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National HHS officials tout Medicaid model now promoted by House and Guv

MedicaidThere’s new and compelling evidence that North Carolina’s model for delivering Medicaid (Community Care North Carolina -CCNC) is a winner — notwithstanding the often-bumbling oversight provided by embattled state DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos and the attempt by Senate leaders to sell the program off to a private managed care company. (It’s worth noting that the flawed sell-off idea was once also touted by Gov. McCrory and Sec. Wos as well until the two gradually came to their senses over the past year).

Today, in a letter to state Medicaid directors throughout the country, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services at the national DHHS announced today that they are launching a new national collaborative initiative called the “Medicaid Innovation Accleerator Program.” The goal of initiative is “to improve care and improve health for Medicaid beneficiaries and reduce costs by supporting states in accelerating new payment and service delivery reforms.”

The letter announcing the initiative holds up three examples of state innovation success in Ohio, Washington and North Carolina. Here’s what it has to say about North Carolina:

North Carolina implemented a transitional care program, providing comprehensive medication management, face-to-face self-management education for patients and families, and timely outpatient follow-up through a medical home that has been fully informed about the hospitalization and any clinical or social issues that might complicate care. Targeting beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions who have been hospitalized, North Carolina’s program decreased hospital readmissions by 20%, as compared to usual care.

In other words, it praises the state for some of the same improvements highlighted in the recent two-part series in Raleigh’s News & Observer on the state Medicaid system. Let’s hope all lawmakers are paying attention and that the news drives more nails in the flawed idea to privatize CCNC.

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