The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has a bold new plan for Medicaid services, and Dogwood Health Trust wants to see Western North Carolina be a part of it. In a nutshell, DHHS has created a new pilot program called Healthy Opportunities, that will make it possible for Medicaid dollars to fund much more than just clinical health care. Through Healthy Opportunities, organizations that provide services related to nutrition and food assistance, transportation, housing and domestic violence or toxic stress can receive payments for services they provide to Medicaid patients. The goal? To ultimately improve health and save millions on treatment of clinical illnesses or conditions by investing in evidence-based interventions before health becomes a problem. DHHS will support Healthy Opportunities pilots in 2 to 4 areas across the state. The formal Request for Proposals was released on November 1, 2019, and applications to the state are due January 21, 2020.
Tapping expertise. We are currently working with several partners to develop a regional response to the state’s RFP, and welcome others to join us. Dogwood Health Trust also has retained the services of Health Management Associates (HMA) to bring their considerable knowledge of Medicaid systems transformation to support the development of Western North Carolina’s proposal and ensure ours is the strongest in the state.
Creating a match. We also are exploring the best options for Dogwood Health Trust to provide matching funds in the region as part of the Healthy Opportunities pilot here. This funding might include:
Conversations with partners across the region are still ongoing as we work together to create a Healthy Opportunities proposal that will not only win the state’s approval – but dramatically improve the health of Medicaid recipients throughout our region. To join in the discussion, contact Brian Myers, firstname.lastname@example.org.