Partners’ Provider Council to Expand Voting Membership

Partners’ Provider Council is currently preparing to expand its membership. If you would like to become a voting member, please submit the brief form of interest linked below by August 27, 2020. Only one survey should be completed per agency. Current voting members will remain on the charter and do not need to complete this form of interest. It is expected that the council will vote on expanding membership positions and all charter updates in October 2020. All agencies are welcome to attend and participate in council meetings regardless of their voting membership status. Council meetings take place on the fourth Friday of the month at 9:30 a.m., with no meetings in July and December. Due to COVID-19, meetings will be held remotely until further notice. Meeting links will be posted on Partners’ website and in Communication Bulletins.

2020 Partners Provider Council Voting Membership Form of Interest:

The Partners’ Provider Council is a professional representation of the network and advocates for all service providers in the Partners’ catchment area. The council facilitates an open exchange of ideas and brings forward concerns and solutions while promoting collaboration and mutual accountability among providers. To learn more, please visit

Upcoming Provider Meetings

Partners’ Provider Council:

  • Partners’ Provider Council will meet via Zoom on August 28, 2020 beginning at 9:30 a.m. Click here to register.
  • The September Provider Council meeting will be held via Zoom on Sept. 25, 2020 beginning at 9:30 a.m. Click here to register.

Quarterly Provider Webinar:

Partners hosts a quarterly Provider Webinar to communicate important information and detailed updates to our providers about a variety of topics. The next webinar will be held virtually on Sept. 9, 2020 beginning at 1 p.m. Click here to register.

Provider Information Sessions:

Partners will continue to host Provider Information Sessions in August. To register for a session, click on the date and time listed below. You may submit your questions to in advance. We also recommend that you review the FAQs from past information sessions before submitting a new question.

Mental Health/Substance Use Provider Information Session

Sept. 17, 2020, 4 p.m.

Online via Zoom | Click here to register

Innovations-I/DD Provider Information Session

Sept. 22, 2020, 4 p.m.

Online via Zoom | Click here to register

Partners Awarded $4 million SAMHSA Successful Recovery Grant

Partners has been awarded a Successful Recovery – Assisted Outpatient Treatment (SR-AOT) Program grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The grant will provide $1 million annually for four years to implement integrated treatment for individuals in six counties in Partners’ service area.

Funds will be used to improve outcomes for those 18 years or older who have a serious mental illness with an emphasis on schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders and are found to need services that require judicial support to ensure adherence via referral, evaluation and decision by the courts or magistrate. The grant will facilitate an integrated and individualized system of care using case management teams that will consist of a clinical supervisor, case managers, peer support specialists and a SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery (SOAR) worker.

Partners will work collaboratively with the courts, hospitals, jails and network providers to

  1. Lower use of and high cost/ineffective services while engaging with appropriate evidence-based practices to limit harm to self or others.
  2. Improve treatment adherence while lowering perceived coercion.
  3. Improve disruptive symptoms and increase community/social engagement.
  4. Implement the SR-AOT with fidelity.
  5. Engage community programs and services in a way to sustain the progress of the SR- AOT grant.

Partners has taken the first steps in implementing its project plan with the hiring of Judy Dahlstrom as project director and Todd Chambers as the clinical supervisor.

Partners and community collaborators will begin implementing the program in Gaston and Iredell Counties in September. Other counties will follow, including Catawba, Burke, Lincoln and Cleveland in subsequent years through 2024.

Want to learn more? Email Judy Dahlstrom at

Reminder: Annual Submission of Provider Quality Improvement Projects

This is a reminder of Partners’ expectation for providers/contractors that deliver Medicaid and/or State-Funded services to submit three quality improvement projects (QIPs) to Partners by August 31, 2020. (Licensed Independent Practitioners are excluded from this requirement.)

Directions for submitting quality improvement projects are available in Provider Communication Bulletin #107, published July 16, 2020. If you have questions, please contact Tamikka Woods by calling 704-884-2568 or email

Reminder: Client Perception of Care Surveys

Providers that are participating in this year’s Client Perception of Care survey administration are reminded that all surveys should be uploaded by Aug. 31, 2020. If you have questions, please contact Bill Rankin at

State News/COVID-19 Updates

Providers are reminded to check Partners’ COVID-19 provider webpage and the NC DHHS COVID-19 Guidance and Resources for Medicaid Providers for the most up-to-date information. If you have questions, please email your provider account specialist or the Provider Network Contacts at

Medicaid Bulletins: All bulletin articles, including those related to COVID-19, are available on the DHB webpage.

Joint Communication Bulletins, which are issued by the NC Department of Health and Human Services, can be found at

Recent Joint Communication Bulletins:

Joint DMHDDSAS and DHB (NC Medicaid) COVID-19 Update Call For BH/IDD Consumers, Family Members and Community Stakeholders:

This call occurs every fourth Monday at 2:00 p.m.; Check the Partners’ COVID-19 Provider webpage for weekly call-in details.

Joint DMHDDSAS and DHB (NC Medicaid) COVID-19 Update Call for NC Providers:

This call occurs every first Thursday at 3:00 p.m.; check the Partners’ COVID-19 Provider webpage for weekly call-in details.

HHS Opens Combined Medicare/Medicaid/CHIP (Phase 2) Portal:

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has opened the Medicaid/CHIP (Phase 2) portal to include additional eligible providers who received funding through the Medicare (Phase 1) General Distribution. Click here or visit to learn more.

42 CFR Part 2 Revisions:

SAMSHA released a fact sheet on revisions to 42 CFR Part 2 to facilitate better coordination of care in response to the opioid epidemic while maintaining its confidentiality protections against unauthorized disclosure and use.

Utilization Management Update

Effective August 17, 2020, providers may use the Adult and/or Child Services Review Information Form for Medicaid and State members. The forms are located on the Provider Knowledge Base website at

Utilization Management (UM) recommends that providers use the Adult Review Information Form and/or Child Services Review Information Form to provide information on frequency, intensity and duration of current symptoms and behaviors for members in enhanced services. This is a supplemental form to other clinical documentation such as Comprehensive Clinician Assessment (CCA) and Person-Centered Plan. This form will aid in Utilization Management review. Although this form is available, this information can be provided in other methods of documentation submitted with the Service Authorization Request (SAR). If this information is not submitted, the Utilization Management reviewer may request that the provider complete the form.

If you have any additional questions, please contact the Mental Health/Substance Use (MHSU) UM Workgroup at 704-842-6436.

Claims Information

Providers are reminded to use the email for all email inquiries so that they are handled in the most efficient manner. Please do not send email directly to individual employees. 

AlphaMCS Portal University is an available resource and guide for navigating AlphaMCS. If you need additional claims training, email to schedule a time for training.

Explanation of Benefits Requests for Coordination of Benefits Claims:

As a reminder, Partners does request copies of the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) for members/claims submitted indicating Coordination of Benefits. The request will originate via email from Partners’ Claims Department. Once requested, please submit the information, via secured email, prior to the date indicated in the emailed request. If a response is not received, the original claim payment will be recouped.

ATTENTION PROVIDERSClaims Processing Information

Beginning July 1, 2020, the authorization edit was enabled. This means that:

  • Any claims submitted after June 30, 2020 will deny if there is no authorization when an authorization is required for the procedure code.
  • Claims dated March 19, 2020-June 30, 2020 will be manually processed/approved if the claims deny for no authorization only.
July 2020: Medicaid—Number of Days to Process and Pay All Claims
Received Date to Paid Date: 8.8
Top Five Medicaid Claim Denials for July 2020

Claim Denial

Provider Recommended Action Steps

Service is not authorized Verify Service Authorization for consumer. Contact Utilization Management.
Claim received after billing period. Write-off charges as non-billable. Do not rebill.
Duplicate Claim The claim has previously been submitted and adjudicated. Do not refile.
No coverage available for Patient/Service/Provider Combo Go to Patient -> Patient Search and search for the patient in question. Check the insurance to ensure the patient has effective insurance covering to date of service submitted on the claim. If this appears to be correct, contact the MCO for further assistance.
Invalid Units: units claimed does not equal number of days for Discharge Claim Review the units billed and the date range. Rebill with corrections.

Partners Training for Members, Providers and the Community

All training sessions are free to registered attendees. Register in advance at If you have any questions, please email

Member Education

Psychiatric Advance Directive (PAD) Training
Multiple sessions are available. Sessions will be held:

In this training, hosted by Partners and NAMI South Mountains, members will be provided with the resources needed to create their own PAD so that treatment preferences, should they not be able to communicate for themselves, are shared with and heard by the treatment provider. A certified trainer will provide participants with the information and tools needed to create a PAD.

Community Training

Human Trafficking: Keeping Our Children Safe (Register)

Aug. 26, 2020, 1 p.m., Online

Since many of us are working from home, our children may be home more than usual and may spend more time online than ever before. In this training you will learn about human trafficking and how to keep our children safe from online predators.

Domestic Violence: How to Help in COVID-19 Crisis (Register)

Aug. 27, 2020, 1 p.m., Online

As people continue to be in quarantine, many individuals and families are experiencing stress due to employment issues, finances and health concerns. In this training, you will learn the warning signs of domestic violence and how to help.

QPR (Question Persuade Refer) Suicide Prevention (Register)

Aug. 28, 2020 10 a.m., Online

Because many of us are isolated due to social distancing, and may have experienced losses or depression, the risk of suicide is higher than ever. This two-hour training teaches the skills to intervene in a suicide crisis.

Training for Providers

Providing ASAM Informed Treatment

Four opportunities for training:

  • August 25, 2020, 1 p.m. – 4:15 p.m., Recorded webinar (Register)
  • August 26, 2020, 9 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., Recorded webinar (Register)
  • September 23,2020 1 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Online (Register)
  • September 30, 2020 8:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Online (Register)

This American Society of Addiction Medicine course meets service definition requirements for ASAM training. Participants will receive tools in the form of handouts and watch a pre-recorded webinar training. A certificate is offered once registrants pass a 10-question quiz. Course content includes the purpose of ASAM, an overview of ASAM changes and DSM5 changes, ASAM dimensions and level of care, clinical assessment and the application to treatment planning, level of care and risk assessments as well as informed treatment and medical necessity.

Target Audience: Providers who need initial training and/or a refresher.

Trainer: Partners’ Utilization Management Staff

Provider Open House (Register)

Sept. 3, 2020, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m., Online

Join Partners’ Provider Network, Claims, Access to Care, Utilization Management, Care Management and Quality Management staff for an interactive information session. This open-house style event will allow each attendee time to work one-on-one with Partners’ staff to discuss any issues, questions or unfamiliar topics.

For this session, we will be using Zoom and breakout rooms. These sessions will not have a formal presentation or start time but is the providers’ time to meet one-on-one with Partners’ staff for technical assistance. Providers will need to register prior to the event. As a registered attendee, you are welcome to arrive and exit at your convenience, depending on the amount of time you feel is needed with our staff. The intended audience for the open house includes established and new providers in Partners’ network. Providers who are new to Partners’ network are advised to have already established access to AlphaMCS and have reviewed the provider orientation toolkit prior to attending a session.

Target Audience: Existing and new providers in the Partners’ network.

Motivational Interviewing (Register)

Sept. 11 and Sept. 18, 2020, 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Online

Join Partners Training Academy for this two-day, interactive virtual live training that will cover the fundamentals of Motivational Interviewing (MI). This training will be done by a MINT trainer and will meet NC service definition training requirements. This is a virtual live event; and you will need to participate using audio and video capabilities. If you cannot access audio and video, you will need to wait until a face-to-face class is offered. If you are not participating by video, you will be removed from the session. You must attend both days to receive credit. No partial credits will be given.

Target Audience: Providers

Trainer: Tammi Grossens, Certified MINT Trainer

Community Support Team Service Definition (Register)

September 15, 2020, 12:30 – 3:45 p.m., Recorded Webinar

This training meets the requirement for CST team members to receive three hours of service definition training. Attendees must take a 10 question quiz and pass at a rate of 80% or higher in order to gain a training certificate.

Target Audience: Providers delivering CST

Trainer: Partners Utilization Management

Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) Virtual Training Series (Register)

Dates and Times:

  • September 15, 2020, 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • September 17, 2020, 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • September 22, 2020, 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • September 24, 2020, 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Attendees must be present for the entirety of all four sessions of this training to receive a certificate of completion.

Location: Online

Description: Partners has scheduled a series of virtual trainings on the evidence-based model for Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH). With the policy change, CST providers are to provide ongoing, tenancy support services. This training will support ANY provider by improving their understanding and practice of the PSH model. Experienced and certified PSH trainers from the Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) have created the training. These sessions will be facilitated by TAC trained Partners’ staff.

Other things to know:

  • This is an interactive training. Attendees are expected to participate fully (audio and visual required).
  • Attendees must be present for the entirety of all four sessions of this training to receive a certificate of completion. This is equal to the two-day, in-person class.
  • If you arrive more than 15 minutes late, you will not receive credit.
  • No partial credit will be awarded.

Target Audience: All employees who deliver CST (15 hours of Tenancy Support Training must be completed within 90 days of hire. This training meets that requirement), ACTT, TCLI and any housing staff.

Trainer: Partners’ Provider Network Trainers

Quality Improvement Project (QIP) Training (Register)

Sept. 30, 2020, 1:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m., Location to be determined

This course will review the key components for developing a new QIP, tracking data through the course of the project, analyzing results and implementing change based on the QIP results. You will learn the state requirements for QIP documentation and complete a practice or “test” project. We hope this can be an in person training in Hickory. One week prior to the date of a training, a decision for the course format will be evaluated. If an in-person course is not feasible, we will switch to a virtual format. Registrants will be notified via email regarding final format. The course will be limited to 18 registrants. This course will not provide NBCC continuing education units.

Target Audience:  Providers who develop and monitor Quality Improvement Projects

Trainer: Tamikka Woods, QM Manager

Cultural Competency: CLAS Standards (Register)

October 20, 2020, 8:45 a.m. -11:30 a.m., Online

The Office of Minority Health has established Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) standards to address health equity and improve outcomes. This training will not only review the standards themselves but review the wealth of tools and training materials available free of charge to providers.

Target Audience: Providers who wish to enhance knowledge of CLAS standards and training resources

Trainers: Provider Network Trainers

Other training resources and opportunities

ASAM Training Project (Online – live)

Please visit for more information including continuing education credit options, training dates and registration. This is a skills-based training and is not the same general overview content as the ASAM training provided by the Partners Training Academy.

Registration opens July 31, 2020 for training dates beginning in August. Events scheduled throughout the year through June 2021.  Each course has limited registration. Fee: $90.Live training includes 13 contact hours, the time limited use of an electronic version of The ASAM Criteria manual (3rd edition) and an opportunity to obtain a hard copy of the manual for $15.50.

Description: This training project is a part of the 1115 Substance Use Disorder Demonstration Waiver implementation plan. The plan includes: 1) the use of The ASAM Criteria to determine the appropriate level of care required for beneficiaries and 2) ensuring direct enrolled professionals providing comprehensive clinical assessments (CCA), diagnostic assessments (DA) and other evaluations have the knowledge, skills and ability to make an ASAM level of care determination for beneficiaries with a substance use disorder diagnosis.

Target Audience: Behavioral health clinicians in North Carolina who are contracted with a LME/MCO or provide CCA, DA and other evaluations (LCSW, LCSW-A, LCMHC, LCMHC-A, LCAS, LCAS-A, LMFT, LMFT-A, PA, NP, MD)

Trainer:  Train for Change Inc, in collaboration with the UNC School of Social Work – Behavioral Health Springboard and NW AHEC

ASAM Training Project (Online – eTraining)

Please visit for more information including continuing education credit options, training dates and registration. This is a skills based training and is not the same general overview content as the ASAM training provided by the Partners Training Academy.

Registration opens Aug. 3, 2020. The fee is $75 and offers extended-access licenses for practitioners to access three modules of eTraining covering The ASAM Criteria. eTraining includes 12 contact hours and access to modules through June 30, 2021.

Description: This training project is a part of the 1115 Substance Use Disorder Demonstration Waiver implementation plan. The plan includes the use of The ASAM Criteria to determine the appropriate level of care required for beneficiaries and ensures direct enrolled professionals providing comprehensive clinical assessments (CCA), diagnostic assessments (DA) and other evaluations have the knowledge, skills and ability to make an ASAM level of care determination for beneficiaries with a substance use disorder diagnosis.

Target Audience: Behavioral health clinicians in North Carolina who are contracted with an LME/MCO or provide CCA, DA and other evaluations (LCSW, LCSW-A, LCMHC, LCMHC-A, LCAS, LCAS-A, LMFT, LMFT-A, PA, NP, MD).

Trainer: Train for Change Inc, in collaboration with the UNC School of Social Work – Behavioral Health Springboard and NW AHEC

Resource for ACT and IPS Trainings: The Institute for Best Practices, UNC Chapel Hill,

  1. NC ACT Coalition Meeting (ACT coalition members only) is the third Tuesday of the month (Aug. 18, Sept. 15, Oct. 20) from 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Register)
  2. The National ACT Meet Up for providers is the first Monday of the month (modified in September due to Labor Day: Sept. 14, Oct. 5, Nov. 2) from 3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. (Eastern Time). (Register)
  3. Tea with CST (CST providers only) is every other Wednesday (Aug. 12, Aug. 26, Sept. 9) from 1:00 p.m.-1:45 p.m. (Register)
  4. IPS EPM Aug. 7 and Aug. 21 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. (Register)
  5. IPS Executive Leadership is second Thursday of every month (Aug. 13, Sept. 10, Oct. 8) from 1:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m. (Register)
  6. IPS Team Lead is third Thursday of every month (Aug. 20, Sept. 17, Oct. 15) from 1:00 m.-2:30 p.m. (Register)

Improving Cultural Competency for Behavioral Health Professionals (Online)

Date, Time, Location: This training is a self-study from the Office of Minority Health website: FREE CEUs.

Description: Cultural and linguistic competency is recognized as an important strategy for improving the quality of care provided to clients from diverse backgrounds. The goal of this e-learning program is to help behavioral health professionals increase their cultural and linguistic competency.

  • In Course 1, An introduction to cultural and linguistic competency, you’ll learn what culture has to do with behavioral health care.
  • In Course 2, Know thyself – Increasing self-awareness, you’ll learn how to get to know your cultural identity and how it affects your work with clients.
  • In Course 3, Knowing others – Increasing awareness of your client’s cultural identity, you’ll learn how to get to know your client’s cultural identity.
  • In Course 4, Culturally and linguistically appropriate interventions and services, you’ll learn how to build stronger therapeutic relationships with clients from diverse backgrounds.

The estimated time to complete all four courses is between 4 – 5.5 hours.

Target Audience: This program is accredited for 4 – 5.5 contact hours for counselors, nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers. Other professionals may earn a Statement of Participation.

Resources to Improve Business Acumen:

SCORE is a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Association and has been in existence since 1964. (

SCORE offers a variety of training courses for a low cost or for free. In addition to training, they offer volunteer counselors, advisors and mentors who offer individual, free to low cost counseling throughout the US. They also have many free online courses on many topics related to running and growing your business. (

The Small Business Development Center offers local business consulting and at-cost training on a variety of business-related topics at

There are SBDCs in Charlotte, Hickory, Boone, Winston-Salem, Greenville, Asheville and many other locations across the state.

Provider Alerts

Provider Alerts are sent to all providers who subscribed to receive Partners’ Provider Communications. Published alerts are available on the Provider Knowledge Base at To subscribe to Partners’ various communications, please visit

Training, Announcements and Reminders

The following events are being held by various organizations. Please check with the organization hosting the event regarding registration and cancellation information.

SAMHSA Supports Recovery for All:

Racial equity matters in recovery support! Join SAMHSA for Recovery LIVE! Supporting Recovery for All: Racial Equity in Recovery Support Communities and Services on Thursday, August 27, 2020 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. Register at

NASHIA Virtual SOC Conference:

The National Association of State Head Injury Administrators will host “Altering Our Course: NASHIA’s Virtual SOS Conference” beginning on Sept. 22, 2020. To learn more or register, visit!event-register/2020/9/21/annual-state-of-the-states-conference-1.

Save the Date – NAMI NC Annual Conference:

NAMI NC is excited to announce its first-ever completely virtual Annual Conference. This year’s conference will be held on World Mental Health Day, October 10, 2020. To learn more about this event, visit

NC Broadband Survey:

The North Carolina Broadband Survey is designed to gather information on locations across the state without adequate internet access and speeds.

The information gathered from the survey will:

  • Provide clear data to guide investment of funds through the state’s Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) grant program.
  • Inform research and policy recommendations.
  • Support strategic targeting of additional funding streams.

The survey is a collaboration between the N.C. Department of Information Technology’s Broadband Infrastructure Office and The Friday Institute for Education Innovation at North Carolina State University.