Bob Atlas, DHHS Consultant, speaks about options to the Advisory Group, left, and the audience.
An overflow crowd attended the Dec. 5 meeting, held at the Grill meeting room on the Dix Campus in Raleigh.
More than 180 people attended the first meeting of the Medicaid Reform Advisory Group, part of Gov. Pat McCrory’s effort toward finding more efficient and effective ways to provide Medicaid-funded care to North Carolina’s needy citizens.
The appointed advisory group received information from Department of Health and Human Services staff and experts, all aimed at explaining the scope of services and costs, the measures neighboring and like-sized states have put in place to help contain costs, and some of the possible approaches that may be used in North Carolina to bring costs under control.
In North Carolina, Medicaid costs have soared and depleted the state’s budget for years, with $500 million cost overruns often hitting DHHS each spring as legislators prepare the coming year’s budgets.
The advisory group will collaborate with DHHS in its development of a detailed plan to reform North Carolina’s Medicaid system, and DHHS is to present a reform proposal to the General Assembly no later than March 17, 2014.
The advisory group, as instructed by the General Assembly, is obtaining stakeholder input in a public forum to ensure transparency in the proposal development process. The group is working with DHHS as it explores all options to come up with the best plan for North Carolina. It includes three citizens appointed by Gov. McCrory, a state representative and a state senator:
- Dennis Barry (Guilford County), advisory group chair - Barry is CEO emeritus of Cone Health, a multihospital system serving the Piedmont region of North Carolina.
- Peggy Terhune (Randolph County) - Terhune is the executive director/CEO of Monarch since 1995. She has worked with people with disabilities for more than 35 years.
- Richard Gilbert, M.D., M.B.A. (Mecklenburg County) - Dr. Gilbert has served as the chief of staff for Carolinas Medical Center and was the chief of the Department of Anesthesiology for Carolina’s Medical Center for 20 years.
- Representative Nelson Dollar (Wake) - Appointed by House of Representatives Speaker Thom Tillis.
- Senator Louis Pate (Lenoir, Pitt, Wayne) - Appointed by Senate President Pro-Tempore Phil Berger.
More information on the governor’s appointees can be found at governor.nc.gov/newsroom/press-releases.
Since its inception in 1970, the N.C. Medicaid program has evolved into an essential component of the state’s health care system. It currently serves approximately 1.7 million low-income parents, children, seniors and people with disabilities.
The Medicaid Reform Advisory Group will hold additional meetings during which stakeholders will have the opportunity to publicly comment on the reform process. Public notices will be issued with the dates, times and locations.
Interested in learning more?
Several presentations were viewed at the meeting. You may view them on the Partnership for a Healthy North Carolina web page, under the heading: Advisory Group Meetings at: www.ncdhhs.gov/medicaidreform/index.htm.