There have been a lot of changes in NC already this year. There have been some challenging circumstances and some exciting news. As always, there’s never a dull moment in our region.
Our quartet of North Carolina Offices were experiencing higher than usual numbers of Covid positive cases in January affecting both our employees and our clients. We were challenged with continuing care coverage with limited staff but with the diligent and hardworking direct care staff of our offices, the clients felt very little to no interruptions in services. February brought much needed relief with the Covid numbers dropping significantly. We would like to extend much gratitude to those caregivers who have continued to serve and care for our clients during this pandemic. You are truly heroes!
The best news came earlier this year from our Department of Health and Human Services who announced that there would be a one-time bonus for direct care workers in NC. The state announced in their #212 bulletin that the current Operations Appropriations Act of 2021 approved a Medicaid budget provision for one-time bonuses up to $2,000 for eligible direct care workers and support staff. NC Medicaid's goal is to provide a bonus that is as close to the legislative goal of $2,000 as possible. Our NC branches have been working in conjunction with Premier’s Corporate Service Center to identify and submit data through the designated DHHS portal for bonuses of those who meet the eligibility criterion. We anticipate payments to begin as early as the spring.
For Certified Nursing Assistants in NC, the NC Healthcare Registry has a new website and new processes for renewing certifications. The state announced in December of 2021 that there would no longer be paper renewal forms. When upping a certificate every two years, CNAs will complete their initial information at the on-line link https://ncnarforms.ncdhhs.gov:8443/NARenewallogin.aspx. Once that information is completed, the nurse at the branch will access the Healthcare Registry to verify employment during the previous two year time span. For anyone with questions or concerns related to the new process, please call your local NC Premier branch for assistance.