Health providers blast attack on Community Care NC, Medicaid privatization

The folks at Carolina Public Press in Asheville have more responses from the trenches today in a story about the North Carolina Senate’s proposal to privatize Medicaid and do away with the state’s award-winning Community Care NC program:

“Medicaid management nonprofit faces closure

Community Care of North Carolina, a nonprofit with 14 networks across the state — including Western North Carolina — would lose its contract with the state under the Senate’s plan.

The proposed elimination of the nonprofit network is part of the Senate’s plan to remove Medicaid management from the state Department of Health and Human Services and create a new agency to handle the program, as noted in its budget document.

Community Care of Western North Carolina, which has an office in Asheville, serves eight WNC counties: Buncombe, Henderson, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Transylvania and Yancey, according to its website. It serves 64,342 Medicaid enrollees, according to July 2013 figures, with an additional 12,000 enrolled in other programs.

Officials there referred questions to the spokesman for Community Care of North Carolina, Paul Mahoney, who said the organization would have limited comment other than to say the nonprofit continues to support Gov. Pat McCrory’s Medicaid reform plan; that there must be ‘robust data to improve quality and manage care effectively’ and that the organization will ‘continue to work with policymakers on a North Carolina approach to Medicaid reform.’

However, Dr. Shannon Dowler, chief medical officer of Blue Ridge Community Health Services and chair of the board of the N.C. Academy of Family Physicians, was less restrained.

‘I believe the Senate’s budget would have a devastating effect on the health of North Carolina,’ she said, moments after seeing patients in the Arden office of the private, nonprofit community health center, which has five offices in Western North Carolina….”

Read the rest of the article by clicking here.


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