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North Carolina EHR Funding Program for Behavioral Health/IDD Providers

Thank you for your interest in the North Carolina EHR Funding Program for Behavioral Health/IDD Providers. The application period for this program closed on 5/31/18. If your organization applied for this program funding during the application period, the Office of Rural Health Information Technology (HIT) team will send your application to the Division of Medical Assistance team to confirm eligibility for this program. If additional information is needed, the Office of Rural Health HIT team will contact you. Organizations will be informed regarding their eligibility and acceptance into this program by the beginning of July 2018.

Background:
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Office of Rural Health (ORH) and Division of Medical Assistance (DMA) partnered with the NC Health Information Exchange Authority (NC HIEA) to launch a program to assist behavioral health, mental health, and intellectual development and disability practices with purchasing an Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology and establishing connectivity to the state-designated health information exchange, NC HealthConnex.
Pursuant to North Carolina Session Law 2015-241, as amended by North Carolina Session Law 2017-57, health care providers who accept Medicaid reimbursement for the provision of health care services must connect to the designated state-wide health information exchange, which is operated by the NC Health Information
Exchange Authority (NC HIEA) within the Department of Information Technology (DIT). Physicians, hospitals, and mid-level practitioners who receive Medicaid reimbursement and who currently have an electronic health record (EHR) must connect by June 1, 2018. All other providers who receive funds from the State for the pro- vision of health care services must connect by June 1, 2019, even if they do not currently have an EHR system.

Who is Eligible?
This program is designed to support health care practices that:
(i) are Medicaid-enrolled outpatient practices that have an active NPI number in NCTracks;
(ii) provide behavioral health, mental health, or intellectual and developmental disorder services (See taxonomy list);
(iii) attest that they have not received funding for EHR adoption or meaningful use;
(iv) attest that they do not have electronic health record technology or attest that they do have a practice management system as of January 1, 2018, that could be upgraded to an electronic health record;
(v) for calendar year 2017, had behavioral health, mental health, or intellectual and developmental disorder services providers make up 75% of their affiliated health care providers based on NC TRACKS data.

Note: The NC HIEA strongly recommends that providers choose a vendor from among the list (link below) of those that are already engaged in the NC HealthConnex connection process to ensure that they meet the technical requirements for connectivity: Vendor List

How To Apply?
Practices that meet the above criteria are eligible to submit an application via the Office of Rural Health application link below. Applications are being accepted on a first-come, first-served basis between May 1-31, 2018.

Program Requirements:
The practices that are accepted into this program must connect to NC HealthConnex within agreed upon time- frames prior to the funds being distributed. Eligible practices will be reimbursed for the cost of EHR technology based on Table 1 below. The DMA Office of Health Information Technology (HIT) shall be responsible for validating program eligibility utilizing NC TRACKS and HIT data. Each eligible practice will receive only one payment based on Table 1 for all service locations. Only one taxonomy code from the link below is needed to apply.
Behavioral and Mental Health Provider Taxonomy Codes

Table 1
Eligible Practice with 26+ providers up to $20,000
Eligible Practice with 12-25 providers up to $15,000
Eligible Practice with 11 or fewer providers up to $10,000

EHR Program Attestation Process
1 - Eligible BH practice applies for program on ORH website utilizing survey application to self- attest (May 2018).
ORH receives BH application with time stamp from ORH website. ORH validates BH eligibility based on program criteria. Applications close 11:59 PM, May 31, 2018.

2 - Once the online application is submitted and validated, ORH informs the practice of eligibility. After the practice receives notice from ORH, BH practice selects NC HealthConnex compatible EHR vendor with NC ORH Technical Assistance (TA). ORH provides TA to eligible BH practices with, EHR selection and the overall process of connecting to NC HealthConnex.

3 - BH EHR must be purchased by Jan 2019. ORH Health Information Technology (HIT) team will touch base at least monthly with the eligible BH practice to make sure the practice is meeting EHR implementation milestones to meet Jan 2019 EHR implementation date.

4 - BH Practice Executes HIEA Participation Agreement by Feb 1, 2019. Practice submits EHR receipt to ORH. HIEA submits BH executed PA to DMA. Providers receive reimbursement at live in production or active onboarding for 30 days September 2018 – June 2019
 

Funding:
Payments will be made to the practice, not individual providers. As outlined above, practices must apply to the program to be included on the request-for-funding list. Reimbursement for technology purchase occurs:

(i) once connectivity to the State-designated health information exchange (HIE), NC HealthConnex has been established,
(ii) or active HIE onboarding for over 30 days, whichever comes first.

Reimbursement will not exceed the total cost of behavioral health EHR implementation and practices must submit a receipt and related EHR vendor contract to the NC Office of Rural Health as verification of EHR purchase. If the amount of funds requested by eligible behavioral health applicants as of May 31, 2018, is less than the total available funds, the application window will be extended by one month then re-reviewed, with
this cycle repeated until requested funds exceed total available funds.

What is NC HealthConnex?
NC HealthConnex is the state-designated health information exchange for North Carolina that is managed by the North Carolina Health Information Exchange Authority (NC HIEA). NC HealthConnex compiles patients’ health information to build a more comprehensive electronic health record. It also facilitates conversations between authorized health care providers allowing them to access and share health-related information statewide, to improve the coordination of care.

What Does NC HealthConnex Mean For Behavioral Health?
Many mental health providers do not have access to critical patient information such as labs and allergies, and can be isolated from sharing information with other health care providers. This fragmented care can sometimes lead to delays in an accurate diagnosis or a harmful drug interaction. Today, behavioral and mental health providers in North Carolina are not only encouraged to join NC HealthConnex, it is required. See www.nchealthconnex.gov for more information.
 

Supporting Documents:
Behavioral and Mental Health Provider Taxonomy Codes
Behavioral Health Incentive Program Frequently Asked Questions
Behavioral Health Program Flyer

How to Obtain Further Information:
Lakeisha Moore, 919 527-6473, lakeisha.moore@dhhs.nc.gov
Adonnica Rowland, 919 527-6449, adonnica.rowland@dhhs.nc.gov