2016 Hearst Health Prize

Community Care of North Carolina Awarded the 2016 $100,000 Hearst Health Prize


Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC)

Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC) in Raleigh is the winner of the inaugural Hearst Health Prize, a $100,000 award given in recognition of outstanding achievement in managing or improving health. The announcement was made March 8, 2016 by Gregory Dorn, MD, MPH, president of Hearst Health and David B. Nash, MD, MBA, dean of the Jefferson College of Population Health, at the 16th annual Population Health Colloquium in Philadelphia.

Community Care of North Carolina is recognized for its model for managing transitional care for North Carolina Medicaid beneficiaries discharged home after hospitalization. The program is delivered to 2,600 Medicaid recipients a month, with a strong focus on identifying individuals with chronic medical conditions at risk for hospitalization or readmission. Program participants receive medication management, education for condition self-management and timely outpatient communication with the medical home to follow up on clinical and social issues that can affect their health outcomes, such as medication confusion, behavioral health or substance abuse issues, transportation or cost barriers, low health literacy, and social isolation.

The statewide program achieved measurable improvements. The rates of hospitalization and readmission for the target population have declined by 10% and 16%, respectively, since 2008.  Total Medicaid costs were reduced by 9% (cited by the North Carolina Office of the State Auditor). The program also established real-time data connections with 87 hospitals, representing 78% of all Medicaid hospitalizations in the state.

“We are delighted that Community Care of North Carolina has been awarded the first-ever Hearst Health Prize for its transitional care management program that improves clinical outcomes for Medicaid beneficiaries and lowers costs  in a healthcare system that serves 1.4 million people,” Dorn said. “Community Care of North Carolina’s program is highly scalable and replicable and it is our hope that the Hearst Health Prize provides a new national forum to share these practices with other programs to improve the health of vulnerable populations.”

Community Care of North Carolina earned the highest overall score for the following criteria established for the Hearst Health Prize: the program’s population health impact or outcome, demonstrated by measurable improvement; use of evidence-based interventions and best practices to improve the quality of care; scalability and sustainability; promotion of engagement, collaboration and communication; and innovation. The evaluation was made by a distinguished panel of judges.

The other finalists for the 2016 Hearst Health Prize were:


CenteringPregnancy is an innovative approach to prenatal care that has reached more than 125,000 pregnant women in 400 practice sites across the country. It is a group care delivery model that brings women with similar due dates together for an extended time with their clinical provider to receive three components of care: health assessment, interactive learning, and community building.


  • Reductions in preterm birth between 33% and 47% across five published peer-reviewed studies; reduced odds of preterm birth are particularly dramatic among African American women.
  • Increases in birth weight, especially for preterm infants.
  • The model is shown to lower healthcare costs on an average of more than $2,000 per pregnant woman. Centering’s approved sites are estimated to have saved the healthcare system $35 million in 2014.

Wealth from Health® Inc. Program

The Wealth from Health® Inc.  program provides incentives to engage patients, families and caregivers in education, care management and healthy behaviors. It serves adults and children with complex chronic diseases, including asthma, sickle-cell anemia, HIV, renal stage disease and behavioral health issues (approximately 2,500 individuals).


  • A 40% reduction in inpatient admissions for members enrolled at least 6 months.
  • A 32% reduction in cost for those patients who had at least two chronic conditions.
  • For those enrolled in the program for at least one year, there was a total of $2.1 million reduction of cost when compared to a full year prior to program enrollment.