Legislative Oversight Committee on HHS Update

The Joint Legislative Oversight Committee (JLOC) on Health and Human Services met on March 13, 2018.

Comments from the Secretary

Secretary Mandy Cohen, MD, discussed updates on the flu season in NC. She reported that the flu season peaked during the week of February 24. However, influenza B is still circulating throughout the state. The total number of flu related deaths is currently 276. The flu vaccine was about 36% effective in adults this year. For children, the vaccine was 59% effective.

Mental Health Issues in Jails

Eddie Caldwell, Executive VP and General Counsel for the NC Sheriff’s Association presented on mental health issues within jails. Mr. Caldwell noted that in almost all cases, the medical care is provided by the county. Few prisoners have valid medical insurance. The medical care plan is developed in consultation with the sheriff, county physician, local/district health director, and the local medical society. He stated that the range of services varies greatly by the jail. However, the use of telemedicine has helped increase service accessibility to inmates.

Child Welfare Update

Program Improvement Plan

Susan Perry Manning, Deputy Secretary for HHS discussed that this was required because NC was the only state in the country to fail to meet each of the 14 CFSR areas. The new plan includes 5 goals, 14 strategies, and 75 activities to shift NC into meeting required standards. The Children’s Bureau will be evaluating the plan on a rolling 6 month basis.


Sam Gibbs, Deputy Secretary for Technology and Operations stated that when fully implemented, this system will integrate child protection, child foster care/placement,  and adoption services. The system will also aggregate county and state level data for monitoring and outcomes tracking. Currently, the system is in a pilot in five counties including: Franklin, Guildford, Richmond, Rockingham, and Sampson.

Subcommittee Reports

Aging Subcommittee

Deborah Landry, Committee Staff presented the overview of the subcommittee’s recommendations.  The recommendation of the Committee was to continue in its study of the State’s delivery of services fro older adults in the interim period following regular session.

 GME Joint Subcommittee

Jason Moran-Bates, Committee Staff presented the goals of the GME Joint Subcommittee. The committee would like to extend it’s deadline to continue meeting. They have heard from most of the medical schools, fiscal research, DHHS, and NC AHEC. The committee recommend that the General Assembly continue to fund GME programs to address the needs of the state. They found there was a need to track residents throughout their careers, and that the state needed more transparency on where the funding was used.

Draft Recommendations from JLOC HHS to the 2018 Session

A review was provided of all 6 recommendations for the committee including the following topics: aging, GME, telemedicine, Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact, and health issues in local confinement facilities.


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