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North Carolina recognized for innovations in Medicaid program

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RALEIGH — North Carolina’s Medicaid program received a 2022 Medicaid Innovation Award presented by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Academy for State Health Policy. The nonpartisan award recognizes states for demonstrating creativity, leadership and progress in their Medicaid programs despite significant public health challenges in recent years.

Selected by a panel of expert advisers, Medicaid Innovation Award recipients are Medicaid agency leaders who implemented or enhanced initiatives that demonstrate innovative and unique approaches to improving the health and lives of Medicaid enrollees.

North Carolina received the award for its work on improving access to care. Specifically, NC Medicaid was recognized for developing a maternal/perinatal telehealth policy during the COVID-19 pandemic that provided telehealth and home visit care to patients; provided reimbursement to perinatal providers for remote blood pressure monitoring, physiological monitoring and lactation services; and conducted postpartum depression screenings by video, phone and online portal messaging.

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“The COVID-19 public health emergency challenged our team to look at innovative ways to continue to provide important care to our beneficiaries,” said Deputy Secretary for NC Medicaid Dave Richard. “Our team was already looking to implement many of these opportunities, but through our response to COVID-19 we were able to fast-track some of these ways we care for patients across the state.”

“Medicaid enables states to develop tailored, creative solutions to local challenges, and when faced with an unprecedented pandemic, Medicaid leaders dug deep to develop innovative approaches to care,” said Tara Oakman, interim managing director at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “While it remains a difficult period for Medicaid programs, all states can learn from successes in other states in improving Medicaid access, care delivery and equity.”

The recognized states were honored at NASHP’s annual conference in Seattle.

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