NC DHHS COVID-19 Update: April 20, 2020
Below is NC DHHS' stakeholder update from last week:
- Governor Cooper Shares Path Forward for North Carolina
- NCDHHS Convenes Testing Surge Workgroup
- NCDHHS, Universities, Health Systems Partner to Study COVID-19
- Telehealth Helping North Carolinians Access Care
- NC Medicaid Increases Support to Protect Individuals in Nursing Homes and Adult Care Homes
- Counties Can Support Behavioral Health and Intellectual and Developmental Services during COVID-19
Governor Cooper Shares Path Forward for North Carolina
North Carolina’s aggressive action to respond to COVID-19 is flattening the curve in our state and saving lives. To stay ahead of the curve, keep our communities safe and protect our frontline workers, North Carolina will need to conduct widespread testing, aggressive contact tracing, and data-informed policy decisions.
NCDHHS Convenes Testing Surge Workgroup
The Testing Surge Workgroup is charged with developing a plan to increase testing, expand testing sites and options, and address testing supply challenges, including the availability of personal protective equipment. The workgroup is composed of internal NCDHHS staff and leaders from the public and private sectors.
List of Workgroup Members
NCDHHS, Universities, Health Systems Partner to Study COVID-19
NCDHHS is working with academic partners across the state to understand how widespread are cases of COVID-19 with mild or no symptoms and to monitor prevalence of the disease over time. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, and East Carolina University will assess changes in COVID-19 prevalence in Chatham, Pitt, and Cabarrus counties. Participants will be recruited across different populations and monitored over several months to understand the spread of the virus.
Telehealth Helping North Carolinians Access Care
Using telehealth, North Carolinians can receive services while avoiding the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Doctors and other clinicians across the state are using telehealth to deliver primary care and prenatal care; help patients manage asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure and other chronic conditions; and provide behavioral health counseling, physical therapy and more. All insurance companies in the state, including Medicaid and Medicare, are covering healthcare visits through telehealth. DHHS and NC Medicaid have developed a video and a flyer to help alleviate concerns and encourage people to talk with their doctors about using telehealth to get the care they need to stay healthy.
NC Medicaid Increases Support to Protect Individuals in Nursing Homes and Adult Care Homes
NC Medicaid is providing additional funding to support nursing homes and adult care homes for older adult Medicaid beneficiaries diagnosed with or at high risk of contracting COVID-19. The targeted Medicaid funding will further enable nursing homes and adult care homes to provide the more intensive care needed for residents with COVID-19 and limit the spread of the virus to other residents and staff.
Counties Can Support Behavioral Health and Intellectual and Developmental Services during COVID-19
A new resource outlines actions that communities can take to maintain and sustain services for individuals with behavioral health needs and intellectual and developmental disabilities and to reduce the burden on emergency departments and hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic. The strategies are directed at local government agencies, community organizations, local management entity/managed care organizations (LME/MCOs), behavioral health providers, hospitals in communities across the state and other partners.
Strategies for Counties