May 162013


By Michael Abramowitz

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration today will detail its alternative to the federal Medicaid expansion plan he and the state Legislature rejected under the Affordable Care Act.

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Vos and state Medicaid director Carol Steckel will outline and discuss the governor’s plan with health care providers at 1:15 p.m. at the East Carolina Heart Institute at East Carolina University, 115 Heart Drive, a DHHS official announced.

Vos and Steckel will seek creative and innovative ideas as the plan’s details are finalized, the governor’s spokespeople said.

“The Partnership for a Healthy North Carolina” is McCrory’s proposed Medicaid framework for a network of behavioral and physical health care services for North Carolina’s children, older adults, people with disabilities, people with mental illness and low-income families, the governor’s staff said in a prepared statement last week.

Republican legislators in March rejected the ACA plan that offers states the opportunity to voluntarily participate in expanded federal Medicaid coverage paid by the federal government.

“Before considering Medicaid expansion, we must reform the current system to make sure people currently enrolled receive the services they need and more taxpayer dollars are not put at risk,” McCrory said when he signed the bill.

When he announced his alternative plan on April 3, McCrory said it calls for providers, recipients, taxpayers and the state to come together to implement a coordinated-care model of delivery to bring long-term predictability, sustainability and efficiency to the program.

“We’re bringing all partners together to improve care, customer service and efficiency, but most importantly, to deliver right care at the right place at the right time to improve results for our state’s most vulnerable citizens,” McCrory said.

The state tour featuring Vos and Steckel, which was in Durham on Wednesday, ran into some controversy last Friday when Vos told an audience in Reidsville that the decision not to expand the state’s Medicaid program came from state Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin. Goodwin fired back, saying that statement was untrue.

As soon as the tour was announced, the N.C. Medical Society issued a statement expressing skepticism about the governor’s plan.

“We’re interested in learning more about the details of the governor’s proposal,” the statement said. “However, if the administration’s idea of reform is bringing in out-of-state corporations so they can profit by limiting North Carolina patients’ access to health care and cutting critical medical services to our state’s most vulnerable citizens, that is not change we can support.”

Contact Michael Abramowitz at or 252-329-9571.

via The Daily Reflector.


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