Sec. Aldona Wos talks Medicaid 'framework' - WNCT

Sec. Aldona Wos talks Medicaid 'framework' to Greenville health experts

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NC Department of Health & Human Services Aldona Wos visits ECU's Heart Institute NC Department of Health & Human Services Aldona Wos visits ECU's Heart Institute
GREENVILLE, N.C. -

Gov. Pat McCrory is keeping the ball rolling on his proposed restructuring of our state's Medicaid program, potentially putting a large portion of it in private hands.

The Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, Aldona Wos, is touring the state answering questions about what they're calling the "new framework."

Wos visited East Carolina University's Heart Institute Thursday for a question and answer session with local health experts.

"$36 million a day for the state of North Carolina is how much we spend on Medicaid right now," said Wos during her presentation.

The state spends $13 billion a year on the Medicaid program and Gov. McCrory hopes to make it more cost effective by replacing the current non-profit organization that runs Medicaid with multiple for-profit healthcare management companies he'd dubbing "Comprehensive Care Entities."

The CCE's will bring together what McCrory calls the "silos" of healthcare: Mental and Physical Health, along with Substance Abuse.

Opponents question how a for-profit company will keep costs down and, more importantly, keep profits in North Carolina. Under the new framework, DHHS would take applications from healthcare management companies hoping to become a CCE, even applications from out-of-state companies.

Wos says she hopes North Carolina based management companies will "step-up to the table" so the department will not have to rely on out-of-state companies.

Al Delia, current Director of the Office of Health Access at the Brody School of Medicine, says there is still work to be done.

"I think a lot of the details still have to be worked out," said Delia, "We have too many silos in North Carolina so I think that aspect of the plan that they put forth is right on target."

The new framework is projected to roll out in 2015.

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