May is Mental Health Month

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May is Mental Health Month

Mental Health Month was established in 1949 to celebrate recovery from mental illness and increase awareness of the importance of mental health and wellness in all lives. This month raises awareness of trauma and helps to reduce the stigma so many people experience. Mental Health Month highlights the impact trauma can have on communities, children, and families’ emotional, physical, and mental well-being.

Maternal mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders affect 1 in 5 women and are prominent in pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum complications. Women at an increased risk of maternal mental health may have a personal or family history of mental illness; may lack social support, especially from their partner; may have experienced traumatic birth or previous trauma in their lives; may have a baby in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Maternal mental health challenges are temporary and treatable with proper care. Recovery from maternal mental health includes social support, self-care, medication, and talk therapy, as a combination approach.

Child and adolescent mental health are also essential to consider during this month. 1 in 7 children and adolescents aged ten to nineteen years old experience mental health conditions, but these largely remain unrecognized and untreated. Emotional, social, and physical changes, including exposure to abuse, poverty, or crime, can make adolescents vulnerable to mental health problems. Anxiety, depression, and behavioral disorders are the leading causes of disability and illness among adolescents. Children and adolescents can feel supported about their diagnosis by the people in their lives learning about their diagnosis, exploring stress management techniques, and praising the child’s abilities and strengths.

Mental health prevention and promotion interventions aim to strengthen an individual’s capacity to regulate emotions, build resilience for managing difficult situations and adversity, enhance alternatives to risk-taking behaviors and promote supportive social environments and social networks. Enhance alternatives to risk-taking behaviors and promote supportive social environments and social networks.

National Healthcare Decisions Day

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National Healthcare Decisions Day

National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) is represented annually in April and is an initiative created to inspire, educate, and empower the public about the importance of advance care planning. NHDD was designed to encourage someone to express their wishes regarding healthcare and for providers and facilities to respect those wishes, whatever those wishes might be.

The pandemic has been a reminder that healthcare affects everyone of all ages. It impacts that patient, the person’s family, and the facility taking care of the person. The focus on advance care planning has been highlighted through these unique times.

Advanced care planning includes completing an advance directive (living will), appointing a healthcare power of attorney (someone to make healthcare decisions if the person can not speak for themselves), and the person sharing their choices with their family and loved ones.

Another aspect of advanced care planning is Psychiatric Advanced Directives (PADs). PADs are legal documents detailing a person’s preference for future mental health treatment, including specific choices about medications and hospitalizations and the refusal of consent to either. PADs help the person identify an individual to make treatment decisions if that person is in a crisis and unable to make decisions. In NC, PADs are also known as an “Advance Instruction for Mental Health Treatment .”An Advance Instruction for Mental Health Treatment remains valid until the person who created it revokes it.

There are numerous benefits to having and completing advanced care directives, including enabling proper care and possibly preventing involuntary treatment. When families are informed, and up to date on a person’s advanced care directives, the family can better advocate for their loved ones.

Medicaid Managed Care Updates

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Medicaid Managed Care Updates

1. Effective April 1, Medicaid will extend coverage for pregnant women to 12 months after birth. See announcement Here.

2. Medicaid Standard Plans are required to conduct at least two PIPs annually, which must be approved by the Department of Health Benefits. The State may also mandate PIPs to support statewide priorities. The State has determined the following as the 2022 required PIPs:

  • Childhood Immunization Status (CIS) Combo 10 – Tip Sheet
  • Hemoglobin A1c Testing – Tip Sheet
  • Timeliness of Prenatal Care – Tip Sheet Coming Soon

3. An important reminder that Medicaid beneficiaries have Value Added Services available through their health plan that can be beneficial in helping patients better adhere to their care plan and contribute to improvements when addressing these Quality Improvement Initiatives.

Provider Resource Requirements

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Provider Resource Requirements

1. The North Carolina Medical Board (NCMB) is now a paperless organization and rarely sends snail mail. To ensure that NCMB messages reach you, update or verify your information utilizing these steps.

2. Were you successful with getting signed up for the NCDAVE System? All clinicians in NC should register with NCDAVE. Register for NCDAVE today

Financial Sustainability Training Events

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Financial Sustainability Training Events

A Primer for Practice Managers

  • Part 1 Highlights Strategic Planning, Budgeting, and Financial Reports with Key Performance Indicators.
  • Part 2 includes education on Effective Payer Management, Revenue Cycle Management, and how to conduct a financial projection for a new program or service.

Tailored Care Management Trainings

NC AHEC has partnered with the NC Department of Health and Human Services and Division of Health Benefits to equip Tailored Care Management (TCM) candidates with the tools and knowledge to effectively provide care management services to North Carolina’s Tailored Plan beneficiaries through Continuing Professional Development (CPD) opportunities.

Find more training opportunities

Sleep Awareness Week is March 13 – 19, 2022

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Sleep Awareness Week is March 13 – 19, 2022

Sleep Awareness Week is March 13 – 19, 2022, and it is a period to use as a call to action for personal well-being. It is the perfect time for everyone to recognize the importance of sleep as a crucial measure of overall health and wellness.

Please use this vital reminder to implement healthy sleeping habits and reflect on practices to help you have a good night’s rest. It is not a coincidence that sleep awareness week begins on March 13th, which is the beginning date of Daylight-Saving Time, when most Americans change their clocks and lose an hour of sleep.

The National Sleep Foundation stresses that adults need seven to nine hours of sleep per night and any less could pose serious consequences to a person’s health and safety. Sleep helps people recover from illness or injury, cope with stress, and solve problems. Common sleep-wake disorders include insomnia (having problems falling or staying asleep which can lead to anxiety and depression), nightmares (this usually happens during Rapid Eye Movement sleep and brings up feelings of distress or terror generally related to a traumatic event), sleep terrors (any single image memory – not like a nightmare but these single images can be so terrifying that you may shake or scream. When the sleep terror ends, you calm down and return to normal sleep.)

The complex relationship between sleep and psychiatric disorders means that treatment for both issues can go hand-in-hand. There are steps to improve sleep which may even form part of a preventive mental health strategy. A medical doctor or psychiatrist can review the potential benefits and risks of different types of treatments, including prescription medications. They can provide tailored care, including in situations with multiple co-occurring physical or mental health issues. Good sleeping habits, relaxation techniques, sleep restriction (limiting the amount of time in bed) and exercise are treatment options for sleep..