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This N&O article takes a closer look at the financial challenges presented by the swelling ranks of senior citizens and the rising costs of long-term care
A Durham orthopedic surgeon argues that the State Health Plan for public employees wastes a quarter-billion dollars annually because North Carolina's certificate-of-need laws force patients to use hospital-based facilities instead of physician-operated outpatient surgery clinics.
If we want North Carolina to grow and develop robustly, we have to raise taxes and use the money to "invest" in education, Medicaid, infrastructure, and other public services
North Carolina hit another milestone in Medicaid reform today when Governor Pat McCrory signed an application that will pave the way for an innovative North Carolina solution
Gov. Pat McCrory announced Monday that he plans to expand the state's Medicaid rolls in several limited areas as part of his Health and Human Services budget priorities, and will continue to seek broader expansion from the White House.
We've talked for decades about healthcare reform but the only significant attempt to change the skyrocketing costs of health insurance, escalating pharmaceutical costs and deepening dissatisfaction has been Obamacare.
Last week's newsletter highlighted the fiscal impact on North Carolina if the legislature agreed to opt for Obamacare's Medicaid expansion. This week, I'll touch on three critical human costs...
This past Monday evening, I spoke on a panel at Wake Forest University's School of Law on whether North Carolina should expand Medicaid, the medical assistance program originally designed for low-income parents, children, elderly, blind, and disabled. Despite the enthusiastic, overwhelmingly...
Governor Pat McCrory accomplished another major goal of his administration by signing into law major reform of North Carolina's Medicaid system.
If you thought North Carolina was alone when it came to tardy budgets, think again. North Carolina joined Alabama and New Hampshire in passing budgets late last week. Now there are only two states left in the country without budgets, Illinois and Pennsylvania.
After several major revisions, Medicaid reform that had delayed budget approvals during recent years passed the General Assembly on Tuesday. Gov. Pat McCrory on Wednesday signed the measure.
With the House passing a $21.735 billion General Fund budget by an 81-33 vote early Friday morning, and Gov. Pat McCrory saying he would approve the spending plan, lawmakers will shift their focus to outstanding items such as a $2 billion bond package and Medicaid reform before adjourning.
The 2015 long legislative session has proven to be just that: long. Many productive ideas have been discussed, among them whether we should take advantage of low interest rates and construction costs to borrow and address long-neglected needs; whether insurance companies or providers should...
In the series "Cut This, Go Home," several items that should have been eliminated from the budget were highlighted to facilitate the budget's passage and to enable legislators to go home sooner.
The FY 2015-16 North Carolina state budget has finally been finalized. Was it worth the wait? Rather than wading through 400 pages of text, you can read here about the ten most interesting and important aspects of the budget in this article.
With budget negotiations still underway and a third Continuing Resolution that extends funding for essential services until September 18th, it is vital to keep focus on the importance of what the House conferees are advocating for in Raleigh.
After an 80-day extension costing taxpayers well over $1 million, the North Carolina House and Senate chambers have finally reached a tentative budget agreement with a price tag of roughly $22 billion - a fiscally conservative budget considering that spending increased by only 3.1 percent which...
As Vidant Health continues to assess the potential impacts of an incomplete state budget, including the uncertainty of Medicaid reform, its Board of Directors approved the fiscal year 2016 operational plan today.
Critics questioned whether a recent state audit attributing a 9 percent savings in Medicaid costs to the nonprofit Community Care of North Carolina was a useful guide to policymakers weighing reforms in the government health insurance program covering 1.4 million poor, elderly, and disabled North Ca
North Carolina lawmakers still cannot agree to a final budget. The Senate saw difficulty in compromise, so they decided to move their economic development and Medicaid reform plans out of the budget and into stand-alone bills. Unfortunately, even with this change, the two chambers were unable to...
The Senate on Tuesday rejected a last-minute amendment that would expand Medicaid eligibility, and with 34-10 bipartisan support passed a bill making sweeping changes to the government insurance program for the poor, elderly, and disabled.
The prescription for improving North Carolina's Medicaid program has been a repetitive talking point for the past two years. The initial game plan back in April 2013 was for the state to contract with at least three private managed care organizations (MCOs) to take on full risk for managing...
Last Monday, the John Locke Foundation hosted a thoughtful health care forum where three expert panelists offered insight on the status of Kansas, Louisiana, and Florida's Medicaid reforms. Featured speakers included Kansas Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer, a pediatric plastic surgeon and leader of...
All kinds of deals are made during the legislative session. Whether a distillery can sell unlimited amounts or only one bottle to people taking tours; whether vehicle registration fees should increase 50 percent or 30 percent or at all; whether solar subsidies should be cut off now or extended...
In just one month, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether health insurance subsidies issued under the Affordable Care Act should be distributed only to insurance companies in state-based exchanges.
North Carolina lawmakers grappling with Medicaid reform should combine elements of competing proposals in the state House and Senate to give patients more choices while remaining accountable to taxpayers, a panel of experts at an April 13 briefing for policy makers and industry officials said.
Governor Pat McCrory discussed the progress North Carolina has experienced in job creation, innovation and public-private sector cooperation as part of a panel of governors at the Milken Institute's 2015 Global Conference held in Los Angeles.
Countering arguments that Medicaid expansion would benefit North Carolina's economy, a new report from the national group State Budget Solutions estimates that expansion actually would lead to a $6.4 billion hit in future personal income growth.
Removing outdated legal barriers to consumer health care choices could help corral rising Medicaid costs in North Carolina, reform advocates say.
Recent media reports of declining revenue, lagging patient volume and reduced operating surplus have not slowed Vidant Health from plunging ahead with plans for numerous acquisitions, mergers and/or joint ventures, but to accomplish these goals Vidant needs an infusion of capital.
Replicating a cost-saving Illinois reform program could root out Medicaid fraud and abuse, but if not done properly, the state could be forced to repay the federal government for any misspent dollars, a key Senate Republican says.
A new study by researchers at East Carolina University suggests that equivalent health insurance coverage may not level the disparities between African-American and Caucasian lung cancer patients when it comes to the stage at which they're diagnosed.
Before North Carolina considers Medicaid expansion, it should ensure its existing rolls are not bloated with ineligible recipients, and create a verification system to prevent adding even more unqualified beneficiaries, a national health policy analyst warns.
With a philosophical gulf still separating the state House and Senate on how best to reform the costly Medicaid program, Illinois is reporting multibillion-dollar success in a reform plan that closely resembles North Carolina Senate Republicans' framework for the future.
In December, 2014 the Federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final assessments of medical data for two of the programs within the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The 2015 legislative session has commenced, which means that the House and Senate will be hashing out their differences about how best to reform our state's Medicaid program. The Senate favors a privatization approach, where multiple managed care companies (MCOs) compete for state contracts to...
Robin Cummings, M.D., Department of Health and Human Services Medicaid Director, received the North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians' (NCAFP) 2014 Presidential Award at its Winter Family Physicians Weekend Conference. Presented by board chair William A. Dennis, M.D., the NCAFP Presidential...
At a forum this week, the state Secretary of Health and Human Services pushed providers to advocate for accountable care organizations to their local lawmakers.
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