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Message from the CEO - February 2019

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare — February 07, 2019
It’s hard to believe we’re already one month into 2019, and even harder to believe how much has happened in that short period of time.

Last week we released our 2018 Impact Report, the first formal annual report we've released as an organization since 2014. You can find it at www.cardinalinnovations.org/impactreport. The report is titled “A Year in Recovery," and provides an overview of significant events, initiatives, improvements, and financials over our 2018 fiscal year (July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018). We created this report to provide a look back on the year while underscoring our commitment to transparency, our refocus on our mission, sharing how we've grown, and what to expect going forward. I hope you’ll find it useful and informative. I know we have work to do yet, but I’m hopeful you are noting the changes and will continue to be patient as we move Cardinal Innovations forward.

Switching gears, I want to talk about the latest Medicaid transformation news that came out this week. Many of you may have seen the press release from DHHS on Monday announcing the names of the health plans that were awarded a contract to manage Medicaid physical health services as Standard Plans. The announcement and the timeline shared by DHHS mark another big step forward for integrated care and the populations that Standard Plans will cover. It’s also exciting for those organizations, three of the five of which are potential partners that we have had multiple discussions with and with which we have signed letters of intent (LOIs). More specifically, Cardinal has formal LOIs in place with United Healthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Centene/Carolina Complete Health. We are excited to continue these conversations and build lasting partnerships that will benefit our members.

One part of Monday’s announcement that I want to mention here is the map that outlines six regions. These regions don’t match the current LME/MCO catchment areas – and that’s OK. It doesn’t mean that we will be losing or gaining counties as the Standard Plans go live. As we continue to prepare to become a Tailored Plan, the finer details around counties, coverage areas, and members will become clearer. In the meantime, we’ll focus on lending our expertise and experience to DHHS, so that the design of Tailored Plans will reflect the unique needs of our members and communities to ensure a successful launch in July of 2021.

Another thing that may be on people’s minds is the population currently covered by LME/MCOs and how it will be impacted by the rollout of Standard Plans. Yes, a portion of those we cover will now be covered by Standard Plans: people with mild to moderate mental health conditions.  We don’t know more specifics beyond that at this point. However, the folks that we really support, the ones that we really interact with, the ones that we review most authorization requests for, the ones we coordinate care for, and the ones for whom the vast majority of our care costs are dedicated to will remain with us. In addition, we will be responsible for their physical health and pharmacy benefits. 

I realize that as more and more information comes out about Medicaid reform, people will have more and more questions. We are committed to educating, sharing information and answering the questions that we can through this process. To make sure we’re communicating effectively, we need to hear from you – we have a link where you can submit feedback or questions to us at any time. I encourage you to use it as an opportunity to talk to us, continue a two-way dialogue, and let us know what you want to hear or see or know. Cardinal Innovations has a bright future ahead as a Tailored Plan – a future that we will only achieve together.

Finally, I want to extend a welcome to members of the NC General Assembly as the 2019 legislative long session gets underway this month. We expect a productive and busy year – please know that we are here to support you. Whether it’s providing context on a Medicaid or behavioral health matter or answering a constituent question – Cardinal Innovations is here to help.

Trey Sutten, CEO
Cardinal Innovations Healthcare

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