NCMS Statement on Governor McCrory’s Medicaid Proposal

In response to Gov. McCrory’s announcement of his plan to reform the state’s Medicaid program, North Carolina Medical Society CEO Robert Seligson made the following statement to the media:

“Health care is vitally important for all North Carolinians, and we’re interested in learning more about the details of the Governor’s proposal. 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.”

“We have a homegrown, nonprofit, national-award-winning program in CCNC that addresses problems the Governor identified and has produced hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer savings through coordinating health care. We question the wisdom of handing this important function off to Wall Street.”

Seligson and the NCMS Government Affairs staff met Wednesday afternoon after the Governor’s announcement with Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Aldona Wos and state Medicaid Director Carol Steckel to learn more about the proposal. NCMS has been working for many years to address the problems with the state’s Medicaid program as outlined by McCrory through Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC). NCMS submitted its own proposal in response to DHHS’ request for information in February outlining how to build on CCNC’s success.

 
 

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10 Comments

  • Misty McIntosh, PharmD

    Thank you for your bold statement. II could not agree more. I, too, have witnessed the quality care delivered and effectiveness of our home-grown, nationally admired program, CCNC, and was very disappointed with the sheer consideration of turning our state program over to an out-of-state, for-profit HMO. I hope our legislators will not ignore the great work of CCNC.. Not to mention the $1 billion the organization has saved in just a short period of time.

  • Kristen Shipherd

    To view Gov. McCrory’s entire “Partnership for a Healthy North Carolina” proposal, you can visit http://p1.governor.nc.gov/sites/default/files/partnershipforahealthynorthcarolina.pdf.

  • Sandra Brown

    Could we have a link to McCrory’s proposal? Does he say he is bringing in commercial HMO mangement? Or what?

  • Robert Greenwood

    I strongly support the Society’s statement on the proposal for changes in Medicaid. Somehow the governor and the legislature have ignored the consequences of refusing federal government money for Medicaid even though the citizens of this state are providing some of the money. For reason I cannot understand they now are trying to further compromise Medicaid coverage. I only wish that the governor and legislators could come to my clinic to see the families and children I see to understand that the families who benefit from Medicaid coverage are in general hard working people who care for their children and with the present and proposed changes will not be able to provide the care needed for their medical conditions. We can reduce costs and provide better medical care to more people in this state if we work together but not when changes are made just to be making changes.

  • When CCNC first started as AccessCare, it was a pilot Pediatric Managed Care experiment. It originally had a fabulous feature where an Emergency Room triage nurse would first call the Primary Care pediatrician listed on the Medicaid Card and asked, “Do you want us to see this happy 18m old with URI sx and no fever, or do you want us to refer him to your office tomorrow?” It was a GREAT way of teaching parents not to inappropriately use the ER. But EMTALA was raised and the state lost nerve to fight for the right to send a patient home who does not need Emergent Care. I would love to see that instituted again. We are not going to stem the tide of limitless demand until we learn how to limit the silly ER visits. Training of patients to be responsible in their use of health care resources will pay back in vast savings. The state needs to hire better lawyers who can give back what we lost when AccessCare first started.
    I can’t even believe it is rational to consider handing Medicaid to private entities. Pediatricians in other states have unbelievable war stories with their dealings with private HMO Medicaid!

  • Thanks to the NCMS and Bob for a bold statement in response to the Governor’s proposal. North Carolina physicians are already the national model for Medicaid patient safety, cost savings and improved outcomes. The Pediatric Society will work with NCMS and all of the professional medical societies to promote this message wherever and whenever it is needed.

  • Charles Willson MD

    Perfect comment, Bob.
    Gov McCrory is making a political statement just as he did with the decision not to extend Medicaid coverage to uninsured adults under ACA. It’s tea party dogma that government is inefficient and private enterprise is always superior. That decision will lose millions of dollars for our state as well as allowing the cost of care of these individuals to escalate because they use the emergency department for routine care, the most costly and least effective place to receive care.
    Our federal tax dollars will go to other states that have expanded their Medicaid programs under ACA.
    The dscision to turn NC Medicaid over to out of state HMOs ignores the $960 million that CCNC has saved the state over the past five years. Under an HMO, those savings woud hve left our state.
    CCNC is a public private partnership.
    Thanks for your articulate and courageous statement. I’m proud to call you a friend.
    Chuck Willson MD
    Greenville

  • Margaret Burke, MD

    As Rehab Medicine physician, I am appalled by the Medicaid cuts already being applied. I care for the developmentally and traumatically disabled of Western NC. I have seen home care ripped away from an elderly man caring for his severely brain-injured middle-aged son, day support slashed for group home clients, and physical therapy limited to 3 visits per year! It is a false savings to pay for a mechanical Hoyer lift for a new paraplegic who can’t access the skilled therapy needed to teach him to transfer himself. How much is saved by paying for spine surgery when therapy could have made the patient well?

  • Conrad L. Flick, MD

    Thanks for weighing in on this important issue, organized medicine needs to support organizations that stand for quality and for access to care above profit, the same cannot be said about ANY managed care entity that is likely to bid to take over the payment and oversite for this service. I am hopeful we can convince the legislature that this is not the right direction to take for not only NC, but a blow to the rest of the country who for years has looked to CCNC as the model and leader in providing quality and cost efficient care to our most vulnerable of citizens. Conrad

  • Tricia Maddrey Baker

    Thank you for this erudite response!