“Dr. Cummings is an accomplished physician and a thoughtful and caring leader,” said North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) CEO Bob Seligson. “ He will bring good insight and experience to a challenging position. He is up to the challenge.”
A North Carolina native, Dr. Cummings was a cardiothoracic surgeon before he left active practice to work in health care administration and management for the state. He is a 2005 NCMS Foundation Leadership College alumnus. His new responsibilities are in addition to Dr. Cummings’ current role as DHHS Deputy Secretary of Health Services and Acting State Health Director.
“The historical challenges facing Medicaid have been well documented, and these challenges are now being compounded by unprecedented change in the health care industry,” said Dr. Cummings. “To preserve Medicaid for future generations, we must improve and strengthen the operations of the state’s Medicaid program. I look forward to working with the expertise in the division to accomplish this worthy goal.”
Among the major challenges facing DMA is retaining and recruiting talented individuals in the division, as well as ensuring greater precision in budgeting and forecasting. Last week, DHHS announced contracts with two leading service firms – Alvarez & Marsal and Navigant Healthcare – which will assist Dr. Cummings in improving and strengthening Medicaid operations. DHHS also released an Ernst & Young report that reinforced the need for operational efficiencies and recommended a wide variety of changes to improve forecasting capabilities.