Dee Jones Named Tate Health Plan Director
State Treasurer Dale Folwell named Dee Jones to lead the State Health Plan, the health insurance program for North Carolina state employees, teachers, retirees and their dependents. Ms. Jones previously led the State’s Medicaid transformation effort. Falwell’s announcement came a week after Mona Moon abruptly resigned from the post, saying Falwell should fill the job with someone more closely aligned with his goals and management style.
N.C. Rural Center Debuts Database on Benefits of Medicaid Expansion
In a bid to bolster the case for Medicaid expansion, the N.C. Rural Center in partnership with Cone Health launched a database touting the benefits of Medicaid expansion at the county level. The center said Tuesday that North Carolina will miss out by 2020 on a potential 43,314 new jobs and more than $21 billion in state business activity by rejecting expansion.
Carolina Complete Names Executive Leadership and Board Members
Carolina Complete Health Network, Inc., the PLE backed by the North Carolina Medical Society, named its Board of Directors and executive leadership this week. Jeffrey W. Runge, MD, FACEP, will serve as President and CEO. Mr. Runge is a former emergency medicine physician, and led two Federal government agencies. The full slate of directors is available here.
Eastpointe Sues NCDHHS amid fight with Trillium
Eastern NC LME/MCO Eastpointe announced it is suing the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services in a bid to halt the transfer of its Nash County service area to Trillium Health Resources. Eastpointe found itself in hot water after a chief financial officer being indicted on nearly 50 counts of fraud and bribery. The troubled mental health provider and has been locked in a battle with Trillium, who Eastpointe contends attempted to mount a “hostile takeover” last year. The suit concerns the approval by DHHS Secretary Rick Brajer of a request from Nash County to end EastPointe’s contract and enter into a new agreement with Trillium. That transfer is slated to take place July 1st.
Charlotte Politician Under Fire for Cardinal Role
Democratic Sen. Joel Ford, running for mayor of Charlotte, is taking heat for his day job as vice president of Cardinal Innovations Healthcare, the state’s largest LME/MCO. In a recent audit report, State Auditor Beth Wood harshly criticized Cardinal for lavish spending and the excessive compensation of its CEO. It’s an issue certain to come up in the Mayoral race where Mr. Ford faces a three way primary. “My test is always would it … smell right to the average person,” said Jane Pinsky, director of the N.C. Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform. For his part, Mr. Ford says he recuses himself from matters affecting Cardinal and is in compliance with the General Assembly’s guidelines. He called the audit findings “disingenuous” and says “I like working for an organization that is helping the most vulnerable citizens with complex needs while doing it within budget,” he said.
Senate Republicans Mull Keeping Key Obamacare Provisions
As Senate Republicans try to find a way forward on Obamacare repeal, GOP leaders told members this week that they favor keeping the ACA’s protections for people with preexisting medical conditions. There’s also talk of rolling back Medicaid expansion more gradually. The House passed bill allowed states to opt-out of preexisting conditions requirements and phased out Medicaid expansion more quickly. “I think we’re all adjusting to the reality of the current debate and what it takes to get across the finish line,” said Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.). Still, repeal faces hurdles ahead to pass the 50 vote threshold needed for passage. The revisions, aimed to win support from moderate Senators, threaten to alienate more hardline conservatives. Still, some Republicans, including NC’s Senator Richard Burr are skeptical that the gulf between moderates and conservatives. “I don’t see a comprehensive health-care plan this year,” Burr said last Friday.