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Message from the CEO - August 2018

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare — August 08, 2018
A lot has happened since our last newsletter. In this month’s update, I want to share some updates on Cardinal’s community investment efforts, details on a crisis training we provide to local law enforcement and other first responders, and more information about our efforts to prepare for Medicaid reform and the future of healthcare delivery in North Carolina.

As you’ll recall, our Community Reinvestment Initiative (CRI) contributed over $4 million in to a broad range of initiatives and programs, which aim to improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. We created the CRI as a way to make stable, sustainable investments across its 20-county service area. We began by asking organizations to submit proposals for programs that would improve health outcomes for its members with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental health conditions, and substance use disorders.

One CRI project I’d like to highlight is NC MedAssist’s new Over-the-Counter Medicine Free Store, which opened in in mid-July. This is MedAssist’s first permanent store front aimed at helping low-income people living in the Charlotte region get free over-the-counter medications they need for themselves and their families. Every 30 days, shoppers can select up to five items to take home for free. Items include cold and cough medicine, children's medicine, allergy relief, vitamins and first-aid items. I'm really proud of our long-term partnership with NC MedAssist and how much this initiative will help people. This store is going to help individuals stock their medicine cabinets and have access to basic over-the-counter resources many of us take for granted.

While we’re on the topic of helping those who need it, I was lucky enough to attend Cardinal’s most recent Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) graduation where we had a graduating class of 25 first responders from a variety of departments, counties and units. CIT is a training program we offer to law enforcement and first responders that teaches them how to recognize someone in mental health crisis and how to modify your responses appropriately. In this particular training, we trained our first Chief of Police, Thomas Smith, with the Oakboro Police Department in Stanly County. Concord Chief of Police Gary Gacek took the time to attend the graduation ceremony and talked about not forgetting where you come from. It's important that we understand where people are coming from and meet them there. Understanding and responding to the individual's needs is critical to Cardinal’s mission. This program is making a difference with law enforcement and other responders, giving them the tools they need to interact with individuals who have an intellectual/developmental disability, mental illness or substance use disorder in a way that improves outcomes for all. If you’d like to set up a CIT Training in your community, contact us here.

In our last update, we discussed how the NC General Assembly had passed significant legislation that directly impacts our members – House Bill 403, setting forth a framework for Medicaid reform and how the healthcare of complex populations will be managed in the future.

Cardinal has already begun the work to prepare for the future, which will include the transition of the current LME/MCOs into Tailored Plans. Our teams have been discussing what this means for us and for you. There still are many details to be worked out, but I will keep you informed as much as possible as this develops.

One development on our end is the addition of Greg Gertz as our new Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer on August 1. Greg is a certified healthcare compliance professional and health law subject matter expert with experience leading corporate compliance and ethics, managing regulatory affairs, privacy, and risk management for preeminent payer and provider organizations. The addition of this role is aligned with Cardinal’s renewed commitment to strong compliance and ethical practices.

I hope to continue to see more of you sign up for this newsletter, which is a great way to learn more about upcoming events and hot topics. Enjoy these last few days of summer and we’ll see you back here in September after school starts!

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