Charlotte AHEC Practice Support
April 2023 Newsletter

April is National Minority Health Month

Every April, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) observes National Minority Health Month to highlight the importance of improving the health of racial and ethnic minority and American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities and reducing health disparities.

Did You Know?

To learn more about National Minority Health Month and to find resources, visit National Minority Health Month - Home (

Regulatory Reminders – Sharps Safety

Healthcare personnel who use or may be exposed to needles are at increased risk of needlestick injury. Needlestick injuries can lead to serious or fatal infections with bloodborne pathogens such as hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, or HIV. As a healthcare professional, you can protect yourself from a needlestick injury by:

  • Using devices with safety features
  • Planning for safe handling and disposal of needles before using them
  • Promptly disposing of used needles in conveniently placed and appropriate sharps disposal containers
  • Participating in training related to infection prevention

Additional strategies, information, OSHA requirements can be found at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

Make It Actionable! Ensure staff and providers are properly trained in how to use sharps within the practice, disposal of sharps, what to do if staff experience a needlestick injury and how to report a needlestick injury to comply with OSHA.

Nationwide Shortage of Asthma Medication Albuterol

A nationwide shortage of the asthma medication albuterol has been ongoing since last fall and experts fear it's only expected to get worse. Albuterol can be taken in several forms but it's the aerosolized solution used in a nebulizer in hospitals that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration put on its drug shortage list in late October. This shortage poses the greatest challenge for hospital settings where it is used most commonly but can be a problem for those that use this form of the drug at home.

For a recent article on the situation view ABC News.

North Carolina Medicaid Expansion

This is a momentous agreement that will directly improve the health and well-being of 600,000 North Carolinians. Expansion and HASP* will bring $8 billion annually to North Carolina with no additional cost to the state, along with $1.8 billion which can support behavioral health, public safety support, rural health care, and other needs. North Carolina can receive an additional $1.8 billion in HASP payments if we are able to implement both these programs this fiscal year.

To review the full announcement and check for updates, review the NCDHHS Press Release.

New Screenings for Newborns

Babies born in North Carolina will now be screened for two additional disorders, along with the other disorders screened for by the NC Department of Health and Human Services’ Newborn Screening Program. Newborns will now be screened for two Lysosomal Storage Disorders — Mucopolysaccharidosis Type I (MPS I) and Pompe Disease

Click here to read the full press release.

HIPAA Privacy & Security Training

NC Piedmont AHEC is offering a free, self-paced online learning for HIPPA privacy and security. The online course will provide information to understand the law and develop best practices within your office to ensure compliance.

To register for this free training, visit Piedmont AHEC’s registration page.

Removal of DATA Waiver (X-Waiver) Requirement

Section 1262 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (also known as Omnibus bill), removes the federal requirement for practitioners to submit a Notice of Intent (have a waiver) to prescribe medications, like buprenorphine, for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD). With this provision, and effective immediately, SAMHSA will no longer be accepting NOIs (waiver applications).

All practitioners who have a current DEA registration that includes Schedule III authority, may now prescribe buprenorphine for Opioid Use Disorder in their practice if permitted by applicable state law and SAMHSA encourages them to do so.

Review information from SAMHSA for additional details.  

Advance Care Planning: Bill Correctly for Services

In a recent report, the Office of the Inspector General found that Medicare providers who billed for advance care planning (ACP) services in an office setting didn’t always comply with federal requirements. Review the revised Advance Care Planning fact sheet, and learn how to: 

  • Document discussions
  • Follow time-based coding requirements

More Information: 

Charlotte AHEC Practice Support Helping you meet the challenges!

In this time of great transition in health care practices need to position themselves for new payment models, incentive programs, and other health care reforms while refocusing on patient-centered care. Charlotte AHEC is currently able to provide these direct, individualized services at no cost.

Additional Resources:

Charlotte AHEC - Part of the NC AHEC Program
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