Town Hall Forums on Medicaid Reform Draw Crowds in Greensboro and Reidsville

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Secretary Aldona Wos and Medicaid Director Carol Steckel have been holding informational forums throughout the state on their proposal to reform the state’s Medicaid program. Tonight, May 15, they will hold a meeting in Durham, and tomorrow they will meet in Greenville in the afternoon and Winston-Salem in the evening.

In Greensboro last Thursday evening, about 125 people attended representing doctors, community clinics, mental health organizations and long-term care facilities.  At the Reidsville meeting last Friday morning, about 90 people attended.

At both forums, Wos spoke for about 30 minutes at the beginning explaining what DHHS does and the broad outline of the administration’s goals for Medicaid reform, namely:

  • Create a healthier North Carolina.
  • Treat the whole patient – physical, mental and dental health – and eliminate “silos” between health care providers.
  • Improve the IT system, which is already underway with NCFast and NCTracks slated to be operational in July and October of this year).
  • Streamline the administration of Medicaid, by cutting out waste and inefficiencies.

The audience seemed to agree with the goals, but were frustrated at the lack of details offered by the administration on how to achieve them. The administration has proposed three or four managed care organizations — Comprehensive Care Entities (CCEs) — to oversee the program statewide.

The CCE has to meet a “certain business model in order to be sustainable,” Wos said. One doctor responded: “You’ve offered a vague business model. Can you be specific? You’re creating anxiety because there is no specificity.”

In response to comments about the lack of detail, Wos said: “We have come to you with a concept. We want to hear feedback from people with ideas that are working in their community.”

Watch the NCMS website for information on future meetings where you may offer your input. Forums are being planned in June for Wilmington and Charlotte.


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