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North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services

Local Contact Agency


What is an LCA?

The Local Contact Agency (LCA) is a local, community organization responsible for providing options counseling to nursing home residents on community support options. North Carolina's 16 regional Area Agencies on Aging are responsible for coordinating or providing the LCA function.  The LCA coordinates these face-to-face conversations with the person residing in the facility, the facility point of contact and as appropriate, family members or other supports after a referral has been made by a skilled nursing facility.

Looking for resources to transition from a nursing home to the community?

Money Follows the Person is a state demonstration project that assists Medicaid-eligible North Carolinians who live in inpatient facilities to move into their own homes and communities with supports. In order for a person to qualify for the Project, the person must:

  • Have lived in a hospital, skilled nursing facility or an intermediate care facility for people with developmental disabilities for at least three months); and
  • Meet the CAP or the PACE Program eligibility requirements; and
  • Be receiving Medicaid services before the transition; and
  • Choose to move to a “qualified residence.”
  • A “qualified residence” is:
    • a person's own home
    • a person's family's home
    • a person's own apartment
    • a group home with four or fewer people

To download an application go to

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Independent Living Program can assist eligible individuals with services that provide an alternative to institutionalization (for example, nursing homes) when possible. They can improve functioning in one's family, home and community. They can help prepare a person for a vocational rehabilitation employment program. Services may be provided directly, purchased, or coordinated.

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Services for adults with disabilities and seniors

MDS 3.0 Section Q Referral Process in North Carolina

As is required under MDS 3.0, facilities will make a referral when a person residing in a nursing facility indicates an interest in speaking to someone about the possibility of returning to the community.

Effective October 1, 2010, nursing facilities can call 1-866-271-4894 (9:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday) to submit Section Q referrals to trained call-center staff.

When submitting the referral, facilities will need to provide the following information:

    • Resident’s name and phone contact information
    • Name of referring facility’s contact, including:
      • Name of staff contact
      • Phone
      • Email
      • Name of facility
      • Facility address
      • County
    • Following the logic in Section Q, information about who (if anyone) assisted the resident in completing Section Q:
      • Family
      • Significant other
      • Guardian
      • Legally Authorized representative
      • Other
    • Pay source
    • Date of Admission
    • Date of Birth

A facility will receive confirmation that the referral was made and forwarded to the appropriate entities.

The Local Contact Agency

Call center staff will forward the facility's referral to the appropriate local agency for a face-to-face follow up meeting with the interested person. The Local Contact Agency (LCA) will assign an LCA Options Counselor who will provide information about community resources based on the information collected from the resident using the MDS 3.0 Section Q Referral Response Toolkit and other person-centered tools.

LCA forms available for download

Importantly, the MDS 3.0 Section Q referral process does not otherwise change a facility's discharge planning responsibilities.

Last updated December 12, 2014


Our Partners

Centers for Independent Living

Community Care of North Carolina

Living Healthy

Money Follows the Person

NC Division of Social Services

NC Division of Medical Assistance

NC Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

NC Seniors Health Insurance Information Program

University of North Carolina School of Social Work- Jordan Institute for Families