“This is a major step forward in the improvement of quality medical care delivered to patients in rural communities across the state,” said DHHS Secretary Lanier Cansler.
The initiative extends the benefits of Community Care (CCNC) networks, which currently serve nearly 1 million North Carolina Medicaid recipients, to some rural citizens whose health coverage is through Medicare, BCBSNC or the State Health Plan. Community Care’s networks of medical practices provide a “medical home” that manages and coordinates an individual’s health care, emphasizing patient education, management of chronic conditions and information technology to track treatments and outcomes.
The approximately $11.8 million grant from the federal Medicaid and Medicare agency will augment the health care infrastructures of seven rural counties — Ashe, Avery, Bladen, Columbus, Granville, Transylvania and Watauga — so that citizens currently insured by Medicare, Blue Cross or the State Health Plan can enroll in CCNC networks. In the seven counties of the demonstration project, CCNC medical homes currently serve 112,774 state Medicaid recipients. Over the three-year life of the project, CCNC benefits will be extended to an estimated 128,186 Medicare recipients and 121,011 privately insured BCBSNC or State Health Plan recipients.