North Carolina Health Information Exchange 

In 2015, the General Assembly established the NC Health Information Exchange Authority (HIEA), commonly known as NC HealthConnex. The HIE is a secure and electronic network that gives authorized health care professionals the ability to access and share health-related information across the state. The goal is to improve health care quality, enhance patient safety, improve health incomes, and reduce overall health care costs.

This legislation requires providers to have EHR and be connected to the HIE in order to receive any funding from state dollars including Medicaid, NC HealthChoice, and the State Employee Health Plan. 

H70 "Delay NC HealthConnex for Certain Providers" was introduced by primary sponsors Representatives Josh Dobson, Donny Lambeth, Greg Murphy, M.D., and Donna White, R.N. on February 13. The goal of this bill is to postpone until 2021 the mandate to purchase electronic health record software and connect to the NC Health Information Exchange, which currently has a deadline of this June.  

By June 1, 2018, all hospitals, physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners that receive funds from NC HealthChoice or Medicaid and have an electronic health record system must be connected to the HIE.

By June 1, 2019, all other providers that receive Medicaid and State Funded plans including the State Health Plan and LME/MCOs must procure an electronic health record system and be connected to the HIE. 

Learn more about the NC HIE

How To Connect

  1. Make sure you have the required technology. The NC HIE requests that EHRs are minimally cabable of sending HL7 messges, version 2 and higher. EHR products that are ONC certified for Meaningful Use are preferred. For a full listing of EHR vendors that are connected to NC HealthConnex, click here.
  2. Sign a Participation Agreement with the NC HIE, a state agency that manages NCHealthConnex. There is no cost to sign up or connect to NC HealthConnex, but there may be vendor costs that vary by EHR provider.
  3. Identify three points of contact within your practice that will collaborate with NC HIE to serve as the Participant Account Administrator, Contract Administrator, and a Technical Resource. Please note that one person can fulfill multiple roles.
  4. Submit the signed Participation Agreement by email ([email protected]) or mail to NC Health Information Exchange Authority, Mail Service Center 4101, Raleigh, NC 27699-4101

To learn more about getting connected to NC HealthConnex, please call 919-754-6912 or email [email protected] or read Frequently Asked Questions about the NC HIE.

How to Request an Extension

The NC HIE and NC DHHS recently announced that providers who are required to meet the June 2018 deadline can request an extension. Required providers include physicians who have an EHR in their practice and receive state funds (Medicaid, State Health Plan, LME/MCOs, etc). To request an extension you must meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Have a signed NC HIE Practice Agreement 
  2. Can demonstrate how you plan to connect with to NC HealthConnex within one calendar year.

If you meet all of the criteria above and you need to request an extension, complete the extension request form. Please note that you can only request an extension if your connection deadline is within six months. Meaning, if you are required to connect June 1, 2018, the first day you can request an extension is December 1, 2017. If you are required to connect June 1, 2019, the first day you can request an extension is December 1, 2018.

To learn more about the extension process, click here.

NC HIE Training and Tools

NC HIE Technical and Application Support

What Psychiatrists Need to Know: NC Health Information Exchange

Choosing the Right EHR

The APA has put together an EHR resource page designed to guide you through the process and provide you with information on evaluating EHR vendors, educational materials and tools. Learn more.