Eastpointe boosts provider pay rates

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Wilson County doctors and health care professionals in the Eastpointe network will receive a 3 percent rate increase effective this month.

Eastpointe, the managed care organization overseeing behavioral health services for 11 eastern North Carolina counties, announced the boost in compensation Thursday.

Officials said the increase will apply to a substantial number of state- and Medicaid-funded outpatient services and was made despite a $12.8 million drop in state funding and a 6 percent increase in clients seeking care.

“We’re always looking for opportunities to help make the communities we serve stronger and healthier,” CEO Sarah N. Stroud said in a news release. “Though our Medicaid system is in transition and funding is tight, we challenged ourselves to make the right investments to ensure our members continue to receive high-quality care. Our providers are critical to making sure we can do that.”

Eastpointe executives noted that the increase will apply to outpatient treatment for opioid addiction. Karen Salacki, the agency’s chief of external operations, said paying providers is one of many ways it’s working to reduce opioid abuse and overdoses.

“We’ve redoubled our efforts to stem the tide of this opioid epidemic,” Salacki said. “In addition to increasing rates, we’ve donated over 600 Narcan kits across our service area in the past year. We continue to raise awareness to help prevent addiction by hosting community meetings. Helping our providers, who are on the front lines every day, just makes good sense.”

Based in Beulaville, Eastpointe manages behavioral health care services in Wilson, Edgecombe, Greene, Wayne, Lenoir, Bladen, Columbus, Duplin, Robeson, Sampson and Scotland counties.