Winter 2019 Newsletter

The Connection

Winter 2019
Area L AHEC staff were busy with programs and planning  programs this past fall.  Below left , Area L AHEC held an educational planning session with dentists from the NC Community Health Centers Association for  an upcoming conference (dental track on April 12, 2019) in Chapel Hill.  Top right,  ACEs Professional Development was provided to more than 75 Wilson County School personnel.
Bottom right, participants attended  Long-Term Survival after Cancer: The New Normal. Healthcare professionals learned how to help their cancer patients live more productively with their “new normal.” We had 46 nursing  students from Barton College and Wilson Community College  join our session.


Wendell “Wick” Baker,  BS, MHS, FACHE, has served on the Area L AHEC Board of  Directors for the last  15 years as the Vidant Edgecombe Hospital President. Congratulations on your retirement. 


Hugh Tilson, Jr., JD, MPH, has been named Director of the North Carolina Health Education Centers (NC AHEC). Tilson has extensive experience in health care, including particular expertise in hospital and provider issues, health policy development, and NC’s Medicaid Transformation.


Please welcome our newest team members, left , Michaela Karriker, and right, Harold Williams. Michaela has joined the team as a Program Assistant to Nursing, and oversees CPD Student Training and Housing. She graduated from Barton College with a Bachelor of Science degree in both Gerontology and Health Promotion. Harold has joined the team as our Associate Director of Technology and Education. He comes from a long-standing career in IT spanning several technology-related disciplines.

Our Mission

The mission of Area L AHEC is to meet the needs of the healthcare workforce serving Edgecombe, Halifax, Nash, Northampton, and Wilson counties by providing educational programs and services in partnership with academic Institutions, healthcare agencies, and other organizations committed to improving the health of the people of North Carolina.

What’s Coming Up?


1/31 Practical Updates On The Management of Heart Failure and Atrial Fibrillation – Related Stroke Risk


2/28 When Silence is Loud: Depression and Adults


3/6 3/12 3/133/27 3/20 3/28 NC Inaugural Faith Based Organization Network Workshop Drivers and Determinants of Health: Understanding Health Equity Improving Care for Those Living with Dementia: The Virtual Dementia Tour® and a Positive Approach to Care™ Current Trends in Alcohol Abuse and E-Cigarettes Use STD Update ® Pharmacy Law Update 2019


4/4 4/16 4/18 4/23 Advanced Care Planning Aftershock: The Ripple Effects of Violence New Drug Update 2019 — A Formulary Approach Building a Culture of Resiliency: Skill Lab


5/2 & 5/3 5/28 Health Equity Workshop for Leaders A Day Focused on Geriatric Topics

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

Visit to learn more about free webinars and educational resources.


Please submit your application for Practice Support Services

Left, Shannon Cambra, RT(R), BS Director-Practice Support Activities, QI Consultant Right, Lisa Renfrow, MSN, RN Director-Nursing Education Services, QI Consultant

NC Medicaid Transformation to NC Medicaid Managed Care

Important Dates and Deadlines:

  • Advanced Medical Home (AMH) attestation must be completed and submitted by 1/31/2019.
  • Carolina Access I and II are grandfathered in as AMH tier 2 but can opt to attest to AMH tier 3.
  • Provider Health Plans (PHPs) announced on 2/1/2019.

Prepaid Health Plans (PHPs):

  • NC Medicaid providers will need to contract with PHPs & Providers will be reimbursed by PHPs.
  • There will be 2 types of PHPs: Commercial plans & Provider led entities
AMHS enter contracts with PHP November 2019 (roll outs will be regional & announced at a later date) Additional resources can be found here:  NC DHHS

Advanced Medial Home (AMH):

  • Current Carolina ACCESS (CA) practices may continue into AMH with few changes.
  • Those practices that are ready take on more advance care management functions may be eligible for additional payments.
  • Practices may rely on in-house care management capacity or contract with a Clinically Integrated Network (CIN) or other partners of their choice.
  • Unlike CA, Practices will have the choice to contract with Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC) to participate in AMH, instead of a required contract.

AMH Tier 1 and 2:

  • PHP holds primary responsibility for care management and Practice requirements are the same as CA.
  • Practices and providers will need to coordinate across multiple PHPs (PHPs may employ different approaches to care management).

AMH Tier 3:

  • PHP gives primary responsibility for delivering care management to the practice. 
  • Requirements include all of tier 1 and 2 requirements plus care management responsibilities. 
  • Practices will have  the option of delivering in-house care management or offering it through a single CIN or other partners of their choice across all PHPs contracts.
More information can be found here:  NC Medicaid Transformation Advanced Medical Home Provider Manual

MIPS Year 3:  Highlights

Eligible clinician types have expanded for 2019 to include:

Physical Therapists       Occupational Therapists      Clinical Psychologists       Qualified Speech-Language Pathologists Qualified Audiologists    Registered Dieticians     Nutrition Professionals Low-volume threshold changes:  Clinicians that have ≤ $90,000 in Medicare Part B charges -OR- ≤ 200 Medicare Part B beneficiaries -OR- ≤ 200 covered professional services under the Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) do NOT have to participate in MIPS.

2019 MIPS Final Score Weighting:

Cost now weighted 15%                             Promoting Interoperability weighted at  25% & must use 2015 CEHRT Quality has been adjusted to 45%              Improvement Activities weighted at 15% 2019 MIPS Performance Thresholds 0-29%:  Below minimum performance threshold will result in a -7% penalty. 30-74%:  Acceptable performance will guarantee no penalty, & provide the possibility of up to a 7% incentive. 75%+:  Exceptional performance will guarantee no penalty & provide eligibility for 7% incentive & the possibility to earn an extra 10% for exceptional performance. Fact sheets can be found here:  CMS Quality Payment Program Year 3 2019 Fact Sheet
Area L AHEC convened leaders from Charlotte, Raleigh, Edgecombe County, Carolinas College, Cabarrus College, and Conetoe Family Life Center to discuss how they might develop a learning experience for health professional students. The project will allow students to learn how social determinants of health impact health outcomes in rural eastern NC. Plans are to bring faculty and students from Cabarrus College and Carolinas College to Edgecombe County in the summer of 2019 for a 7-10 day experience. Social determinants of health impact a wide range of health risks and outcomes.  In order to treat the whole patient, it is important that students understand the social determinants that their patients face. Visit NC AHEC Here