Focus on Health System Reform: Community Based Collaborative Care Networks

The Community Based Collaborative Care Network (CCN) program was authorized by Section 10333 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) to provide grants to a team of health care providers with joint governance and who provide comprehensive and coordinated health care services for low-income populations.  One goal of this effort is to improve coordination among safety net providers such as hospitals, community health centers and other providers in low income communities to reduce ER use and improve patient outcomes.

Funding for this program was not guaranteed by the ACA and is subject to the annual Congressional appropriations process, although requests for FY 2011 have been submitted in both chambers. In order to qualify for any funding awarded, CCNs must provide a comprehensive range of services for low-income populations or medically underserved communities and include a safety net hospital and a federally qualified health center.  Funding priority will also be given to those CCNs that also include local public health departments in its model as well as a broad range of medical providers.

In our state, the Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC) Program has been paving the way for CCNs since 1998. CCNC enrolls Medicaid beneficiaries into enhanced medical homes among 14 nonprofit, physician-directed regional care networks that partner with hospitals, community health centers and public health departments to provide a wide variety of patient services. With over 700,000 newly eligible for Medicaid by 2014, the need for such effective care management will only increase and the $200 million that CCNC saves our state every year will be needed more than ever.


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