N.C. medical community reacts favorably to proposed Medicaid reforms
Triangle BizBlog, Triangle Business Journal
March 18, 2014
North Carolina's medical community, a group that was initially wary of Medicaid reform, largely supported what DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos proposed Monday.
"We agree that accountable care organizations are the right direction for North Carolina," said Laura Easton, immediate past chair of the N.C. Hospital Association board of trustees. "The ACO model puts patients first by allowing providers rather than insurance companies, to manage care and aligns payment incentives both with quality and cost effectiveness."
Wos and other members from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services announced a Medicaid reform plan in which providers would join together in accountable care organizations to share in savings but be at risk for cost overruns. It's a model that federal regulators want to move toward for Medicare and was one of the goals of the Affordable Care Act.
"This is the direction health care is going," said Mardy Peal, a senior advisor to Wos. DHHS leaders estimate the plan would reduce spending by 3 percent from where they would have been; the Medicaid program runs up about $13 billion in costs each year of which the federal government pays two thirds
William Dennis, president of the N.C. Academy of Family Physicians, also applauded the plan.
"While much has been done to improve Medicaid in the last decade, our state's family physicians understand the need to continue to move our system of care forward," he said. "We believe Accountable Care Organizations are the best next step in this reformation process."