This N&O article delves into Gov. McCrory’s announcement yesterday on Medicaid reform. Included in the N&O article are quotes from defenders of the status quo, including praise for the current “managed care” organization, Community Care North Carolina (CCNC):
The change would be significant for the state, which until now has relied on a home-grown managed care agency called Community Care North Carolina. The agency creates networks of doctors to care for Medicaid patients and works with people with chronic illnesses such as asthma. It has been lauded as a national model for Medicaid management and received a national award for quality and efficiency on Wednesday.
CCNC has been credited with saving the Medicaid program $1.5 billion in the three-year period from 2007 to 2009.
The studies citing these cost savings, however, have faced serious criticism. If CCNC is producing such significant cost savings for Medicaid expenses, why are key categories of Medicaid expenses so much higher here than for North Carolina’s Southeastern neighbors? The group with the highest rate of CCNC enrollment is children, yet North Carolina’s average Medicaid expenditure for children is 15th highest in the nation and a whopping 27 percent higher than the average of our Southeastern neighbors. Furthermore, the other eligibility group to have CCNC oversight the longest is the adult population, of which North Carolina’s Medicaid expenses are 12th highest in the nation and 16 percent higher than regional states.
If CCNC is a “model” for Medicaid managment, no wonder Mediciad costs are bankrupting most state budgets. Time for a new model.