Governor McCrory addresses Medicaid employees
Governor McCrory addresses Medicaid employees
Gov. Pat McCrory met with N.C. Medicaid employees on Wednesday, June 19 during a surprise visit to discuss our responsibility to bring Medicaid cost overruns under control and improve quality of care for North Carolinians.
“There is no issue more important and consequential than Medicaid and Medicaid reform for the long-term health of ours state,” McCrory told employees gathered at Haywood Gym on the Dorothea Dix Campus in Raleigh.
DOJ references a 2012 settlement between the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding the state’s role in providing housing opportunities for individuals with serious mental illness.
The settlement came after a 2010 complaint by Disability Rights North Carolina (DRNC) that alleged that individuals in North Carolina with serious mental illness had more opportunities to live in adult care homes or institutional settings than in smaller, more individualized settings.
In the settlement, the state of North Carolina agreed to create a comprehensive plan to identify or create 3,000 “supportive housing” slots for individuals currently living in institutional settings who wanted to exercise their choice to live in a different place. The plan is known as Transitions to Community Living.
DHHS and NC SPIN last month jointly announced a statewide public health education campaign and challenge called A Healthier NC. The effort was joined by the N.C. State Board of Education/Department of Public Instruction, N.C. Department of Commerce and the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church.
The “A Healthier NC” campaign and challenge provides free health journaling tools and access to a clearinghouse of North Carolina health resources and educational materials at www.ahealthiernc.com.
A Healthier NC has four key goals:
The campaign is sponsored by leading North Carolina health and community organizations, including the N.C. Academy of Family Physicians, N.C. Medical Society, N.C. DHHS Office of Rural Health and Community Care, the AARP Decide.Create.Share campaign, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.
As it cranked up its website, the following already had more than 700 members reporting the loss of nearly 200 pounds and logging nearly 2,900 hours of healthy activities.
Secretary Wos joined Department of Public Safety Secretary Kiernan Shanahan (front) in Edenton at the College of Albemarle on April 9. They helped launch Gov. Pat McCrory’s newly formed Center for Safer Schools effort to bring citizens and leaders together to learn about concerns and challenges related to school safety. Meetings continue across the state through May 2. For more information: www.centerforsaferschools.org. – Photo courtesy of Department of Public Safety
Partnership for a Healthy North Carolina
Secretary Wos met with Nash County Department of Social Services employees in May in Nashville who are implementing case management through NC FAST (North Carolina Families Accessing Services through Technology). While there, she discussed details of the Partnership for a Healthy North Carolina, a plan that would focus Medicaid to meet needs of the whole person. Medicaid improvements will be integrated into the innovative NC FAST system. – Photo by Ricky Diaz, DHHS Public Affairs
Secretary visits Riddle Center, Broughton
Secretary Wos toured the J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center last month where she met with leadership. She and Carol Steckel, state Medicaid director, spoke with Dr. William Heeth, left, a primary care physician for residents at the center, and Fred R. Hinze, a licensed psychological associate who has provided psychology services at the center since 1975. The secretary also spent time nearby with leaders at Broughton Hospital where a replacement building is under construction. Barring further weather delays, the new hospital is expected to be completed by December 2014.
Keeping in line with Secretary Wos’ initial promise and desire to hear the comments and suggestions of all DHHS employees, a new web-based “suggestion box” is now live at http://suggestionbox.dhhs.state.nc.us/ .
Since the Secretary began taking suggestions in January, we have received nearly 100 comments and suggestions. We thank you for that! Many of the suggestions that DHHS employees submitted were both valid and innovative ideas for improving the department. This new web-based suggestion box will not only help us to review and respond to suggestions faster, but it will also allow all employees across the state to have a sense of an “open-door” policy!
Secretary Wos realizes that there is no one who knows what is and is not working better than our employees out in the field. We want to hear your voice! We want to know what we could do better, but we also want to know what is working. If you or your department are working in an efficient manner that you think should be implemented elsewhere, please let us know! As a department, we must continue to work as a family, where everyone has a voice and where everyone has the opportunity to affect change.
So, how will the site work? First and foremost, employees will be able to access webpage via any computer and the information will be used to hear your ideas. The information will be reviewed and assigned to a knowledgeable individual to respond to you. All submissions should average a response time of five business days. Depending on the complexity of the suggestion, the response will also explain any future actions it may require and updated periodically.
While the hand-written comments and suggestions method will still be available should employees wish to submit anonymously, the website will require “name” and “email address.” There are two reasons for asking for contact information: (1) to provide you a response and/or explanation to your submission; and (2) should a suggestion need to be looked into further, there is very little that can be done with anonymous submissions.
We do want to take this opportunity to remind employees that any information communicated in the department may still be subject to public records laws and you should be careful what information you choose to share; however, the site administrator will never share your name or email address when gathering information for a response to you.
We hope that you all will find this new feature user friendly and an effective tool to have your ideas heard!
Secretary Aldona Wos and Medicaid Director Carol Steckel are sweeping across North Carolina holding meetings with medical professionals, providers, other professionals and citizens to discuss the Partnership for a Healthy North Carolina initiative.
Candid and productive conversations are occurring in Raleigh and at each stop – Asheville, Reidsville, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Durham and Greenville – as information is shared, questions are asked and answered, and ideas are exchanged.
Secretary Wos and N.C. Medicaid Director Carol Steckel are holding weekly office hours to meet with key stakeholders regarding Medicaid reform and the Partnership for a Healthier North Carolina. Their availabilities are on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. until noon and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Please message to RSVP@dhhs.nc.gov to schedule.
In April Governor Pat McCrory and Secretary Aldona Wos launched The Partnership for a Healthier North Carolina as the framework for a statewide overhaul of the Medicaid delivery system. The partnership was developed with input from stakeholder groups, including consumers, providers and advocates, over the past few months.
More than 160 responses came after DHHS issued a Request for Information. Medicaid Director Carol Steckel and her staff reviewed all the responses and developed the basic concepts of the framework, but as Dr. Wos stated in the news conference, the work to build a “sustainable and predictable system for the future” has just begun.
“We need creative and innovative ideas from the public and private sectors to make this vision a reality,” Wos said. “We are inviting everyone to join us in creating a Medicaid system that cares for the whole person, increases preventive care and reduces the need for more expensive, inefficient emergency care.”