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Mecklenburg and Orange Counties Now Part of Alliance Health

Beginning December 1, Alliance Health assumed responsibility for managing mental health, substance use disorder, and intellectual/development disabilities services for residents of Mecklenburg and Orange counties who are insured by Medicaid or are uninsured. This change was based on the counties’ request to disengage from Cardinal Innovations Healthcare and realign with Alliance.

The Alliance team has been preparing for the transition in both counties, working with Cardinal to ensure smooth transitions for members and providers. Ensuring system stabilization means that people are able to receive the services and supports they need without interruption, and that the clinicians and health care organizations that provide that care are being paid for services in a timely manner.

Alliance has also been working to optimize continuity of care for residents served by Cardinal in both counties by offering Cardinal staff, particularly care coordinators, the opportunity to pursue employment with Alliance. Alliance plans to continue care coordinator assignments as they were with Cardinal if a member’s Cardinal care coordinator has come to work at Alliance and the member wishes to continue that relationship. In cases where a member’s care coordinator does not transition to Alliance, members are linked with a care coordinator who will effectively meet that person’s needs.

Additionally, Alliance is focused on helping members of the Cardinal provider network serving Mecklenburg and Orange residents transition to the Alliance network. We have streamlined the credentialing process for many providers, hosted multiple meet-and-greet sessions virtually and on-site, and are working hard to make the contracting process problem-free for transitioning providers. Alliance offers a Provider Helpdesk staffed during regular business hours to answer questions about authorization, billing, claims, enrollment, and other issues.

Alliance hosted a provider orientation session in November featuring representatives from the Alliance Provider Network, Access, UM, and Claims departments, who provided information to help orient Mecklenburg and Orange County providers to Alliance Health.

During Phase Two of this realignment, Alliance will take a deep dive into the service needs and gaps that exist today in both counties to determine longer-term strategies for improving service capacity and building needed infrastructure – a process that values input and feedback from a diverse range of stakeholders across the community. Alliance will enhance its provider network in response to this needs/gaps analysis and local feedback.

Alliance Health ad in bus
Alliance ad in Mecklenburg County bus.

To boost awareness about the transition and to offer information about Alliance Health to Mecklenburg and Orange County members, Alliance rolled out a multimedia information campaign in November, featuring informational posters in English and Spanish distributed to local public health and social services offices, community partner organizations, and in other public spaces. Additionally in Mecklenburg County, Alliance has sponsored Spanish-language newspaper ads and radio ads on two Mecklenburg County English-language stations and a Spanish-language station.

In Orange County, Alliance will sponsor and participate in the For ‘Em (Forum) on the Hill Community Conversation December 6-10, 4-6 pm, on 97.9 WCHL, a week of programming designed to create community-wide awareness of issues affecting the area. Topics include health and wellness, public safety and social justice, housing, and K-12 education. Alliance Chief Medical Officer Mehul Mankad, MD, will participate on the healthcare panel on Monday, December 6, from 5-6 pm. Broadcasts will be streamed live on and the Tune In app.

Alliance also hosted a Virtual Town Hall Meeting in November to provide Mecklenburg County residents, health care providers, and other stakeholders will have an opportunity to learn more and ask questions about the realignment.

Mecklenburg County staff will get their first opportunity to participate in an Alliance CARES (Community Awareness Resource, Education and Service) event in Mecklenburg County, on December 9, when Alliance staff will fill bags with winter supplies for people who are living outside to be delivered by our street outreach team to the encampments where many homeless people gather. Alliance CARES is an employee campaign to engage employees around the social drivers of health, which are the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live and age and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life.

“All of us here at Alliance eagerly anticipate the responsibility of partnering across Mecklenburg and Orange counties to ensure that residents who are part of our health plan have access to high-quality care that helps folks thrive and live their best lives,” said Alliance CEO Rob Robinson.  “We call that the Alliance Way.”


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