W. B. Jones Center Withdraws from Medicare/Medicaid; Services Remain Unchanged

Raleigh, NC

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) submitted a letter to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) today seeking voluntarily withdrawal of the inpatient treatment beds at Walter B. Jones Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Center from participation in the Medicare and Medicaid programs effective May 1, 2015.

The action is a result of a recent CMS survey that found the facility could not continue to be certified as a psychiatric hospital if it serves patients with primary diagnoses of substance abuse. The decision was made to protect and preserve substance abuse treatment at the Greenville center. The facility will no longer bill Medicare or Medicaid for services it provides to clients admitted after April 30.

The voluntary move preserves services that benefit the community and on which area residents have come to depend. The change will result in reduced revenue of about $55,000 a month in federal reimbursements.

“We believe that this decision is the best for maintaining the patient care currently provided,” said Dave Richard, DHHS’ Deputy Secretary of Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services. “The alcohol and drug abuse treatment centers are an important part of the full spectrum of patient care and we remain committed to serving these patients, regardless of their ability to pay.”

The Walter B. Jones Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Center is a 66-bed facility in Greenville that provides inpatient treatment, psychiatric stabilization and medical detoxification for individuals with substance abuse and other co-occurring mental health diagnoses to prepare for ongoing community-based treatment and recovery. It serves citizens from 38 eastern North Carolina counties as well as those in need of specialized perinatal and opioid treatment from all 100 counties.

“This decision further demonstrates DHHS’ commitment to continue providing these critical services,” said Dale Armstrong, Director of the Division of State Operated Healthcare Facilities.