North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) supports the use of Community Health Workers (CHWs) who play important roles in improving population health and supporting equitable health outcomes. As the CHW workforce grows in North Carolina, NC Medicaid would like to highlight several supports for leveraging CHWs in Medicaid.
NCDHHS published guidance on integrating CHWs into NC Medicaid, providing some background on the important and evolving roles of CHWs throughout the state of North Carolina. The guidance offers examples of how CHWs can serve NC Medicaid members and provides information on current CHW training and certification opportunities throughout North Carolina.
The North Carolina Area Health Education Centers Program (NC AHEC) is supporting NCDHHS’ efforts to scale and spread CHW integration through CHW Specialty and Advanced training programs, practice support coaching for CHW integration into healthcare teams, and a statewide CHW integration learning collaborative.
CHW Specialty and Advanced Training Programs
NC AHEC is developing self-paced online specialty training programs for CHWs and practices on CHW integration into primary care as part of NC Medicaid Managed Care. The training programs cover key knowledge and skills needed to support Advanced Medical Homes (AMHs) improving the quality of care for those most impacted by health inequities.
Priority topics include supporting individuals with behavioral health concerns, living with chronic disease, and perinatal and pediatric health. Modules are available in English and Spanish. Developed with support from NC Medicaid, all modules are available free of charge. You can access the modules on the NC AHEC Courses and Events webpage. Training programs for CHW Supervisors will be launched later in 2022.
CHW Integration Technical Assistance and Coaching
NC AHEC Practice Support launched technical assistance services for practices interested in CHW integration and program optimization. An initial pilot for practices is underway, and we are actively recruiting for second cohort for August 2022.
Participating practices will receive evidence-based practice support coaching, resources and tools to help enhance your CHW program, and the opportunity to learn directly from AMH practice peers who are also working on CHW program implementation or optimization. These services are available at no charge. Visit the NC AHEC Practice Support webpage for more information, or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in participating.
CHW AMH Integration Learning Collaborative
NC AHEC, NC Medicaid, the NCDHHS Office of Rural Health and the NC CHW Association are hosting a year-long CHW Integration Learning Collaborative in 2023, to advance models of CHW integration that connect AMHs with community-based organizations and other system sectors (e.g., schools, foster care, criminal justice, social service) to improve community health and well-being.
One cross-sector team from each of the six Medicaid managed care regions will be selected to participate in quarterly focused learning and action cycles throughout the year, with coaching from a regional CHW Leader. Team recruitment will begin in the Fall of 2022.
More information will be available in future Medicaid bulletins as available and on the NC Medicaid Advance Medical Home webpage.
NC Medicaid Contact Center, 888-245-0179