NCPA Blog: What's On Our Mind
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April 25, 2017 - NC Wants More Ideas on the Move to Managed Care for Medicaid

By Lynn Bonner

The state is looking for more ideas from the public as it prepares to have private companies manage the government health insurance program for poor and disabled people.

The public input will supplement comments the state Department of Health and Human Services gathered last year when it asked the federal government for permission to move the Medicaid program to private managed care and change the way it pays medical bills. The 30-day public input period started Tuesday.

Medicaid and NC Health Choice, a smaller, government-subsidized insurance program for children, cover more than 2 million North Carolinians. The state and federal government pay for Medicaid, which covers poor children, some of their parents, the elderly, and disabled. The state is still in the early stages of making the major Medicaid changes, which will require permission from the federal government.

“We are looking across the board at how we can build a healthier state,” said DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen. “One of biggest levers is through the Medicaid program.”

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April 12, 2017 - A "Unique" Plan for Expanding Insurance

By Rose Hoban

For four years Republicans at the North Carolina General Assembly have, as a body, staunchly refused to consider Medicaid expansion. But on Tuesday morning, four House Republicans outlined a way to increase health insurance access for people who have fallen into the Medicaid “gap” – they make too much to qualify for Medicaid outright and too little to qualify for insurance subsidies offered through the Affordable Care Act.

“This is offering an insurance product for the working poor, for the state of North Carolina,” said Rep. Greg Murphy (R-Greenville) a practicing urologist when he’s not at the legislature and one of the bill sponsors.  “These are actually folks that I see on a regular basis as a physician, who at present, do not qualify for Medicaid and cannot afford insurance at its present rates.”

In broad language, House Bill 662 seeks to build on the ability to draw federal funding for expanding the Medicaid population to North Carolina. The bill’s sponsors propose using those funds to pay for more than 90 percent of the cost, the remainder would come from assessments to hospitals around the state and some amount in the form of premiums totaling 2 percent of a beneficiary’s annual income.

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April 10, 2017 - NC Lawmakers Take Aim at Managed Care CEO Salaries

By Richard Craver Winston-Salem Journal

The state House voted Thursday to approve a bipartisan bill that restricts the salary and compensation that top executives of a behavioral health managed care organization can be paid.

House Bill 403 passed 109-0 and goes to the Senate for consideration. A co-primary sponsor is Rep. Donny Lambeth, R-Forsyth.

HB403 appears aimed primarily at the compensation level of Richard Topping, executive director of Cardinal Healthcare Innovations, the state’s largest behavioral health MCO that oversees mental health, substance abuse and developmental disability providers in 20 counties.

The bill reduces the autonomy that behavioral health MCO boards have in setting executive compensation.

The bill contains language that would require a board to submit any request for “exceeding the maximum of the applicable salary range” to the state health secretary — Dr. Mandy Cohen in the Cooper administration — and the director of the N.C. Office of State Human Resources.

It would prohibit a board from paying more than 30 percent of the average salary of the other MCOs’ executive directors.

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