NC Legislation Key to Medicaid Transformation  
No one would deny that there is a still lot of work to be done to move Medicaid Transformation forward. Last Fall DHHS submitted an 1115 Medicaid waiver application to CMS and provided a tentative timeframe to implement the waiver and move Medicaid, along with other public funds, to a managed system beginning in July 2019. That timeframe hinges on a number of factors, and the most immediate one is reworking the 2015 Medicaid Transformation statute passed by the NC General Assembly. DHHS has been working hard to obtain consumer and stakeholder feedback and has used these recommendations to develop multiple concept papersThe continuation of Medicaid transformation and waiver implementation will require legislative changes to the 2015 law.  

What Legislative Changes are Needed?
Fundamental to the waiver is the creation of two plan categories: the Standard Plan and the BH/I-DD Tailored Plan. In Medicaid Transformation, the Standard Plan integrates primary healthcare with mild-to-moderate behavioral health services and pharmacy services. The BH/I-DD Tailored Plan covers Medicaid recipients who have high MH/I-DD/SUD needs and integrates physical, behavioral health/I-DD and pharmacy services. The Standard Plan is tentatively scheduled to begin in July 2019.  According to the waiver application timeline, several commercial and provider-led entities (PLEs) will be identified to be the plan managers prior to that date and a capitation rate will be negotiated before they begin managing Medicaid. NC DHHS has included Medicaid recipients with mild-to-moderate behavioral health needs in the capitation rate for the Standard Plan. Receiving approval to move the mild-to-moderate population into the Standard Plan is the first big legislative hurdle.
There are a number of other important items in the 1115 Waiver application requiring legislative action, including:  read more 

Family Caregivers Act Signed into Law

A new law requiring the development of a plan to "recognize and support family caregivers" was signed into law last month.  The Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage or RAISE Family Caregiver Act targets family members providing care for the elderly, sick and those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  The act calls for a national plan to be developed over the next 18 months by the U.S. Secretary for DHHS to identify actions that governments, communities, health providers, employers and others can take to support family caregivers.   
A family caregiver council to include community stakeholders will be created to help strategize and assist in the plan's development. 
The legislation received broad support from disability advocacy groups, including:  The Arc, Autism Society, Easterseals UCP and others. 
Additional articles:  DisabilityScoop and Autism Speaks

Stakeholder Feedback Helping Shape i2i Plans
Since early January, i2i staff have been working on organization infrastructure as well as meeting with system leaders to identify topic areas to begin the work of the i2i Center for Integrative Health. In addition, "We have been gathering feedback from stakeholders since our announcement at the Pinehurst conference in December" said i2i Executive Director Mary Hooper. The feedback survey analytics offered an interesting tool, the ability to highlight topics/phrases that occurred frequently across respondents.

Identified areas of interest include:
I-DD, Business, Affordable Housing, Medicaid, Abuse, Health, Recovery, Care, Ensure, Services, Adults, Opioid, Waiver, Patient

Overall, stakeholder feedback falls into three general areas:  statewide system issues relating to management and services, local system management and service issues, and ensuring a strong consumer voice in the system.  If you would like to provide your feedback, you can still do so at .

Hooper went on to say, "We are working toward initial policy collaborative projects this Spring.  We are being very intentional about the first issues we take on, so we are taking the time to meet with leaders at the Department of Health and Human Services and with other key leaders and stakeholders to see how we can best assist in facilitating work related to Medicaid system transformation. Stay tuned."

Meet Our Board

"We are so pleased to have a strong group of leaders representing a number of important sectors of MH/I-DD/SUD, primary health, and the public service system join with us to create a new voice for behavioral health, I-DD and whole person care in NC," said i2i Center Executive Director Mary Hooper.  Board members include:
Victor Armstrong, Vice President, Behavioral Health at Carolinas Healthcare System
Rob Robinson, CEO, Alliance Behavioral Healthcare
Tom Savidge, Chief Executive Officer, Port Health
Kurtis Taylor, Outreach Worker and Reentry Coordinator, Oxford Houses of NC
Leza Wainwright, CEO, Trillium Health Resources
Luanne Welch, CEO and President, Easterseals UCP North Carolina & Virginia
Over the next few months, the current board will expand to include additional members from other sectors of the healthcare system. "We are actively recruiting to complete our board with individuals who bring expertise in public health, rural health, primary health, and commercial managed care, and we are also hopeful that we will have the opportunity to seat someone with local government experience, possibly a county commissioner or county manager."  Individuals with expertise in these area interested in serving on the i2i board can email Hooper at [email protected].
Save the Date!
Upcoming i2i Events
Spring Conference -  June 11-12, Raleigh, NC
December Conference - December 5-7, Pinehurst, NC
NC Council was very fortunate to host two successful conferences for over 20 years and we are pleased to continue this legacy.  Planning is underway for the i2i Center's inaugural event, the Spring Conference (traditionally known as the Spring Policy Forum) on June 11-12th at the Hilton North Raleigh Hotel.        

Jean Overstreet, Development and Communications Director, said, "We look forward to continuing to host conferences with quality sessions, professional networking and successful exhibit/marketing opportunities."  The Spring conference brochure and on line registration will begin in early April and exhibit and sponsorship materials will be ready in March. 




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Mental Health
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