MAHEC Helps Prepare Western North Carolina for MACRA

The Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) Health Innovation Partners (HIP) team has assisted more than 120 western North Carolina practices thus far in implementing quality improvement programs, data collection and reporting processes, which are recognized and rewarded with higher reimbursement under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).

The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) has contracted with MAHEC in a pilot project to provide their practice transformation consulting services to under resourced practices in the western part of the state thanks to a grant from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust. Read about two practices helped by this grant.

Because of their good work, the MAHEC HIP Team was one of only five organizations across the country asked to submit case studies for the MACRA Toolkit recently published by the National Committee for Quality Assurance. MAHEC was the only organization in the US that provided more than one study.

The success stories include a practice that improved blood pressure control by more than 40 percent in patients with hypertension. Another practice identified patients at increased risk of cardiovascular disease who would benefit from but weren’t receiving aspirin or statin therapy. These outreach efforts not only improved prevention therapy rates but also increased the use of statins in more than 90 percent of patients with established cardiovascular disease.

Two other WNC practices whose stories are included in the toolkit implemented team-based continuous quality improvement (CQI) processes that helped them achieve Patient-Centered Medical Home recognition. Using a team-based approach to CQI helped these practices prevent provider and staff burnout while improving patient health outcomes on a variety of measures.

To learn more about the NCMS’ pilot project with MAHEC contact Franklin Walker at The NCMS also offers assistance in meeting MACRA’s requirements with comprehensive online resources on our website and through our involvement with Caravan Health and National Rural Accountable Care Consortium.

To learn more about MAHEC’s practice consulting services, you can visit the MAHEC website or contact Leslie McDowell at or 771-4227. Click here to access the MACRA Toolkit.


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