NC Association of Health Plans Applauds NC DHHS Medicaid Reform Listening Session
RALEIGH, NC — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services held the second in its planned series of four listening sessions on Medicaid reform Wednesday in Greenville. The North Carolina Association of Health Plans is committed to working with DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen and other stakeholders to implement Medicaid reforms that achieve the legislature’s goals of budget predictability and high quality of care.
“We applaud DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen’s efforts to seek public input on our state’s Medicaid reform effort. Managed care offers an important opportunity to transform NC’s Medicaid program in a way that encourages better health outcomes for patients and budget predictability for taxpayers,” NCAHP Executive Director Ken Lewis stated. “It’s critical that the process continue to move forward. The sooner reform can be put in place, the sooner the benefits to taxpayers and beneficiaries will be realized.”
In 2015, the North Carolina General Assembly voted to join 39 other states in moving from a fee-for-service Medicaid program to managed care. Under North Carolina’s program, Medicaid patients will have a choice of health plans offered by traditional insurers as well as those offered by groups of health care providers like doctors and hospitals. Rather than paying for each health service individually, under managed care, the state will pay plans a fixed amount per patient and be held accountable for quality and health outcomes.
“Under managed care, health plans are paid a fixed amount per patient. Because healthier patients are less expensive to care for, managed care encourages preventative care and other initiatives to encourage healthier patients while also protecting taxpayers from unexpected costs,” Lewis said.
“The experience of our members in other states that have implemented managed care provides important perspective on what has worked across the country. Secretary Cohen is asking the right questions. We are committed to working with state and other stakeholders to achieve our common goal of a sustainable, fiscally-sound Medicaid program that protects North Carolina taxpayers and provides high quality care for Medicaid recipients,” stated Lewis.