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Community Care of North Carolina downsizing, several top staff are reportedly out

Several top staff and board members of Community Care of North Carolina, the provider-led network that coordinates care for many Medicaid patients in the state, have left the organization.

It’s unclear how many other members of the leadership team may have left the organization, with CCNC only issuing a vague statement about the recent departures citing an overall need to reduce costs wherever possible.

“Staff has been reduced by about 9 percent, including both leadership and staff levels,” wrote CCNC spokesman Paul Mahoney in a statement. “No significant staff changes are planned for the remainder of the 2015-2016 fiscal year.”

Dr. L. Allen Dobson Jr., the president of CCNC, remains at the helm of the organization, Mahoney said.

Others confirmed that there had been significant recent departures at CCNC.

“There were several staff people that left for various reasons,” said Richard Stevens, a former Republican state senator who currently works as a contract lobbyist for CCNC.

A listed staff lobbyist for CCNC, Amy Hobbs, resigned from her position on July 1, records with the N.C. Secretary of State’s office show.

Three board members have also left the non-profit leadership boards that govern CCNC.

Brian Toomey, a former board member for N.C. Community Care Networks, said he recently left the board managing CCNC’s network of community care centers, but not as part of any planned or unplanned exodus.

Rather, he said he left for his own reasons – namely to spend more time at his job managing the Carrboro-based Piedmont Health Services as state leaders debate what the future of the state’s Medicaid system is.

“The world is about to change,” Toomey said. “The problem is, we don’t know how.”

CCNC manages the health care for approximately 1.4 million North Carolinians enrolled in the state’s Medicaid system, a federally mandated program that provides health coverage to some of the most vulnerable North Carolinians – low-income children, seniors and disabled persons.

It’s also gained national attention for its approach to health care, which has been found in studies to keep costs down while improving care. A 2011 study by a California consulting firm found CCNC saved the state nearly $1 billion between 2007 and 2010.

But the group’s future has been uncertain in recent years, with Republican leaders in the state legislature disagreeing about whether or not CCNC should have a place in the state’s potentially revamped $14 billion Medicaid program, the largest line-item in the state budget and one that frequently experiences cost overruns.

Several leading House Republicans have been supportive of CCNC and its approach to use locally-based medical providers to manage the care of patients, while Senate leaders have been less enthusiastic.

The Senate version of the budget, released in mid-June, proposed severing CCNC’s $65 million contract with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services after Jan. 1, in favor of pursuing a more privatized Medicaid system of contracting with managed care companies.

The House and the Senate are currently in the midst of budget negotiations.

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