FAQs about COVID-19 Legislation

If my health care organization has completed a participation agreement but is not yet live, can I receive an extension of the deadline past June 1, 2020? Is there a form to fill out?

If my health care organization has completed a participation agreement but is not yet live, can I receive an extension of the deadline past June 1, 2020? Is there a form to fill out?

Health care providers who were required to connect prior to 2020 and who have already received extensions will receive an extension to connect and submit data by October 1, 2021. These extensions will be granted only to entities that have a valid participation agreement on file and are actively working toward connecting.

No forms or additional applications are required. Signing a participation agreement and beginning the onboarding process demonstrates a good-faith effort, and the extension to October 1, 2021, will be automatically granted. This extension of time will allow the large queue of health care providers in active onboarding to complete the connection process. Connecting to NC HealthConnex can take up 12 months, depending on your electronic health records software.

Does the October 1, 2021, deadline automatically extend to all health care providers who had a June 1, 2020, deadline?

Does the October 1, 2021, deadline automatically extend to all health care providers who had a June 1, 2020, deadline?

Yes. All health care providers who had a June 1, 2020, deadline now have until October 1, 2021, to connect and start submitting data to NC HealthConnex. Providers who have a valid participation agreement do not need to take further action. The NC HealthConnex technical team will reach out when technical discussions are to begin with your practice.

If your health care organization has not signed a participation agreement with the N.C. Health Information Exchange Authority, it is highly recommended to begin the process now as there are currently more than 5,000 health care facilities in onboarding. For more information, please join one of the monthly How to Connect Calls.

Does the October 1, 2021, deadline apply to local management entities/managed care organizations that had a June 1, 2020, deadline?

Does the October 1, 2021, deadline apply to local management entities/managed care organizations that had a June 1, 2020, deadline?

Yes. Local management entities/managed care organizations that had a June 1, 2020, deadline now have until October 1, 2021, to connect and start submitting claims data to NC HealthConnex. The NC HealthConnex technical team will reach out when technical discussions are to begin with your organization.

If my deadline was originally June 1, 2021, does it change to October 1, 2021?

If my deadline was originally June 1, 2021, does it change to October 1, 2021?

No. These providers still have a June 1, 2021, deadline. However, organizations who have a valid participation agreement on file with the N.C. Health Information Exchange Authority and are actively working on their connection to NC HealthConnex are eligible to receive an extension to June 1, 2022.

I have not completed a participation agreement with the N.C. Health Information Exchange Authority. When should I begin this process now that the deadline has been moved to October 1, 2021?

I have not completed a participation agreement with the N.C. Health Information Exchange Authority. When should I begin this process now that the deadline has been moved to October 1, 2021?

The N.C. Health Information Exchange Authority encourages all providers impacted by the Health Information Exchange Act to begin the process now to initiate their good-faith effort to meet the state’s reporting requirements. Currently, more than 5,000 facilities are in onboarding, and it can take up to a year to complete the connection process.

My health care organization is in queue to complete onboarding. How long before we can expect to be live in production so that we can fully participate in the state’s health information exchange?

My health care organization is in queue to complete onboarding. How long before we can expect to be live in production so that we can fully participate in the state’s health information exchange?

The N.C. Health Information Exchange Authority's technical connections team is working with more than 200 disparate electronic health records vendors to build technical integrations to NC HealthConnex. Currently, more than 80 EHRs are live in production. Full participants may request expedited access to the clinical portal during the COVID-19 public health crisis to enable more informed treatment decisions at the point of care. To request access, please reach out to NC HIEA's SAS Help Desk at HIESupport@sas.com or (919) 531-2700.

I plan to retire on or before the October 2021 deadline. Should I still move forward in the connection process?

I plan to retire on or before the October 2021 deadline. Should I still move forward in the connection process?

NCSL 2019-23 gives the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services the authority to establish classes of providers for whom establishing a connection to the state-designated health information exchnage is a hardship and to provide extensions or exemptions to connecting. Please contact the N.C. Division of Health Benefits Provider Ombudsman at 919-527-6666 or Medicaid.ProviderOmbudsman@dhhs.nc.gov to determine if you qualify.

If I do not have access to broadband, do I still have to connect to NC HealthConnex?

If I do not have access to broadband, do I still have to connect to NC HealthConnex?

NCSL 2019-23 gives the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services the authority to determine classes of providers for whom establishing a connection to the state-designated health information exchnage is a hardship. If you have questions about the hardship extension, please contact the N.C. Division of Health Benefits provider ombudsman at 919-527-6666 or Medicaid.ProviderOmbudsman@dhhs.nc.gov.

Does the mandate apply to providers who do not have an electronic health records system?

Does the mandate apply to providers who do not have an electronic health records system?

Yes. To connect and submit data to NC HealthConnex, you must have an electronic health records system that is minimally capable of sending HL7 messages, version 2 or higher. The N.C. Health Information Exchange Authority is working with more than 200 electronic health records vendors, including vendors submtting data. We encourage you to procure an electronic health records system as soon as you are able to begin the connection process. Connecting to NC HealthConnex can take up 12 months, depending on your electronic health records software.

Will the hardship extension to December 31, 2022, still be available for certain providers?

Will the hardship extension to December 31, 2022, still be available for certain providers?

Please contact the N.C. Division of Health Benefits provider ombudsman at 919-527-6666 or Medicaid.ProviderOmbudsman@dhhs.nc.gov with questions about the hardship extension.