NC HIEA August 2021 Update

NC HealthConnex Highlights from the 2021 SHIEC Conference

NC HIEA executive director, Christie Burris, participated in the 2021 SHIEC Conference last week. Burris served on a virtual panel with other health information professionals to discuss the state’s rapid innovation and vital partnerships in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. She explained the importance of providing health data and COVID-19 information to support the state’s response to the public health crisis.

The conference also featured sessions such as “HIEs and Information Blocking Rules”, “The Public Health Data Utility Model for HIEs”, “The Future of HIEs in the Rapidly Evolving Healthcare Market”, and “The Evolution of Clinical Data Access in HIEs.”

To learn more about the Annual SHIEC Conference, click here.

In Case You Missed It: CSRS Teletown Hall Covers the Mandatory Use in Effect for Prescribers Under the STOP Act

On August 11, the NC HIEA and NCDHHS hosted a Teletown Hall focusing on the Controlled Substance Reporting System (CSRS). Participants learned about what the CSRS is, the Mandated Use that began July 7, 2021, and how the CSRS Utilization Team is available to support the use of the system as a clinical tool.

Pertinent information from the NC Opioid Dashboard was reviewed and discussed, in addition to information about the PDMP/CSRS integration processes, advantages to integration and available resources, NarxCare scores, and insight to help in the interpretation of these tools.

To watch the CSRS Teletown Hall, click here. Please use the password nFyvfaZ5 to view the recording. If you have additional questions, contact Stephanie Johnson or Jessica Brehmer.

Read more about the Mandatory Use in Effect.

Are You Leveraging NC HealthConnex to Improve Health Care Quality?

Resources Available to Assist in Onboarding to NC HealthConnex

The NC HIEA previously announced that the HIE Act deadline was extended until January 2023 as a result of a collaborative effort to bring additional relief to health care providers who have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The NC HIEA advocated on behalf of providers so that organizations would be allowed additional time to complete the technical onboarding process without being out of compliance with the HIE Act.

Why You Should Connect Now

  • With North Carolina’s move to managed care, all Medicaid providers will benefit from more complete health information aggregated within NC HealthConnex on Medicaid patients across the care continuum as providers are now focused on managing the health of a patient vs. the fee for service model. In addition to allowing providers direct access to their patient’s health information via NC HealthConnex, Medicaid has also begun to look at quality measures on their beneficiaries from HIE data in order to improve the program.
  • There are more than 5,000 facilities currently involved in the onboarding process. There are no guarantees of additional extensions; in fact, the General Assembly is requiring compliance reports from the NC HIEA by March 1, 2022.
  • There are additional resources available through September 30, 2021, to support Medicaid providers in the technical connection process. In addition, various electronic health record (EHR) vendors are able to offset integration fees through September 2021.  Unfortunately, due to the sunsetting of federal funds, there will be no additional surge resources available for those that postpone connections.

*Note: It is incumbent upon the participant to reach out prior to the deadline to get connected. Currently, on-premises connections take 3-4 months and cloud roll-ons take 2-4 weeks.

Please note that the NC HIEA will report on efforts, progress, and mandated Medicaid and State Health Plan providers not yet connected to the legislature in March 2022 as required by state law. All connection statuses and levels of engagement will be evaluated and reported to the North Carolina General Assembly Health and Human Services Joint Legislative Oversight Committee.

For questions about resources or connecting to NC HealthConnex, contact the NC HIEA team at or 919-754-6912.

Upcoming Events

  • How to Connect Call
    Monday, August 30, 2021, at 12 p.m. To register for this call, click here.

Enterprise Security and Risk Management Office (ESRMO) – Monthly Cybersecurity Newsletter

Health care providers should be aware of potential cybersecurity risks and understand the importance of data privacy. The Enterprise Security and Risk Management Office (ESRMO) is pleased to provide this month’s edition of the ESRMO Monthly Newsletter. This month’s newsletter covers:

  • Security and Data Privacy Terms in Contracts
  • Common Ransomware and Phishing-Related Security Events
  • Registration for the 2021 NC Digital Government Summit and more!

NC HealthConnex, as part of NCDIT, is attuned to mitigating these risks with our technical partners. Click here to learn more about our privacy and security policies. Click here to read this month’s newsletter.

In the News

HIEs Advance Interoperability for Improved Care Coordination, Data Analytics - Health information exchanges (HIEs) advance interoperability and provide clinicians with greater access to patient health data for care coordination, according to an op-ed published in the Journal of AHIMA.

Improving Care Quality with New Data Aggregator Validation Program - The National Committee of Quality Assurance (NCQA) has launched a new Data Aggregator Validation program that will assist in ensuring the validity of clinical data used for quality reporting.

The EHR Is Dead. Long Live the EHR Platform (1 Of 2) - "It's a simple fact that paper kills," said Newt Gingrich, former Republican Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, on NPR's Talk of the Nation back in 2005. In an era that predated electronic health records (EHRs) policies and mandates, Gingrich was part of a bipartisan consensus that advocated for a transition to an electronic-based system, with opportunities for cost savings and reduced medical errors being two primary benefits.

Most Americans Want to Share and Access More Digital Health Data - Americans’ medical histories have largely been digitized over the past two decades as hospitals and physician’s offices moved from paper-based to electronic health record (EHR) systems. Congress has invested billions of taxpayer dollars to accelerate this transition, authorizing federal rules to expand individuals’ access to their health records and to help clinicians share data and coordinate care for patients they have in common.

Google: 9 in 10 Docs Say Interoperability, Data Exchange Top Priority - Enhanced interoperability and patient data exchange allows providers to deliver patient-centered care, according to a survey conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of Google Cloud.

NC HealthConnex Supports Providers in CMS Reporting Requirements

NC HealthConnex is assisting providers to attest to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) newest measure – bidirectional exchange through an HIE.

As a part of the promoting interoperability measures, the health information exchange (HIE) bidirectional exchange measure requires that eligible clinicians or groups attest to being capable of establishing the technical capacity and workflows for bidirectional exchange through a HIE for all patients seen by the clinician and for any patient record in their electronic health record (EHR). This measure can replace the MIPS electronic referral and send and receive measures for 2021 reporting. For more information about MIPS, visit

NC HealthConnex can help its participants attest to this and other public health measures. Providers should check with their EHR vendor regarding bidirectional capability or contact the NC HIEA team at for any related questions.

About MIPS: The MIPS program serves to link payments to quality and cost-efficient care; provide more accessible health care information; promote continuous improvements in health care processes and outcomes; and reduce the cost of care services. MIPS measures an organization’s activities through data in the following areas: promoting interoperability, quality, improvement activities, and cost. Contact NC AHEC Practice Support at for assistance with the QPP MIPs program.