Lawmakers in the state Senate have tentatively approved a bill that would overhaul North Carolina's Medicaid system. The measure would create an independent agency to oversee the state's health care system for low-income residents. The bill would also contract out Medicaid to managed care and provider-led organizations. They would receive a set amount of money per patient to provide care. Republican Senator Ralph Hise is a sponsor of the bill. He says it's necessary to help control ballooning Medicaid costs.
"We go through this budget over and over again, it looks like a spaghetti plate, budget is so intertwined with everything else in health care, in public health, that it's very difficult to get a handle on what it costs to run a Medicaid department," said Hise.
But Governor Pat McCrory, the House, physicians' and hospital organizations across the state are against turning to managed care to treat Medicaid patients. They back a plan McCrory and Secretary of Health and Human Services Aldona Wos have been working on. It would build on a nationally recognized network of Medicaid providers that already exists in the state.