N.C. Child and Family Improvement Initiative Formalize a Statewide Network for Child Treatment Providers

North Carolina, July 19, 2022 – North Carolina’s six Local Management Entities/Managed Care Organizations (LME/MCOs) launched the NC Child and Family Improvement Initiative on May 1, 2022 to create a statewide solution to the current pressing challenges of the service delivery system.

Building on the early successes of the NC Child and Family Improvement Initiative, the LME/MCOs are moving forward to formalize a statewide network of child treatment providers to ensure that children in the foster care system have continuity of care without delay or interruption when moving from one area of North Carolina to another. Beginning on August 1, 2022, all LME/MCOs are offering an open enrollment period for child treatment providers to make sure that children and adolescents have access to the services they need statewide. 

In collaboration with local DSS agencies, service providers and members of LME/MCO Consumer and Family Advisory Committees (CFACs),the NC Child and Family Improvement Initiative workgroups continue their efforts to address the nine critical objectives identified as cornerstones of a statewide model that will support seamless access to quality care for children in foster care, regardless of where they live in North Carolina.

  • Establish a statewide provider network to ensure access to residential treatment and the other services these youth need.
  • Ensure a standardized, seamless process for children moving from one LME/MCO region to another or changing custody to a new DSS.
  • Establish rapid access to care by reducing authorization barriers for residential treatment.
  • Increase capacity for crisis care across the state.
  • Co-locate LME/MCO care managers across North Carolina’s County and regional DSS offices, tailoring the approach to the unique needs of each county DSS.
  • Establish a standardized reimbursement rate at 100% of the rate floor for out-of-network, community-based providers.
  • Adopt standardized, child-specific In-Lieu-Of Services across all LME/MCOs.
  • Develop a standardized, statewide referral system for all residential and Therapeutic Foster Care providers.
  • Standardize case escalation frameworks in collaboration with local DSS departments. 

In the coming days, the NC Child and Family Improvement Initiative will share more details and dates for delivery of the objectives. The immediate improvements resulting from this partnership will be fully functional before the 2024* launch of the North Carolina Behavioral Health and Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Tailored Plans.


North Carolina’s six Local Management Entities/Managed Care Organizations (LME/MCOs) are responsible for managing Medicaid, state and local funding for North Carolinians who are uninsured or who receive Medicaid and seek services for mental health (MH) needs, substance use disorders (SUDs), intellectual/ developmental disabilities (IDD), and traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

The LME/MCOs are the cornerstone of North Carolina’s public MH/SUD/IDD/TBI managed care system designed to improve quality and timely access to care for individuals and families. Established by the General Assembly in 2011, the LME/MCOs are built on a 50-year legacy of county area programs with deep local, community roots. The LME/MCOs ensure access to high quality provider networks, strong community collaboration to support a robust System of Care, and budget predictability through the efficient and effective use of public funds and resources.

North Carolina’s LME/MCOs include:

Media Contact for Vaya Health

Allison Inman, Director of Brand Strategy and Communications
Telephone: 828-225-2785, ext. 5364

Related News

LME/MCOs Launch Initiative to Ensure Seamless, Statewide Care for Foster Children

N.C. Child and Family Improvement Initiative Already Proving Successful

N.C. Child and Family Improvement Initiative: LME/MCOs Make Substantial Investments to Increase Rates for Child Residential Services Across North Carolina

NC Child and Family Improvement Initiative Focuses on Standardization of Collaboration with County Departments of Social Services

*This post has been updated with the new Tailored Plan launch date announced by NCDHHS.

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