NC Health And Human Services: "Things Are Really Broken"

Feb 14, 2013

State officials say they plan to reform the health department ahead of their budget proposal to the General Assembly.  Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos told lawmakers yesterday her priorities are to overhaul the state's Medicaid program and improve her office's computer system.  Wos said in committee testimony aired on that she's cleaning up a department whose employees have filled out incomprehensible reports and wasted money through poor communication.

"I need you to know that things are really broken, but we are in the process and on the path to fixing it," Wos said.

"We will be driving efficiencies into the organization and the department, and those efficiencies will be through technology, accountability and structural reform."

A Medicaid audit released last month found the department had high administrative costs and did not issue helpful reports to the legislature.  The agency's new CIO told lawmakers a new Medicaid billing system will go online as scheduled on July 1.  Meanwhile, the state House is expected to give final approval today to a bill that would block the expansion of Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act.