Since April 1991, the Medicaid program of North Carolina has operated within the framework of Carolina ACCESS, a primary care coordination program. Carolina ACCESS was developed in an effort to create a more efficient and effective health care system for Medicaid enrollees by enhancing access to primary care and improving the coordination of medical services for the underserved. The program emphasizes a working partnership between the state and local communities, with primary care providers playing a pivotal role in program development and operation. In addition, under Carolina ACCESS, recipients are assured access to a continuity of care through assignment to a primary care provider.
AccessCare was founded in 1998 as one of nine physician networks tasked with enhancing the existing Carolina ACCESS Medicaid program by developing physician-led community partnerships with disease management programs and employment of locally-based case managers. These networks are coordinated by Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC), which assists local providers in developing managed care delivery systems that coordinate a continuum of health care with processes to influence cost and quality. The program is administered by the North Carolina Office of Research, Demonstration, and Rural Health Development and is sponsored by the Division of Medical Assistance (DMA) and the North Carolina Foundation for Alternative Health Programs, Inc.