Dentrix Enterprise and North Carolina HIE
NC Health Information Exchange
Prepare to integrate with NC HIE’s NC HealthConnex system and future state HIEs.
Federal and state governments are currently advancing several significant patient health data initiatives. These efforts are designed to make patient dental and medical records more readily available to all healthcare professionals, as well as to patients.
At the federal level, the ONC Cures Act Final Rule is supporting nationwide sharing of patient data. The Cures Act will result in better information to help providers deliver the best care possible. However, the program’s emphasis is largely placed on the patient and their ability to manage their healthcare. “The patient is at the center of the 21st Century Cures Act. Putting patients in charge of their health records is a key piece of patient control in health care, and patient control is at the center of HHS' work toward a value-based health care system…Patients need more power in their health care, and access to information is key to making that happen.” (https://www.healthit.gov/curesrule/)
On the state level, North Carolina is at the forefront of state health information exchanges. (Several other states are following closely behind with plans to set up similar HIE systems.) The current focus of the NC HIE is giving healthcare providers greater access to patient health information—from state as well as national resources. The primary goal is helping dental and medical providers improve patient outcomes.
Use this page to get updates on upcoming plans to integrate Dentrix Enterprise with the NC HIE. Note that references to the NC HealthConnex system, are also used when referring to the data system developed and managed by the NC Health Information Exchange Authority (NC HIEA).
Dentrix Enterprise is currently working with the NC HealthConnex team on our integration plans. As we have more information about the Dentrix Enterprise integration, we will add that to this page.
To get more information about the requirements of this program visit the NC HIEA website: https://hiea.nc.gov/
The North Carolina Health Information Exchange is the state-managed Health Information Exchange Authority that oversees and administers the N.C. Health Information Exchange Network (NCGS 90-414.7). NC HIE operates NC HealthConnex, North Carolina’s state-designated health information exchange. Learn more at https://hiea.nc.gov/
NC HealthConnex is a standardized electronic system in which providers can share important patient health information. The use of this system promotes the access, exchange, and analysis of health information to help improve care coordination, quality of care, and enable better health outcomes.
All licensed providers of dental service that receive payment for patient services through Medicaid or state funded health plans are required to submit patient information for those patients. All NC providers, even those not using government payment programs, are invited to participate to create data for better serving all patients.
June 1, 2022. Dental-specific mandates that originally were scheduled to go into effect in 2019, and later postponed to 2021, can now take effect June 1, 2022 for providers who have a signed participation agreement on file with NC HIE by June 1, 2021. (See paragraph 4 of this NC HIEA webpage
June 1, 2021. Providers must have a signed participation agreement on file with the NC HIEA by June 1, 2021. NC HIE recommends that dental organizations start their application process as early as possible to help ensure it is processed at NC HIE by the deadline.
No. Only one participation agreement is required for each organization. The Participation Agreement Administrator (PAA) for an organization (point of contact for the agreement) can add the names of additional locations and providers for the organization to the organization’s agreement.
To meet the state’s mandate, a provider is “connected” when its clinical and demographic information pertaining to services paid for by Medicaid and other state-funded health care funds is being sent to NC HealthConnex—either through a direct connection or via a hub (i.e., a larger system with which it participates, another regional HIE with which it participates, or an EHR vendor). In turn, providers may choose to receive information about patients that is collected by other providers.
Providers work with their dental EHR (practice management system) vendor to automatically upload the needed information. This includes Dentrix, Dentrix Enterprise, or Dentrix Ascend. Additional updates will be emailed and posted to this webpage.
NC HIE does not charge providers for uploading or downloading patient information. EHR (practice management system) vendors may pass along some expenses for providing data to NC HealthConnex.
For patients whose services are paid for through Medicaid or state health plans, providers are required to submit patient information. However, by opting out of the NC HealthConnex program, patients can block their data from being shared. Data for “opt-out” patients will be stored in the NC HealthConnex system but will not be shared with other providers. Information about opting out can be shared with patients using brochures available from NC HIE, can be included in the provider’s patient agreements, and/or be found at https://hiea.nc.gov/patients/your-choices
Patient data falls into three categories: Demographic data, Encounter data, and Clinical data. Providers are encouraged to submit whatever information is available in each category. No data stored outside the EHR is included.
Providers can choose to comply by submitting only the required data to NC HealthConnex (e.g., for patients being served by Medicaid, State Health Plan and state grants). However, the majority of NC HealthConnex participants send all patient records for the purpose of whole-person care.
This communication is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. The FAQs are some of the questions that we frequently get asked about the NC Health Information Exchange (NC HIE). The questions and answers are not intended to be exhaustive and do not constitute legal advice for your particular question, issue or concern. You should not act on the basis of any information contained herein without obtaining proper legal or other professional advice specific to your situation as needed.