Health Groups Line Up In Support of DHHS' Medicaid Reform Plan

March 18, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE from the Department of Health & Human Services

Raleigh, NC - Yesterday, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) presented its Medicaid reform plan to the General Assembly. Here is what they are saying about this realistic and achievable plan:
North Carolina Hospital Association: "We agree that accountable care organizations are the right direction for North Carolina," said Laura Easton, immediate past chair of the NCHA Board of Trustees and chief executive officer of CALDWELL, UNC Health Care in Lenoir. "The ACO model puts patients first by allowing providers, rather than insurance companies, to manage care and aligns payment incentives both with quality and cost effectiveness. We are committed to working with the Department and the General Assembly to address Medicaid budget concerns and look forward to continuing to work with them as the plan takes shape."
N.C. Academy of Family Physicians: "The leadership of the N.C. Academy of Family Physicians applauds Governor Pat McCrory and Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos, MD, for working with the healthcare community to develop an effective, efficient, and sustainable model for reforming our state's Medicaid system. While much has been done to improve Medicaid in the last decade, our state's family physicians understand the need to continue to move our system of care forward. We believe Accountable Care Organizations are the best next step in this reformation process."
North Carolina Medical Society: "Over time, these essential changes will establish a more predictable and sustainable funding for our state's Medicaid program...We are encouraged by the state's forward-looking approach to Medicaid reform, and believe North Carolina can be a model for others nationally."
North Carolina Pediatric Society: "The North Carolina Pediatric Society strongly supports the Department of Health and Human Services and commends the leadership of Governor McCrory and Secretary Wos in working with the Medicaid Reform Advisory Group on a plan for reform...A deliberate focus on prevention and better chronic disease management will continue to move our state forward, improving the quality of care and achieving lower costs," said John W. Rusher, MD, President, NC Pediatric Society.
Donald Gintzig, interim WakeMed president and CEO: "Most hospitals exist to keep people healthy. For us, it really gives us the opportunity to fulfill our mission, which is how can we improve health care for a given population within our community."

Dennis Barry, CEO Emeritus of Cone Health and Medicaid Reform Advisory Group Chair: "The reform proposal being submitted today to the General Assembly is a good and thoughtful plan," said Barry. "Importantly, it builds on the existing strengths of the current care systems operating in North Carolina."
Peggy Terhune, Ph.D., MBA; Executive director/CEO of Monarch and Member of Medicaid Reform Advisory Group: "This plan builds on national existing and emerging best practices to create a daring and viable plan that will allow NC to once again lead the nation. As our General Assembly seeks to be fiscally prudent with tax payer dollars, I applaud this effort to ensure that stakeholder input has been solicited and listened to, and strongly urge the state to continue these efforts going forward."
Richard Gilbert, M.D., MBA, Member of Medicaid Reform Advisory Group: "I applaud the goal of Governor McCrory, The General Assembly, Secretary Wos, and DHHS to make meaningful reform to the North Carolina Medicaid Program. This reform will transform Medicaid to enhance quality of care, assure patient access, attain cost effectiveness, and achieve fiscal predictability."

Rep. Nelson Dollar, Member of Medicaid Reform Advisory Group: "This proposal does represent an important and historic reform as we move away from paying only for quantity of services provided and move toward value-based purchasing that rewards health care providers for delivering high quality care in a cost-effective manner," said Dollar, the House of Representatives' appointee to the Medicaid Reform Advisory Group.
To read more about the plan, click here.