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Medicaid

Medical Societies Start Push Back on Medicaid Reform Proposal

The North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians will be airing the first of a series of video messages this weekend aimed at pushing back at Gov. Pat McCrory’s proposal to reform Medicaid.

The governor’s proposal includes privatizing North Carolina Medicaid, the state and federally funded program that pays for health care for more than 1.8 million low-income children and their parents, pregnant women, elderly and people with disabilities. Key to the proposal is asking for managed care companies, which will be referred to as “comprehensive care entities,” to bid on providing care to all of the state’s Medicaid beneficiaries. The proposal also calls for an aggressive timeline for implementation by mid-2015.

Last week, during a hearing of a legislative oversight committee meeting, Secretary of Health and Human Services Aldona Wos met with skepticism from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

“I would say that I’m more than skeptical about comprehensive care entities,” said Rep. Donny Lambeth (Winston-Salem). “I think we have framework in North Carolina, and we in North Carolina need to be the ones to solve the problem, not bring in outside entities.”

The state’s medical community has started to weigh in, starting with editorials in the News & Observer from the head of the NC Medical Society, the former head of the NC Pediatric Society, and most recently an editorial by a young general practitioner who wrote that he moved to North Carolina to practice here in part because of Community Care of North Carolina, a home-grown program that manages the care of about 1.3 million of the state’s Medicaid patients.

Now, it seems, the medical community is taking it up a notch with a commercial that will start airing this weekend on the  political program NC SPIN. The group has made another video, visible on YouTube.

“Our health care system is at stake here, it’s too important to move quickly without a thoughtful conversation about how we can build upon what’s working here,” says Greg Griggs, head of the Academy of Family Physicians in one video. “I personally trust that our governor, our legislative leaders and our physician and health care community can come together to build a system that’s right for NC, and not have to rely on out-of-state managed care companies.”

In another, he says, “It’s time for Medicaid reform, but not without input from North Carolina’s family physicians. Medicaid reform will impact health care for all of us. Tell state leaders you want your physician involved. We need Medicaid reform that’s good for North Carolina.”

The Academy has also created an online petition.

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