Medicaid

Gov. Pat McCrory
Gurnal Scott

Governor Pat McCrory has announced a plan that could privatize the state's Medicaid program that serves low-income people.

The state will hold a competitive bidding process for three big managed-care providers to deliver medical, mental and dental services to patients. Governor McCrory says the plan will help streamline the delivery of Medicaid services.

North Carolina’s Republican Lawmakers are sticking by conservative principles early in Gov. Pat McCrory’s first term. Last week, he signed legislation cutting unemployment benefits. The move was an attempt to pay back debt owed the federal government earlier.

And this week, legislators voted for and sent along a piece of legislation that would reject a federal option to expand Medicaid.

State Senate chamber
Dave DeWitt

State lawmakers have passed a bill that would provide emergency funding to maintain care for group home residents across the state.

Legislators in the Senate voted unanimously to approve House Bill 5 yesterday. It will allow group home residents and patients in special dementia units to remain where they are for now. The bill specifies that a 40 million dollar pot of money that's already being used for adult care home residents can also be used to help group home residents.

North Carolina's new Secretary of Health and Human Services says she's committed to helping residents of group homes find a place to live at the end of the month. About 14 hundred people with mental illnesses or developmental disabilities are no longer eligible for Medicaid reimbursements for personal care services.

The outgoing Governor, Bev Perdue, allocated one million dollars from a rental assistance fund to keep remaining group home residents in place until the end of January. But everyone's aware that money will run out, says Secretary Aldona Vos.

About 2,000 people with severe mental illness are facing eviction from group homes at the end of the year. That was the message from group home residents and staff and mental health advocates who rallied at the state Capitol yesterday. A change in Medicaid rules means residential facilities for the mentally disabled will lose some federal funding at the end of the year. State lawmakers passed a bill earlier this year providing replacement funds for adult care homes...but group homes were left out.

NC Delegates Wrap Up Week In Tampa

Aug 31, 2012

North Carolina's delegates to the Republican National Convention are headed home, after their big week in Tampa. Delegate John Steward from Union County joined thousands of fellow party members at Mitt Romney's nomination acceptance speech last night. He says he likes that Romney is not backing away from cutting federal spending.

John Steward says, "I really liked the fact they're not backing off the Medicaid and Medicare - the only way to save it is to reform it and they're not backing off of that."

State officials say they have a plan to close a huge shortfall in North Carolina's Medicaid budget.

Attorney General Roy Cooper
governor.state.nc.us

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced today what he calls the "first wave" of ramped up efforts to fight Medicaid fraud in the state. Cooper says 18 people in 10 counties have been arrested in the past week. He says the total monetary loss to the Medicaid program from these cases is more than half a million dollars.

Lawmakers are still at odds over how to close a projected 139 million dollar shortfall in the state's Medicaid budget. Governor Bev Perdue has accused Republican leaders in the General Assembly of breaking their promise to help close a spending gap. Democratic Representative Verla Insko says legislators must decide how to come up with the money.

A health-provider system that has worked well for Medicaid recipients will soon be available for state employees and big business.  It’s called “First in Health.” 

“First in Health” is born out of a Medicaid program that supports a team approach to health care.  It’s where you have specialists, primary care physicians, pharmacists and others coordinating services.  Doctor Allen Dobson is president of Community Care of North Carolina.  He says private employers are now saying – this can work for us.

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