Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE — As part of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ ongoing effort to respond to the rise in syphilis and congenital syphilis cases and increase access to treatment, NC Medicaid will now cover an additional treatment for syphilis and congenital syphilis, Extencilline. This new coverage is being added to address the ongoing national shortage of Penicillin G Benzathine (Bicillin L-A), the first-line treatment for syphilis. In response to this additional resource being offered for people in North Carolina, State Health Director and NCDHHS Chief Medical Officer Dr. Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson released this statement:

PRESS RELEASE — Approximately 6,800 people in North Carolina have sickle cell disease, of which approximately 95% are Black or African American. This health disparity is paralleled at the national level with more than 100,000 people across the country battling this painful illness. New therapies offer an opportunity to provide long needed relief to these individuals and close long-standing disparities in our country.

PRESS RELEASE — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is launching a Community Partner Engagement Plan to ensure the voices of North Carolina communities and families continue to be at the center of the department’s work. This includes a new website and improvements to internal processes for engaging community partners, as well as groups with lived experience, to make policy change that best serves the people of the state.

PRESS RELEASE — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services will host a live Spanish-language Cafecito and tele-town hall on Tues., Feb. 27, from 6 to 7 p.m., to discuss how to support and improve heart health as well as prevent and manage heart disease.

PRESS RELEASE — In support of ongoing efforts to combat rising cases of syphilis, including congenital syphilis, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is raising awareness among providers and patients of a recent rate increase to support treatment for Medicaid beneficiaries. As of Feb. 1, 2024, the Medicaid reimbursement rate has been increased to reflect the updated costs of the medication Bicillin L-A, which can be used to treat syphilis and is the only known effective treatment for preventing congenital syphilis.

PRESS RELEASE — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is launching a new Statewide Peer Warmline on Feb. 20, 2024. The new Peer Warmline will work in tandem with the North Carolina 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by giving callers the option to speak with a Peer Support Specialist. Peer Support Specialists (or “peers”) are people living in recovery with mental illness and/or substance use disorder who provide support to others who can benefit from their lived experience. A ribbon-cutting ceremony to raise awareness for the new support line will take place on Tuesday at 9 a.m. at the Promise Resource Network respite facility in Charlotte. A media Q&A will immediately follow.

PRESS RELEASE — U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra joined Governor Roy Cooper and NC Health and Human Services Secretary Kody H. Kinsley in Raleigh Friday for a Medicaid expansion roundtable with beneficiaries and providers. Together they discussed the monumental impact Medicaid expansion is having for the more than 350,000 individuals who are now enrolled in the program since it launched a little more than two months ago. More than 600,000 people are now eligible and are expected to gain the critical physical and behavioral health care coverage they need over the next two years.

PRESS RELEASE — The Transylvania County Department of Social Services and Sherriff’s Office, along with staff from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, have been conducting investigations of Trails Carolina following the death of a child on Feb. 3, 2024.

PRESS RELEASE — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services will host a live fireside chat and tele-town hall on Tues., Feb. 20, from 6 to 7 p.m., to discuss how to support and improve heart health as well as prevent and manage heart disease.

PRESS RELEASE — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services today released a draft of its 2024-25 Olmstead Plan designed to assist people with disabilities to reside in and experience the full benefit of inclusive communities. The plan is open for public comment through March 7, 2024. NCDHHS encourages all interested individuals and organizations to provide comment on the draft plan. The final, two-year plan will be published in April and implemented in calendar years 2024 and 2025.