WILMINGTON, N.C., July 10, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Alera Health (formerly Blaze Advisors) has served the state of North Carolina for over six years. With a spotlight on supporting patients with complex behavioral and medical needs, Alera Health and its partners focus on improving coordinated access to medical services to reduce unnecessary utilization of high-cost services. At its inception, Alera Health supported a hospital system in developing a network of ambulatory BH providers focused on improving the discharge coordination for individuals with mental health and substance use needs. This work catalyzed the formation of additional supportive networks focused on social determinants of health (SDoH) needs and inpatient acute psychiatric needs.
In mid-2020, Alera Health launched its first ONEcare network in Cumberland County (ONEcare Cumberland, “OCC”), North Carolina. OCC is a collective provider, payer, and management partnership that leverages data and communication to reduce barriers and improve overall behavioral health and health outcomes with a focus on access to follow-up care (explicitly targeting the HEDIS 7-day follow-up metric) following acute discharge for individuals with Medicaid and State funded service coverage. In 2023, Alera is building on the success seen in Cumberland County and expanding its integrated systems of care model (ISC) into Durham County. Additionally, Alera is launching a novel network formed in collaboration with Alliance Health and the Mecklenburg Department of Juvenile Justice (Meck DJJ). Meck DJJ was established to serve and support the Mecklenburg Department of Juvenile Justice in ensuring that participating behavioral health providers complete court-ordered Comprehensive Clinical Assessments (CCA) within a legally prescribed window of time around the juvenile’s subsequent adjudication date.
The collection of these networks is known as “NC ONEcare” and works to create collaborative partnerships that leverage shared goals and desired outcomes for priority populations and forms an integrated system of care supported by technology tools, data, and communication streams to reduce barriers and improve overall health outcomes. By working closely with members, payers, community stakeholders, and referral partners the individuals being served are provided with accelerated access to care and enhanced engagement strategies.
In addition to its ONEcare networks, Alera Health was approached in 2021 by a group of primary care providers seeking to form their own Clinically Integrated Network (CIN) to serve a large pediatric Medicaid population. Given its broad network development background in North Carolina and the U.S., Alera Health supported these practices in launching Children First of North Carolina (CFNC). Children First is a physician-led CIN composed of two large pediatric primary care practices caring for an estimated 35,000 Medicaid-covered lives. Children First is excited to provide patient-centered whole person care supported by in-practice Care Management teams and structured around the ONEcare model. Children First has partnered with Alera to gain access to its informatics and analytics expertise, valuable behavioral health expertise, and long-standing relationships with behavioral health providers across North Carolina; a key, yet historically underutilized, part of primary care.