Approach to Special Populations (special pops and comorbidities)

​​​​The Special Needs Populations targeted by Cardinal Innovations include those defined in our contract with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services as well as additional populations identified as priorities by Cardinal Innovations. Cardinal Innovations provides care coordination for these special populations. Care coordination interventions are individualized within the framework of four levels of intensity: Low, Moderate, High, and Complex.

These special populations include, but are not limited to, select individual meeting specific criteria from each of the following groups:

Additionally, Cardinal Innovations has developed and continues to develop innovative strategies to meet the needs of select populations who require specialized, coordinated interventions:


MH/SA Comorbidity

Cardinal Innovations developed its Comprehensive Community Clinic (CCC) model to ensure co-location of basic mental health and substance abuse services locally within the same agency. CCCs must employ therapists licensed in mental health as well as substance abuse assessment and treatment.

ID/DD Comorbidity with MH/SA
Comorbidity of ID/DD and MH/SA diagnoses presents a particularly difficult treatment challenge for the behavioral health system. Historically, these disorders have been treated in separate systems, both of which have different principles that drive interventions and each has service professionals with minimal cross training. In 2014, Cardinal Innovations began developing a strategy to improve treatment for members with both diagnoses.​

Medical Comorbidity and Integrated Care​
We believe that integrated care is about the person and access to all health services. This can be achieved by having a single care coordinator working across health systems to ensure appropriate assessments and recommended services are received. Our goal is to ensure that care coordinators and our providers identify health needs and assist people in accessing related treatment, regardless of specialty.​