February 2019 Alliance InTouch newsletter now available

The February 2019 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.

Alliance Behavioral Healthcare to Become Alliance Health

(Durham, NC) – Alliance Behavioral Healthcare, the public behavioral health managed care organization, or MCO, for Durham, Wake, Cumberland and Johnston counties, is changing its name to Alliance Health. The new name will be incorporated gradually into Alliance’s informational materials and media over the next few weeks.

“Alliance Health better reflects our future in North Carolina’s public healthcare landscape,” said Alliance CEO Rob Robinson. “It speaks to the integrated whole-person care – physical, behavioral and pharmacy – that we will be providing for the individuals we serve.”

As part of Medicaid transformation, over the next few years North Carolina will create two new kinds of health plans that will serve most Medicaid and NC Health Choice beneficiaries, including individuals currently served by our state’s LME/MCOs. These plans will be referred to as Standard Plans and Tailored Plans.

Standard Plans will provide physical and behavioral healthcare, along with pharmacy services, to people with lower-intensity behavioral health needs. The current timeline calls for Standard Plans to take effect in late 2019 through early 2020.

Tailored Plans will serve people with more severe mental illnesses, substance use disorders, and long-term needs including intellectual/developmental disabilities and traumatic brain injury. The Tailored Plans will provide integrated physical health, behavioral health, and pharmacy services to their members. Alliance Health anticipates being chosen to operate a Tailored Plan. The current timeline calls for Tailored Plans to take effect in mid-2021.

According to Robinson, there will be no changes in the Alliance provider network associated with the name change, and people’s contacts at Alliance are not changing. “It’s important that our members and other stakeholders understand that for now, all that is changing is our name. We just don’t want folks to be confused if they see or hear both names for a little while.”

Individuals will receive full information about future changes regarding their health plan well in advance of those changes. More information about Medicaid transformation is available on the NC Department of Health and Human Services website at www.ncdhhs.gov/assistance/medicaid-transformation.

About Alliance Health
Alliance is a public behavioral health managed care organization, or MCO, with responsibility for the authorization of services for over 439,000 Medicaid-eligible and uninsured individuals and a population of 1.8 million in Durham, Wake, Cumberland and Johnston Counties. It partners with a network of over 2,000 private providers.

New Alliance Home Office Location

Alliance is in the process of making a phased move to a new home office located at 5200 West Paramount Parkway, Suite 200, in Perimeter Park in Morrisville. Over the coming weeks staff at the current home office at 4600 Emperor Boulevard will be moving, while staff at the Durham community office will be moving in late January, and staff at the Wake community office later in the first half of 2019. If you have a meeting scheduled at one of our offices over the coming weeks, you are advised to check with the Alliance staff you are meeting with to confirm their location.

December 2018 Alliance InTouch newsletter now available

The December 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.

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.