Senate leaders included a surprise in Monday’s budget roll-out – their vision for Medicaid reform.
Sen. Ralph Hise detailed plans that would move Medicaid away from the state Department of Health and Human Services and to a newly created Health Benefits Authority.
The HBA, according to Hise, would contract with three healthcare providers to administer the $14 Billion program.
The new authority would not be subject to the state personnel act, allowing the new entity to set higher salaries for its employees.
Union County Senator Tommy Tucker says this new scenario would allow for greater flexibility, allowing the HBA to more immediately address cost overruns that have plagued lawmakers in the past.
But the change would also see DHHS Medicaid workers lose their positions after this new program is up and running in 2017. Tucker says the changes they are proposing would require a different skill set.
To hear a portion of Monday’s discussion on the proposed Health Benefits Authority, click below. You can also read more about the proposed changes on WRAL.com and NC Health News. Want more? You’ll find the full Senate budget here.