North Carolina AHEC Program
summer 2012 newsletter | home

MAHEC Receives Health Care Innovation Award

The Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC), serving 16 counties in western North Carolina, received a $1,186,045 award from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Center (CMS) to test team-based enhanced primary care for patients with chronic pain, whose treatment can be both costly and avoidably frequent. The target population for the test includes over 2,000 patients.

MAHECThe intervention will create multidisciplinary teams to provide enhanced primary care, using mid-level providers to co-manage care and providing counseling and medication management services. The result is expected to be better pain control, improved health, a reduction in the frequency of outpatient visits, and additional cost reductions arising from the use of mid-level providers with estimated savings of approximately $2.4 million.

Over the three-year period, MAHEC's program will train an estimated 390 health care workers and create an estimated 7.5 new jobs. These health workers will form multidisciplinary teams to provide enhanced primary care to patients with chronic pain in rural North Carolina.

MAHEC was among the first batch of awardees that the CMS Innovation Center announced for the Health Care Innovation Awards. The awarded organizations will implement projects in communities across the nation that aim to deliver better health, improved care and lower costs to people enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program, particularly those with the highest health care needs.