COVID-19 Update from Megan Lamphere's Office
COVID-19 Update from Megan Lamphere's Office

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COVID-19 STAKEHOLDER UPDATE, from NC DHHS - 3/24/2020

We have several updates to share on North Carolina’s response to COVID-19. Below is a list of highlights. It is by no means exhaustive. Please be sure to check and review the information provided on ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus.

  1. Governor Cooper Issues a New Executive Order
  2. CDC Updates List of Who is High Risk
  3. Secretary Cohen Calls for Health Care Volunteers
  4. NC Pushes for Federal Changes to Make Food, Healthcare More Accessible
  5. Hospitals Urged to Cancel Elective and Non-urgent Procedures and Surgeries
  6. Medicaid Changes Policies to Encourage Telemedicine

1. Governor Cooper Issues a New Executive Order

Governor Roy Cooper ordered tighter limits on gatherings and extended school closures statewide to May 15, 2020. The order also closed some businesses that require close social interaction and limited visitors to long-term care centers. The Executive Order ban crowds of more than 50 people and requires certain businesses to close, such as movie theaters, hair salons, health clubs and more.

Grocery stores and restaurants providing takeout and delivery will remain open. Additionally, Governor Cooper reminded North Carolinians to show restraint in buying groceries and supplies.

The May 15 school closure date is based on current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

2. CDC Updates List of Who is High Risk

On March 22, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated who is at high-risk for more severe illness from COVID-19. This is a new disease and we continue to learn about it as new information becomes available.

3. Secretary Cohen Calls for Health Care Volunteers

With COVID-19 now in North Carolina, we need to bolster our health care system to ensure we can care for those impacted by the virus. A crucial part of that effort is recruiting volunteers to supplement our health care workforce – including doctors and nurses, pharmacy, imaging and respiratory care, and facility maintenance and administrative support workers and others. We are also asking volunteers to provide medical supplies if they are able, including personal protective equipment.

4. NC Pushes for Federal Changes to Make Food, Healthcare More Accessible

Governor Cooper has asked for waivers so children and families who are food insecure can access resources for meals.  He also asked the federal government to waive certain requirements of the Medicaid program to help pay for care that may extend longer than usual during the crisis. Waivers are intended to reduce burden on Medicaid and NC Health Choice providers such as doctors and hospitals as well as beneficiaries

5. Hospitals Urged to Cancel Elective and Non-urgent Procedures and Surgeries

Effective March 23rd, 2020, as part of a unified response, Secretary Cohen requested all hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers suspend all elective and non-urgent procedures and surgeries. Elective and non-urgent procedures and surgeries are defined as any procedure or surgery that if not done within the next 4 weeks would not cause harm to the patient.

6. Medicaid Changes Policies to Encourage Telemedicine

Effective Monday, March 23, 2020, Medicaid temporarily modified its Telemedicine and Telepsychiatry Clinical Coverage Policies to better enable the delivery of remote care to Medicaid beneficiaries. In addition to telephone conversations and secure electronic messaging, the modifications will include the use of two-way real-time interactive audio and video to provide and support physical and behavioral health care when participants are in different physical locations. 



Sincerely,
North Carolina Assisted Living Association

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