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Governor, DHHS Secretary Confer With Wilmington Health

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For Immediate Release
Thursday, July 3, 2014
Contact: news@dhhs.nc.gov
              919-855-4840

Governor, DHHS Secretary Confer With Wilmington Health
Jenny Callison
Greater Wilmington Business Journal
March 21, 2014
http://www.wilmingtonbiz.com/health_care/2014/07/02/governor_dhhs_secretary_confer_with_wilmington_health/12013

Wilmington, N.C. - Gov. Pat McCrory came to Wilmington Wednesday to learn the prescription for improving effectiveness and efficiency of health care services.

McCrory and N.C. Department of Health and Human Services secretary Aldona Wos spent the afternoon touring Wilmington Health headquarters. It is one stop on a statewide tour of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) to see how they have reduced costs while improving service delivery and outcomes for Medicare patients. McCrory and DHHS officials hope that a similar approach could be applied to Medicaid patients. The state is looking for ways to reduce the cost of its Medicaid services.

Wilmington Health, through developing its own ACO model, has made great progress in all three areas: cost, quality and patient satisfaction, notably with state employees and state retiree patients as well as Medicare patients, said Wilmington Health CEO Jeff James.

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Following the tour, which was led by James, White, Kelly Schaudt, COO of Wilmington Health's ACO, and Chasity Chace, Wilmington Health CFO, McCrory and Wos sat down for a round-table discussion of issues with several of the organization's physicians.

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Brown later said that he and his colleagues had an "outstanding" discussion with McCrory and Wos. He noted the recent passage, by the NC House, of a Medicaid reform measure that aligns with the ACO approach that Wilmington Health officials advocate.

"We have proven through our Medicare work that it can be done: to increase quality of care at lower cost," he said. "Over time, you learn and you get better and better. It's high time that we have better-performing practices and do what needs to be done for Medicaid."

Despite the reform measure's passage in the House, Brown said there does not seem to be "a lot of appetite" to bring the same bill to a vote in the NC Senate.

"North Carolina deserves a decision on this issue," he said. "We want to try and facilitate that, and we're pushing to have a vote in the Senate."

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