RALEIGH — Through a public-private partnership, North Carolina has created the nation’s first statewide technology platform, NCCARE360, to coordinate whole-person care uniting traditional healthcare settings and organizations that address non-medical drivers of health — such as food, housing, transportation, employment and interpersonal safety.
“All kinds of factors can affect people’s health, and our ground-breaking and innovative NCCARE360 brings government together with the private sector to help people deal with the all the challenges of being sick with COVID-19 or any other health problem,” said Gov. Roy Cooper.
NCCARE360 is now available in all 100 counties. Now, anyone in North Carolina can request services and be connected to an accountable organization to support their immediate and long-term needs. NCCARE360 enables health and community-based organizations to make electronic referrals, communicate in real time, securely share client information and track outcomes together. North Carolinians who need assistance can search NCCARE360’s repository of more than 10,000 local services at nccare360.org/resources, access resources by calling 2-1-1 or complete an online form at nccare360.org/request-assistance.
“Having this critical infrastructure in place puts our state in a stronger position to address the devastating impact COVID-19 is having on so many of our residents and to help us recover,” said Mandy Cohen, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. “NCCARE360 brings to life the state’s vision that all North Carolinians have the opportunity for health and well-being.”
NCCARE360 completed its statewide rollout six months ahead of schedule as the team fast-tracked the statewide expansion in response to COVID-19. Since the network launched in 2019, more than 1,000 organizations across the state have joined the network to connect the people they serve to the resources they need to stay healthy and well, while also ensuring accountability and tracking outcomes.
“NCCARE360 is a model for the nation. It breaks down silos that create barriers to needed care and services — particularly in rural communities — and exacerbate health disparities,” said Georgina Dukes, Unite Us Network Director. “It was critical before COVID-19, and it is even more so now.”
Research has established that having an unmet resource need — such as food insecurity, housing instability, unmet transportation needs and interpersonal violence or toxic stress — can negatively impact health, while also increasing health care utilization and costs. These non-medical drivers have the greatest impact on health, yet historically the human services and health care systems have been fragmented and siloed.
“In order to improve the health of individuals, we must have the ability to understand their unique needs and connect them to resources in their local community,” said Lin B. Hollowell III, director of Health Care for The Duke Endowment. “NCCARE360 is playing a fundamental role in making those connections happen and the Duke Endowment is proud to support its development.”
Organizations that are interested in joining the network can connect at uniteus.com/join.