NC Health Information Exchange

If you treat patients insured by the State Health Plan, NC Medicaid, and/or NC Health Choice, you have until January 1, 2023 to take action. You will need to sign a participation agreement with the NCHIE, stating that you are working to adopt an electronic health record or other vehicle to deliver basic information to the HIE. It will likely take years for the NCHIE/HealthConnex to work on actual connections for individual physician practices. If you are close to retirement, there is a one-year waiver available.

NCPA has also been talking with a company, SmartLink, that has designed a platform to connect mental health professionals to the HIE using billing and claims information through their pipeline, submitting only the most basic of information to NC HealthConnex to meet the mandate requirements. 

NC HIE Resources:

HIE Toolkit

How to connect to NC HealthConnex

NC HIEA Fact Sheet

What to Expect Infographic

Health Information Exchange 

APA Resources:

APA's EHR resource page will help guide you through the health information technology (HIT) process and provide information on evaluating EHR vendors, EHR educational materials and tools, software listings and reviews, and a glossary of terms.

EHR Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few FAQs from the HIE Toolkit:

Q. Can I share data related to a patient’s behavioral health through NC HealthConnex?

A. Yes. Most behavioral health information is permitted to be shared through NC HealthConnex. However, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act does not allow mental health providers to disclose a patient’s psychotherapy notes to others unless the patient authorizes the disclosure. Although participants cannot submit Part 2 data or psychotherapy notes to the NC HealthConnex data repository, participants are permitted to share these types of information via direct secure messaging with other participants through NC HealthConnex. The provider sending the message must comply with applicable law and obtain the required consent or authorization from the patient before disclosing the data. 

Q. What if the EHR vendor does not have the technical capabilities to connect to NC HealthConnex?

A. The N.C. Health Information Exchange Authority offers a variety of connection options to NC HealthConnex. However, there are some instances in which an electronic health record vendor does not have the technical capability to connect to NC HealthConnex. In those instances, you will receive correspondence from NC HIEA about this and options for possible next steps.

Q. Does the connection mandate apply to providers and organizations who do not have an electronic health record (EHR) system, but who otherwise provide services to Medicaid beneficiaries and/or other State-funded health care program beneficiaries?

A. Yes. Providers and organizations that are subject to condition-of-payment connection mandate in N.C. Gen. Stat. § 90-414.4 are not exempt from the mandate because they do not presently maintain an electronic health record. To connect and submit data to NC HealthConnex, a provider or organization must have an EHR that is minimally capable of sending HL7 messages, version 2 or higher. The NC HIEA is working with more than 200 electronic health records vendors, including vendors submitting data. We encourage you to procure an EHR as soon as you are able so that you can begin the connection and onboarding processes. Connecting to NC HealthConnex can take up 12 months, depending on your EHR software.