NC HealthConnex: What You Need To Know

NC HealthConnex Updates

The following NC HealthConnex info pertains to North Carolina practices only

So you live and practice in the state of North Carolina and have heard the buzz about NC HealthConnex.

If you're tying to figure out what it all means or what you need to do, read on. We'll break down what is known to date about the new ruling.

What is NC HealthConnex?

The NC HealthConnex is an initiative managed by the NC Health Information Exchange Authority (NC HIEA). The NC HIEA was created by the NC General Assembly and is managed by the NC Department of Information Technology. Therefore, it follows that the stated intention of NC HealthConnex is improving access to healthcare information.

Originally dubbed the "HIE Network," NC HealthConnex's goal is facilitating the sharing of patient healthcare information between healthcare providers. By breaking down the "silos" of patient information,  providers are offered a full picture of the healthcare their patients receive. The diagram below represents the ideal flow of patient information across providers.

NC HealthConnex

Image source: NC HIEA

Although the NC HealthConnex system is already in place, a bill proposing modifications to its requirements (House Bill 70) is awaiting approval or rejection on the NC Senate floor. The information below represents our current understanding. It does not represent any future iteration or evolution of this bill. As we become aware of new changes, we will update our community.

What does this mean for my practice?

NC HealthConnex requires all NC healthcare providers receiving state reimbursements (for example, Medicaid payments) to connect to NC HealthConnex twice daily to submit certain patient information. HB 70 (the March 12th revision) proposes a delay of required compliance for mental health providers until June 1, 2020 (with a final deadline for all providers to connect by 2021).

We suspect that HB70 will pass the NC Senate vote, and mental health providers will not be required to comply with the reporting requirements of NC HealthConnex until 2020. However, there is no guarantee of this. We suggest that you take the steps below in case HB70 fails to pass in the NC Senate.

What do I need to do?

The NC HIEA identifies two steps for you to take to connect to NC HealthConnex and submit records here

  1. Step one does not require any action from you at this point. TherapyAppointment is actively working to fulfill this requirement for our NC-based practitioners. Our EHR will be capable of sending HL7 messages, version 2 and higher.
  2. Step two requires your action: you will need to execute a Participation Agreement by June 1, 2018. This can be found here, along with instructions for submitting via email or post.
    • Within the Participation Agreement, you'll need the following contact information to include TherapyAppointment as your EMR of choice:
      • Contact Name: Carl Alguire, COO
      • Phone Number: 800-242-2127, option 4
      • Email: Support@therapyappointment.com

If you've applied and are in the queue by June 1, 2019, per the NC HIEA page listed here, an extension for compliance will be automatically provided to with your executed Participation Agreement. Read the NC HIEA page for more information.

Final Notes

While information is constantly evolving around NC HealthConnex, we highly recommend executing your Participation Agreement by June 1st (at the latest). It is possible that, without this Participation Agreement in the mail by June 1st, you could be out of compliance with the NC HIEA. Use the address listed by the NC HIEA above to submit your agreement.