Vital Signs Blog

Blog: North Carolina transitional-care program wins inaugural Hearst population health prize

Community Care of North Carolina, a transitional-care management program for Medicaid recipients, is the winner of the first $100,000 Hearst Health Prize. The announcement was made Tuesday morning at the Population Health Colloquium in Philadelphia.

CCNC helps 1.4 million Medicaid beneficiaries—including dual-eligibles—in North Carolina with post-discharge care and patient self-management. It also facilitates outpatient communication with the medical home to follow up on clinical and social issues that can affect outcomes. The program identifies individuals with chronic medical conditions who might be at risk for hospitalization or readmission.

Since 2008, rates of hospitalization and readmission for the target population have declined by 10% and 16%, respectively, the program reports. Also, Medicaid costs dipped 9% between 2003 and 2012, according to the North Carolina Office of the State Auditor. Also, the program established real-time data connections with 87 hospitals, representing 78% of all Medicaid hospitalizations in the state.

“The use of robust health analytics along with a statewide infrastructure and a network of physicians and hospitals has allowed us to manage the toughest patients well," Dr. L. Allen Dobson Jr., CNCC's president and CEO, said in a statement.

CCNC's approach "is an important contribution to the field of population health and its impact is far-reaching, as we hope other programs across the country will gain insights from this model,” said Dr. David Nash, founding dean of the Jefferson College of Population Health, who was one of the nine judges for the prize.

CenteringPregnancy, a prenatal support program, and Jersey City Medical Center-Barnabas Health's wellness program were the two other finalists.


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