NCOHC, NCIOM Announce Formation of Oral Health Transformation Initiative | Beaufort County Now | Project will inform the potential transition to oral health managed care under NC Medicaid

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Press Release:

    CARY, NC     The North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative (NCOHC), a program of the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation (FHLI), and the North Carolina Institute of Medicine (NCIOM) are partnering to launch the Oral Health Transformation Initiative. The multi-sector group will be dedicated to evaluating best practices and making recommendations for oral health's potential inclusion in NC Medicaid Managed Care.

    NCOHC will serve as overall project coordinator while NCIOM will convene the Oral Health Transformation Task Force. Both organizations will manage associated data collection, analysis, and reporting. Based on a systematic, evidence-based review of other state models for Medicaid managed care specific to oral health, the task force will issue a final report for consideration by policymakers.

    "Managed care" represents a system in which health benefits are administered by a third-party payer. Ideally, this approach to payment for health care services incentivizes quality outcomes and efficiencies, as opposed to a traditional "fee-for-service" model. While NC Medicaid has transitioned to value-based "managed care" for medical services in North Carolina, oral health has not yet been incorporated.

    The partnership between NCOHC and NCIOM reflects a growing consensus among providers and policymakers that a future transition is likely, and the importance of stakeholder engagement and preparedness in making the eventual shift.

    "The shift to managed care in oral health is rapidly expanding across the country, signaling the desire to reimagine our payment systems to improve patient outcomes, control costs, and support quality oral health care service delivery," said Dr. Zachary Brian, Director of NCOHC and Vice President of Impact, Strategy, and Programs at FHLI. "Change is coming, and we're thrilled to partner with NCIOM to help ensure that North Carolina's providers, policymakers, and other stakeholders are ready to support a successful potential transition."

    The Oral Health Transformation Task Force will bring together key oral health and health care stakeholders, policymakers, academics, and other key influencers in the collaborative design, development, and messaging of oral health managed care opportunities. The Task Force will be informed by a systematic literature review, key informant interviews with oral health managed care experts in other states, and a statewide survey of North Carolina oral health stakeholders to inform its recommendations.

    Upon completion of the Task Force's work, NCOHC and NCIOM will jointly develop a final report, launch a communications plan, and distribute their findings to stakeholders throughout North Carolina.

    "We look forward to gathering informed and thoughtful leaders to examine lessons learned from other states and from the rollout of Medicaid managed care in North Carolina," said Kathy Colville, President and CEO of the NCIOM. "We seek to chart a path for Medicaid managed care that incorporates important perspectives from diverse stakeholders and ensures high quality oral health care for Medicaid beneficiaries."

    The project is funded by The Duke Endowment, reflecting the nonprofit foundation's longtime emphasis on improving oral health in North Carolina.

    "We're excited to support this timely and innovative effort," said Stacy Warren, a program officer with the Endowment's Health Care program area. "By incorporating oral health into the state's Medicaid managed care planning, this initiative can help drive innovation, boost health equity and promote preventative care."

    About FHLI's North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative

    The North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative, a program of the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation, works to advance systems-level changes, improving the overall health and well-being of all North Carolinians by increasing access and equity to oral health care. NCOHC seeks to influence policy, and through collaboration, listening, and knowledge-sharing, NCOHC works to provide maximum impact in achieving optimal oral health care for all North Carolina communities.

    About the North Carolina Institute of Medicine (NCIOM)

    The North Carolina Institute of Medicine (NCIOM) is an independent, quasi-state agency, chartered by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1983 to provide balanced, nonpartisan information on issues of relevance to the health of North Carolina's population. The NCIOM focuses on improving the health and well-being of North Carolinians by providing health data and analysis, building consensus toward evidence-based solutions to the health issues facing our state, and informing health policy at the state and local level.

    About The Duke Endowment (TDE)

    Based in Charlotte and established in 1924 by industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke, The Duke Endowment is a private foundation that strengthens communities in North Carolina and South Carolina by nurturing children, promoting health, educating minds and enriching spirits. Since its founding, it has distributed more than $4 billion in grants. The Endowment shares a name with Duke University and Duke Energy, but all are separate organizations.

   CONTACT: Dr. Zachary Brian, Director (NCOHC) and VP, Impact, Strategy & Programs (FHLI)
   North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative (NCOHC)
   The Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation (FHLI)
   Phone: 231.340.1732
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