Alliance to Hold Community Forum in Johnston County

Alliance will hold a community forum to discuss Medicaid reform and how it will impact healthcare delivery.

The forum will also address:

  • Alliance’s Community Gaps and Needs Assessment, which surveyed service gaps and barriers identified by our Johnston stakeholders.
  • Alliance’s plan for improving access to care and supports.

The forum will be on Monday, December 3, 2018, 4–6 pm, at the Public Library of Johnston County and Smithfield, 305 E. Market Street, Smithfield, NC 27577.

1915(b) Waiver Posted for Public Comment

NC Medicaid has posted the 1915(b) Waiver for public comment at:  https://medicaid.ncdhhs.gov/get-involved/nc-health-choice-state-plan.

Public comments can be submitted by email or voicemail to NC Medicaid (Division of Health Benefits):

Email:  [email protected]

Phone:  919-855-4968

NC’s 1115 Waiver Approved by CMS

North Carolina received federal approval on October 24 from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) of the amended 1115 Demonstration Waiver application that DHHS submitted last November. Receiving waiver approval is a major milestone toward implementing North Carolina’s Medicaid Managed Care and moving the state’s health care system toward further integration and coordination. We appreciate the extensive input from clinicians, beneficiaries, hospitals, counties, health plans, elected officials, advocates and other stakeholders to develop the waiver.

With today’s waiver approval, North Carolina was given the authority to implement the transition to Medicaid Managed Care and integrate physical health, behavioral health and pharmacy benefits. This transition toward whole person care also includes the authority to create Tailored Plans to serve people with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) or higher-intensity behavioral health needs, and a specialized behavioral health home model to ensure strong care management for those individuals. To support broader state efforts to combat the opioid crisis and improve access to treatment, DHHS received authority to implement new flexibilities that allow for treatment of substance use disorder in institutions of mental disease (IMDs). The approved waiver also gives North Carolina federal authority to implement through its managed care plans an innovative Healthy Opportunities pilot program, which will identify cost-effective ways for managed care plans to deliver whole person care and ensure that Medicaid dollars are purchasing value. Please note that the approved waiver focuses only on the aspects of North Carolina’s Medicaid managed care transformation that require CMS approval.

DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. will hosts a webcast on the 1115 waiver and what approval means to North Carolina’s transition to Medicaid Managed Care on Friday, October 26 from 1:00-2:00pm. Click here to register to view and listen to the webcast. Note that the webcast can be seen and heard only through a computer or smartphone. Make sure your computer speakers or smartphone audio is on and the volume turned up when you join the webcast.

Additional waiver materials, including a fact sheet, original and amended waiver applications, CMS approval letter and other transformation information may be found on the NC Medicaid transformation website.

Alliance Clinical Pharmacist Vera Reinstein Wins Award

Vera Farkas Reinstein, PharmD, Alliance’s Clinical Pharmacist, recently received the Cardinal Health Generation Rx Champions Award for excellence in community-based prescription drug abuse prevention.

This award, which was presented at the North Carolina Association of Pharmacists annual convention in September, honors a pharmacist who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to raising awareness of the dangers of prescription drug abuse among the general public and among the pharmacy community. It is also intended to encourage educational prevention efforts aimed at patients, youth, and other members of the community.

Dr. Reinstein’s role at Alliance includes provider outreach and education, as well as community collaboration on projects around drug overdose and naloxone access. She goes above and beyond in helping NCAP, pharmacists, and North Carolina communities with the opioid epidemic. Dr. Reinstein has volunteered with NCAP to produce two webinars related to naloxone and chronic pain management and is one of several key pharmacists who has helped develop the “NCAP Advanced Opioid Workshop–Transforming Practice to Save Lives,” which was offered for the first time at the NCAP convention.

During the past year, Dr. Reinstein has been instrumental in helping with efforts to reduce the risk of injection-related infections by making connections for syringe exchange programs with community pharmacies willing to sell syringes. She also recognized a need for an up-to-date drug disposal guide and authored an infographic to be placed on the NC Board of Pharmacy website for public access and to help pharmacists with patient education.

The Cardinal Health Foundation (not affiliated with Cardinal Innovations Healthcare) supports local, national and international programs that improve health care quality and build healthy communities. The Cardinal Health Foundation also offers grants to encourage employee service to the community and works through international agencies to donate much-needed medical supplies and funding to those who need them in times of disaster. To learn more, visit www.cardinalhealth.com/community.

The Alliance for Patient Medication Safety (APMS) was established by the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations (NASPA) and is listed as a Patient Safety Organization with the Agency for Health Research and Quality (AHRQ). The mission of APMS is to foster a culture of quality within the profession of pharmacy that promotes a continuous systems analysis to develop best practices that will reduce medication errors, improve medication use and enhance patient care. To learn more, visit www.medicationsafety.org.

 

Human Rights Committee Meeting Rescheduled

The October 11 meeting of the Alliance Board Human Rights Committee that was canceled due to recent inclement weather will be held on Wednesday, October 17 at 4:00pm in Office 210 at the Alliance Home Office.

October 2018 Alliance InTouch newsletter now available

The October 2018 edition of the Alliance InTouch newsletter for Alliance employees, friends and community members is now available! Stay “in touch” with what is going on at Alliance and the important work we do to deliver the best care to the people we serve.

Read and download the Alliance InTouch newsletter.

Cumberland CFAC Meeting Canceled

The Cumberland CFAC meeting scheduled for September 27 is canceled due to the aftermath of Hurricane Florence. The group will resume its normal schedule next month.​

Advancing NC Whole Health Establishes Partnership to Deliver Integrated Behavioral Health and Pharmacy Services to NC Medicaid Beneficiaries

Coalition of LME/MCOs and UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of North Carolina partner to ease the transition to managed care for Medicaid members with behavioral health needs and to promote the integration of physical health and pharmaceutical services

DURHAM, NC – Advancing NC Whole Health, a coalition of three high-performing local management entity/managed care organizations (LME/MCOs) – Vaya Health, Trillium Health Resources and Alliance Behavioral Healthcare – announced today that it has entered into an agreement with UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of North Carolina to collaborate on the delivery of integrated behavioral health, physical health and pharmacy services to beneficiaries in the State’s new Medicaid managed care program slated to launch in the fall of 2019.

Through their combined strengths, members of the partnership will offer their unique resources and experience to new health plans under the Medicaid and NC Health Choice 1115 Demonstration Waiver. By doing so, the partnership is committed to demonstrating to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the General Assembly that managed care organizations can successfully work together to implement Medicaid transformation in a way that advances high-quality care, improves population health, engages and supports providers and establishes a sustainable program with predictable costs (a four-prong approach known as the Quadruple Aim).

Collectively, the Advancing NC Whole Health coalition is responsible for managing publicly funded behavioral health and intellectual/ developmental disabilities (IDD) services in three catchment areas that span North Carolina from the mountains to the sea. Together, they are responsible for managing more than $1.375 billion in public funds and 715,000 Medicaid covered lives across 53 counties.

“The partnership announced today with UnitedHealthcare Community Plan will expand our contribution to the health of more North Carolinians,” said Brian Ingraham, CEO of Vaya Health.

“Alliance Behavioral Healthcare is excited about this partnership as it will advance whole-person care for the specialized populations we have long served and for other North Carolina Medicaid beneficiaries,” said Rob Robinson, Alliance CEO.

“The combined strength of our established provider networks and a shared commitment to using cutting-edge data and analytics and technology-enabled health services to integrate behavioral and physical care for individuals with behavioral health disorders, complex health needs, substance use disorders, and environmental challenges will be powerful for North Carolinians,” said Trillium CEO Leza Wainwright.

“Alliance Behavioral Healthcare, Trillium Health Resources and Vaya Health have strong roots in their respective communities and a long history of providing quality services to their members,” said Anita Bachmann, CEO of the UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of North Carolina. “Our partnership will ease the transition to managed care for Medicaid members with behavioral health needs and promote the integration of physical health and pharmaceutical services.”

About the Coalition
Alliance Behavioral Healthcare, Trillium Health Resources and Vaya Health are local management entity/ managed care organizations (LME/MCOs) responsible for managing publicly-funded behavioral health and IDD services in three catchment areas that collectively span the State of North Carolina from the mountains to the sea. Together, they are responsible for managing more than $1.375 billion in public funds and 715,000 Medicaid covered lives across 53 counties. More information about the Coalition can be found at www.advancingncwholehealth.com.

About Alliance Behavioral Healthcare
Alliance Behavioral Healthcare is the managed care organization for publicly-funded behavioral healthcare services for the people of Durham, Wake, Cumberland and Johnston counties. Alliance works with a network of almost 2200 private providers to serve the needs of 471,000 Medicaid-eligible and uninsured individuals within a total population of 1.8 million. Alliance operates an Access and Information Center available 24/7 at (800) 510-9132. Learn more at www.AllianceBHC.org.

About Trillium Health Resources
Trillium Health Resources is a leading specialty care manager (LME/MCO) for individuals with substance use, mental illness and intellectual/developmental disabilities in 26 counties in eastern North Carolina. Trillium’s mission is to transform the lives of people in need by providing them with ready access to quality care. We take a person-centered approach to health and wellbeing, coordinating care across multiple systems to achieve improved health outcomes, quality of care and efficient use of resources. Trillium is investing in innovation to meet the unique needs of the individuals and communities we serve, and remains focused on delivering the right services, in the right amount, at the right time. For more information, visit www.TrilliumHealthResources.org.

About Vaya Health
Based in Asheville, N.C., Vaya Health manages public funds for mental health, substance use disorder and intellectual or developmental disability services in 23 western North Carolina counties: Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Caldwell, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey. Access to care and crisis assistance are available 24/7 at 1-800-849-6127. Learn more at www.VayaHealth.com.

About UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of North Carolina
UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of North Carolina, which covers more than 17,000 lives throughout the state, is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making the health system work better for everyone by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. UnitedHealthcare, which has served North Carolina for more than 20 years, offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 1.2 million physicians and care professionals, and 6,500 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at www.uhc.com or follow @UHC on Twitter.

Alliance Seeking Applicants for Board Positions

The Alliance Board of Directors is seeking applicants for two open positions from Wake County and two from Johnston County who can advance Alliance’s vision to be a leader in transforming the delivery of whole person care in the public sector. Now is a critical time to make a difference in public behavioral healthcare as both the federal government and our state legislature consider how to design and fund critically important services for individuals in our communities.

Board member candidates must have a passion for helping people and the community at large. Individuals currently being sought with technical expertise in the following areas: health care administration, health care expertise and experience in the fields of mental health, intellectual or other developmental disabilities, or substance abuse services, financial expertise consistent with the scale and nature of Alliance, data analytics, statistics, IT strategy, attorney with health care expertise, public and/or government relations, business development expertise consistent with the scale and nature of Alliance, and insurance expertise consistent with the scale and nature of Alliance/managed care.

Employees or family members of employees or volunteers of provider agencies or vendors contracted with Alliance, or persons with a financial interest or ownership in any such agency or vendor, are not eligible to serve. For more information or to apply for membership, please visit www.alliancebhc.org/about-alliance/board/#Board_Vacancies.

Board Audit and Compliance Committee Meeting Canceled

The Alliance Board Audit and Compliance Committee meeting scheduled for August 22 has been canceled.