Uncategorized

Family physicians: Senate Medicaid proposal is arbitrary, incorrect

MedicaidThe following essay comes from Dr. William Dennis, President of the North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians:

Senate spending plan: The wrong treatment plan for an incorrect diagnosis

As a family physician, I am trained to process and understand the symptoms my patients present for the sole purpose of making a correct diagnosis. Once the correct diagnosis is made, it becomes my imperative to develop a treatment plan that addresses the underlying health concerns, not just remedy a patient’s symptoms. Only then can I deploy the necessary healthcare resources to ensure the best possible outcomes for my patients. Successful Medicaid reform is no different.

Over the past 16 months the state’s healthcare community, working closely with the General Assembly, the Governor, the Medicaid Reform Advisory Group and representative patient advocates, have made tremendous progress in diagnosing the ills of our Medicaid system and proposing priorities for reform and continued investment.

Some of these include:

• Improved Budget Forecasting – The actual spending per Medicaid recipient has been decreasing, with overall claims spending growing at a rate lower than the growth in the number of Medicaid recipients. The most significant cause for continued cost overruns is linked to budgeting inaccuracies, not care delivery.

• Continued Investment in “Medical Homes” – Community Care of North Carolina’s (CCNC) nationally recognized platform of “medical homes” provides services and care that is better coordinated to meet the needs of each patient. They leverage technology and care management to prevent chronic disease where possible, and maintain patient course of treatment where necessary, all of which reduces costly occurrences of hospital re-admissions and unnecessary emergency room visits.

• Adoption of New Payment Mechanisms – Movement away from the current fee-for-service model that ties compensation to volume of patients seen, towards physician-led accountable care organizations that reward improved health outcomes by focusing on prevention and chronic disease management.

But last week’s Senate Spending Plan is a complete departure from this process and the progress it has yielded. Senate leadership has developed an arbitrary treatment plan for an incorrect diagnosis that will ultimately damage the healthcare system that serves all North Carolinians.

If the Senate’s changes to Medicaid go unchallenged, North Carolina patients and taxpayers can expect three things to happen:

1. A decrease in the number of primary care physicians providing preventive care and chronic disease management across North Carolina, especially in rural communities already severely underserved.

2. The immediate and irrevocable deconstruction of CCNC’s nationally acclaimed Patient Center Medical Home (PCMH) network, a platform of coordinated care that reduces costly occurrences of hospital readmissions and unnecessary emergency room visits.

3. Even greater alienation of the sickest segment of our population from the healthcare and long-term care services they desperately need, and for which we are morally and legally obligated to provide.

The North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians has been a vocal supporter of Medicaid reform. We applaud the Governor and General Assembly for taking us on this much needed and long overdue endeavor.

However, now is not the time to disregard the progress made over the past 16 months. Now is the time for lawmakers and all Medicaid stakeholders to develop and implement a treatment plan that safeguards and improves the healthcare delivery system for all North Carolinians, especially our most medically needy citizens, the elderly, blind and disabled.

 

2 Comments


  1. LayintheSmakDown

    June 5, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Same headline can be applied to Obamacare. How appropriate.

  2. Alan

    June 5, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    Oh look, it’s Dr. LSD, Team Civitas physician at work.

Check Also

BREAKING: New analysis shows GOP tax plan would be “devastating” to North Carolina nonprofits

This is usually the time of year during ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

The controversy over “Silent Sam,” the Confederate monument on UNC’s Chapel Hill campus, has been ra [...]

North Carolina tries to mine its swine and deal with a poop problem that keeps piling up A blanket o [...]

This story is part of "Peak Pig," an examination of the hog industry co-published with Env [...]

Few issues in the North Carolina’s contentious policy wars have been more consistently front and cen [...]

Five years ago, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a jaw-dropping civil rights lawsuit again [...]

Will Burr and Tillis really vote for this? For much of the 20th Century, one of the labels that Amer [...]

President Trump and Congressional Republicans aim to rebrand enormous tax cuts for the wealthiest ho [...]

20—number of years since a bipartisan coalition in Congress passed the Children’s Health Insurance P [...]

Spotlight on Journalism

We invite you to join a special celebration of investigative journalism! The evening will feature Mike Rezendes, a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe Spotlight Team known for their coverage of the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Tickets available NOW!

Spotlight On Journalism

This event will benefit NC Policy Watch, a project of the North Carolina Justice Center. Sponsorship opportunities available now!

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more