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10 NC mental health entities plan to merge to 4

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Plans are in the works to further consolidate the managed-care organizations that administer North Carolina's treatment of the mentally ill and substance abusers and care for the developmentally disabled.

The Department of Health and Human Services says leaders of the 10 local management entities intend to merge into four regional organizations. A group representing the organizations told DHHS Secretary Dr. Aldona Wos (vahsh) of their plans late last week.

Supporters of more consolidation say it will lead to improved services provided more efficiently and offer a more predictable funding pattern. The managed-care organizations receive from the state a fixed amount of money for each Medicaid-eligible consumer to provide services.

There's no timeline to complete the regionalization, but it's first expected that Mecklenburg County's program will join regional entity Cardinal Innovations.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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