9:09 am
Tue July 29, 2014

NC Orgs See Effects Of Ebola Outbreak, Follow From Afar

The Ebola virus has infected two aid workers in Western Africa doing relief work with two NC-based organizations. State health officials say they're prepared to handle an Ebola infection, should it occur here.
Credit Thomas W. Geisbert, Boston University School of Medicine / Wikipedia

North Carolina health officials are following the spread of the Ebola virus in Western Africa. It was announced this week that two aid workers from North Carolina-based relief organizations have tested positive for the virus.

Dr. Kent Brantley of Samaritan's Purse and Nancy Writebol of Service in Mission were both working to combat the outbreak at a hospital in Liberia when they were infected.

Read more
8:00 am
Sat May 17, 2014

Health Officials Approve Proposed Rule Requiring Meningitis Vaccine

Credit Wake Med

State health officials have approved a measure that would require rising 7th graders to receive the meningitis vaccine.

One more administrative step is required before the vaccination would become mandatory. The vaccine is for meningitis and other meningococcal diseases. Bacterial meningitis is most common in people between the ages of 15 and 21, but only about half of thi state's teenagers currently receive the vaccination.

Read more
Politics & Government
7:03 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

DHHS Says Its Food Stamp Backlog Is No More

Credit NC Department of Health and Human Services

Officials with the state Department of Health and Human Services say they have met a federal deadline as of yesterday to clear its backlog of food stamp applications. Earlier this year, the US Department of Agriculture threatened to pull 88 million dollars in funding if deadlines were not met.

Sherri Bradsher is the deputy secretary for human services at DHHS. She says the number of households that still need food stamps fall within the USDA's parameters of meeting the deadline.

Read more
Medicaid Reform
10:13 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

New Medicaid Plan Hopes To Save $330 Million

Credit Duke Medecine

The NC Department of Health and Human Services unveiled its plan on Monday to reform the state's Medicaid system. While it had already signaled a shift from Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) to Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) months ago, the new plan partially outlines how the state would like to achieve that shift.

Read more
Politics & Government
11:56 am
Thu February 27, 2014

NC State Health Officials Propose New Plan To Overhaul Medicaid

A child builds a lego tower in a doctor's waiting room.
Credit kellyhogaboom via Flickr/Creative Commons

Governor Pat McCrory’s administration has presented a new plan to the public to overhaul the state’s Medicaid system.

This plan would coordinate services through what are called accountable care organizations, rather than big managed care companies. State health officials had previously leaned toward a managed care model.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Aldona Wos says the accountable care model is what hospitals and health providers want.

Read more
Politics & Government
5:00 am
Wed February 12, 2014

DHHS Gaffe Could Cost State Millions

Credit NC Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services’ failure to notify lawmakers about a Medicaid waiver earlier this year could cost the state at least ten million dollars.

Back in August, North Carolina’s former Medicaid director, Carol Steckel, formally requested a three-month waiver from the federal government to postpone the new process for renewing coverage for Medicaid patients.

Read more
Politics & Government
3:01 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

NC Health Officials Say They've Met Federal Deadline; 80 Million Dollars Safe

The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Aldona Wos, speaks with lawmakers.
Credit Jessica Jones

State health officials say they have cleared an enormous backlog of food stamp applications that could have caused North Carolina to lose 80 million dollars’ worth of federal funding. The head of the Department of Health and Human Services, Secretary Aldona Wos spoke before lawmakers in a committee meeting earlier today.

"We, the state of North Carolina, believe that we have successfully achieved our first milestone with the USDA in reference to delay in the recertification of our applications," said Wos.

Read more
Politics & Government
5:26 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

County And State Workers Processing Food Stamp Applications Before Monday Deadline

Credit NC Department of Health and Human Services

Officials with the state Department of Health and Human Services say they've made great strides in reducing a backlog of food stamp recipients who weren't receiving their benefits. The USDA had issued the state a warning that unless it reduced the backlog of claims before a Monday deadline, North Carolina could lose 88 million dollars' worth of funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Read more
Politics & Government
7:36 am
Wed January 15, 2014

State Health And Human Services Secretary Apologizes to Legislators

Credit North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

North Carolina’s Secretary of Health and Human Services apologized to state lawmakers in a lengthy committee meeting yesterday in Raleigh.

Secretary Aldona Wos said her office is investigating the root cause of a privacy breach that resulted in about 49,000 Medicaid cards being sent to the wrong households. And she said officials are looking into an apparent backlog of around 30 thousand needy families who qualify for food stamps.

In yesterday’s hearing at the legislature, Wos appeared perfectly composed but contrite before state lawmakers:

Read more
Politics & Government
4:39 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

State Health Department Struggling To Process Benefits

Credit NC Department of Health and Human Services

A spokeswoman for the state Department of Health and Human services says her department is putting together an aggressive plan to make sure families who qualify for food assistance are receiving their benefits.

According to federal and state statistics, as many as twenty thousand low-income families are experiencing delays in getting money for groceries. DHHS spokeswoman Julie Henry says county caseworkers have a lot on their plate in processing applications, not the least of which is the new computer processing system, known as NC FAST.

Read more