health departments to investigate and control an outbreak of mumps in the Charlotte region. The memo is intended to summarize information regarding mumps diagnosis, management and prevention and to encourage clinicians to promptly report suspected mumps cases.

 

 

Updated Zika Guidance for NC Clinicians and Labs

Please review the updates to Zika guidance for North Carolina clinicians and laboratories here. The main changes are related to risk of sexual transmission from male travelers who developed symptoms consistent with Zika during travel to an area with active transmission or within two weeks after return.

 

Reducing the Stigma – A Case Study Approach to Understanding the Biopsychosocial Challenges of Sickle Cell – April 26, 2016

Southern Regional AHEC is working with Paula Tanabe, Ph.D., RN, FAEN, FAAN and her group at Duke to provide an educational event on April 26. This inter professional event is designed for emergency physicians, nurses, mid-level providers, and social workers who work with the sickle cell patient in the emergency department. Using an interactive case study approach, participants will learn comprehensive approaches to identify stigma, use the new VOC tool, access centralized case management system, additional resources available, and provide best practice care for the sickle cell patient in the emergency department. The education provided will be beneficial for emergency departments wishing to send a team to the education (MD, mid-level provider, Nurse, Social Worker) or individual practitioners who are interested in attending. Multiple Credits are being provided for the event. 

Registration is available here, and you may view the program brochure here.

 

CDC Influenza Health Advisory

Please review the health advisory regarding severe respiratory illnesses reported to CDC among young to middle-aged adults with influenza A/H1N1 infections here.

The primary purpose of this advisory is to remind clinicians to treat suspected influenza in high-risk outpatients, those with progressive disease, and all hospitalized patients with antiviral medications as soon as possible, regardless of negative rapid influenza diagnostic test (RIDT) results and without waiting for RT-PCR testing results. Early antiviral treatment works best, but treatment may offer benefit even when started more than 48 hours after symptom onset in hospitalized patients.

No increase in severe influenza infections has been noted so far in North Carolina; influenza activity in the state remains low overall. Influenza surveillance data for North Carolina are updated weekly at flu.nc.gov.  

 

Management of People Exposed to Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza

Please review the memo from Zack Moore, MD, MPH, Medical Epidemiologist, which provides guidance regarding monitoring and management of people who are exposed to birds infected with the highly-pathogenic avian influenza A H5 viruses recently identified in the United States.

CDC Health Alert Network – Recommendations for Laboratory Testing for Acetyl Fentanyl and Patient Evaluation and Treatment for Overdose with Synthetic Opioid

Please review the CDC Health Advisory regarding Recommendations for Laboratory Testing for Acetyl Fentanyl and Patient Evaluation and Treatment for Overdose with Synthetic Opioid dated June 20, 2013. Read the full advisory here.

Summary

Recently, a number of intravenous drug users have overdosed on a new, non-prescription injected synthetic opioid, acetyl fentanyl. Acetyl fentanyl is a fentanyl analog previously undocumented in illicit drug use that is up to five times more potent than heroin. CDC recommends increased vigilance by public health agencies, emergency departments, state laboratories, medical examiners, and coroners for patients with symptoms consistent with opioid overdose and laboratory results showing an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) positive for fentanyl.

CDC also recommends that public health officials work with laboratories to carry out ELISA screens for fentanyl, and if the results of these screens are positive for fentanyl, conduct gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) confirmatory testing on specimens to confirm or rule out fentanyl and its analogs, including acetyl fentanyl.

Ebola Monitoring Changes and Screening for International Travel

Please review the letter from Megan Davies, MD, State Epidemiologist, informing all North Carolina health care providers of changes in public health monitoring for travelers from Liberia; providing guidance for management of ill travelers from Liberia; and encouraging continued screening of patients for recent international travel.

National Library of Medicine (NLM) Funding Opportunity

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) announces a funding opportunity for small projects to improve access to disaster medicine and public health information for health care professionals, first responders and others that play a role in health-related disaster preparedness, response and recovery. If you are interested in submitting a proposal, please note the deadline is July 6, 2015 at 12 pm ET. Contract awards will be offered for a minimum of $15,000 to a maximum of $30,000 each for a one-year project. The solicitation notice can be found on FedBizOpps.gov.

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Project Lazarus Clinical Trainings

The last round of Project Lazarus clinical trainings are as follows: 

 *Denotes that this training will offer 3 prescribed credits of AMA Category 1 through the NC Academy of Family Physicians.*

 

Health Alert: Simulated IV saline solutions

Please see the Health Alert regarding Wallcur simulated IV saline solutions administered to patients.  This is being issued for two primary reasons: (1) to alert clinicians and staff to this issue and encourage steps to eliminate the possibility of simulated products being administered to patients, and (2) to encourage clinicians to report any suspected exposure of patients to these products.

Influenza Update for NC Providers

This memo (Influenza Update for NC Providers 1_5_2015) is intended to provide clinicians with updated epidemiologic information regarding the 2014–15 influenza season and to reinforce important prevention and control measures for the remainder of the season.

Influenza activity has been widespread in North Carolina since late November. So far, the predominant virus circulating in North Carolina and nationally has been the influenza A (H3N2) virus. H3N2-predominant seasons have been associated with more severe illness and mortality than H1N1- or B-predominant seasons, especially among older people and young children. Approximately two-thirds of H3N2 viruses characterized by CDC so far this season have not been well matched to the vaccine virus component, meaning that vaccine effectiveness against these viruses may be reduced. In this context, the use of influenza antiviral drugs as a second line of defense against the flu becomes even more important, especially for persons at high risk for complication and those with severe or progressive illness.

Additional guidance and weekly surveillance updates are available at www.flu.nc.gov.

VACEP 2015 Annual Meeting

The Virginia College of Emergency Physicians is holding their 2015 annual meeting, February 6-9, 2015, at the Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, VA. More information can be found here.

2nd Annual “Improving Healthcare for Individuals and Families Living with Sickle Cell Disease” Conference – September 19-20, 2014

The 2nd Annual “Improving Healthcare for Individuals and Families Living with Sickle Cell Disease” conference will be held September 19 & 20, 2014. The conference is co-sponsored by Duke University Schools of Nursing and Medicine, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Nursing, and the National Institute of Health, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. For agenda and registration information, please visit here.

Accountable Care Guide Released for Emergency Medicine Physicians

The Toward Accountable Care (TAC) Consortium and Initiative is pleased to announce the release of its latest specialty toolkit for those physicians interested in learning more about how their practice fits into the value-based model called an accountable care organization (ACO).

TAC Consortium member, the North Carolina College of Emergency Physicians, helped identify NC emergency medicine physicians to serve on a workgroup, which was instrumental in the development of the Accountable Care Guide for Emergency Medicine Physicians. Workgroup members included: Jennifer Raley, MD, Wake Emergency Physicians, PA; Timothy Reeder, MD, ECU Emergency Medicine, Michael Moulton, MD, Eastern Carolina Emergency Physicians, PA; Jill Benson, MD, Wake Emergency Physicians, PA.

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NCMS: Senate Budget Hurts Physicians and Patients

news-alert-header

Senate Budget Hurts Physicians and Patients

The North Carolina Senate released their version of the 2014-2015 state budget late Wednesday night. The Senate’s budget has many provisions of concern to us, and we believe there are more effective ways to control costs than those adopted by the Senate.

The Senate budget proposal is moving rapidly through the legislative process. We are encouraging the members of the House of Representatives to carefully consider their budget proposal and not adopt many of the provisions the Senate has proposed.

It is important to contact your House member today and let them know that the Senate budget needs to be modified to correct the following issues:

  • Additional Rates Cut to Physicians

This budget not only maintains the 3 percent rate cut from last year’s budget, but it also removes the requirement that the Department of Health and Human Services develop a withhold or shared savings plan to support it. In fact, instead of correcting the Department’s misstep, the Senate endorses the rate cut and piles on an additional 2 percent cut.

  • Study a Tax on Physicians

In the attempt to explore new revenue options, the NC Senate is also requiring that the Department of Health and Human Services study the feasibility of taxing all North Carolina physicians for the medical services they provide. This study is not limited to physicians enrolled as Medicaid providers.

  • Prohibit any work to be done regarding ACOs and Medicaid Reform

In very clear and simple terms the Senate states that “The Department of Health and Human Services shall cease any activities related to implementing Medicaid reform based on its proposed accountable care organization (ACO) model.” This budget rejects the positive, quality-centered solutions proposed for Medicaid reform, wasting over a year’s worth of work and state resources dedicated to this goal.

Contact your Representatives today and ask them to support policies that will move NC forward by providing high quality care to our state’s most needy patients — without punishing the physicians who treat them.

Pain, Addiction, and the Law 2014

Enhanced continuing education and training for physicians and health care professionals regarding the detection, treatment and cure of acute and chronic pain and its related and prevalent existence of addiction.

PALS 2014 is a multidisciplinary approach to providing education to physicians and HCPS on this subject. The IOM, in its 2011 report, called for a “population health-level strategy for pain prevention, treatment, management, education, reimbursement and research”. This live activity addresses this call to action by providing the education to the medical professionals charged with the care of pain patients in North Carolina and beyond.

Jointly Sponsored by the UNC School of Medicine and Duke University School of Medicine

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STATEWIDE INITIATIVE AIMS TO CURB EPIDEMIC OF PAINKILLER OVERUSE 

Primary Care Providers, Health Departments, Behavioral Health Providers and Hospitals

Join Forces in Community-based “Chronic Pain Initiative”
March 14, 2012, Raleigh, N.C. – Most people never dream that they could become addicted to a pain drug. Yet because of the difficulty our health care system has in determining a proper role for these medications, thousands of patients from all income levels and walks of life are running into issues of dependency. The U.S. is in the grip of an epidemic of prescription drug abuse fueled in part by legitimate prescriptions written by well-meaning physicians.

The sheer volume of the problem is staggering: According to the CDC, enough prescription painkillers were prescribed in 2010 to medicate every American adult around-the-clock for an entire month. A recent report by the Institute of Medicine suggests that the U.S may be spending as much as $635 billion annually to treat chronic pain and that long-term pain impacts more patients in the U.S. than heart disease, cancer and diabetes combined.

In an unfortunate corollary, this flood of narcotics is driving an epidemic of prescription drug overdoses. Nationally, such deaths rose five-fold between 1990 and 2007. This loss of life has had a devastating impact on families all across our state. And even when problems aren’t fatal, the inappropriate use of pain medications significantly impacts the entire community.

To address this public health challenge, a broad coalition of stakeholders has launched the Chronic Pain Initiative. This expansive partnership includes Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC), Project Lazarus, the North Carolina Hospital Association (NCHA), the North Carolina College of Emergency Physicians, local hospitals and emergency departments, local health departments, primary care doctors, faith-based programs, law enforcement, and others.

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