The wrong direction
The Readers' Forum: Wednesday Letters - Winston-Salem Journal: Letters To The Editor
Gov. Pat McCrory's plan to reform Medicaid is a step in the wrong direction (“McCrory plan would privatize parts of Medicaid,” April 4). The answer to improving health care is not to turn care for 1.5 million North Carolinians over to out-of-state, profit-driven managed-care companies. We've tried that before and it simply did not work.
What has worked is empowering local physicians and health-care professionals to coordinate care in their own communities through patient-centered medical homes. This is the foundation of North Carolina's homegrown care-management program, Community Care of N.C. (CCNC).
CCNC (communitycarenc.org) is recognized as a national model for improving care and lowering costs. In fact, CCNC's success meant North Carolina enjoyed the lowest average annual increase in Medicaid costs in the country from 2007-2010. Many states that tried Medicaid HMOs are now implementing the CCNC model instead.
Ironically, on the same day the governor announced his plan, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) helped present another national award to CCNC, this one from the Healthcare Leadership Council.
North Carolina's family physicians implore McCrory to immediately reconsider his proposal and instead join us in building on the success of North Carolina's existing physician and hospital networks. We can preserve jobs and maximize health-care dollars in our state while improving care for thousands of North Carolina families.
McCrory's heart may be in the right place, but his head is moving us in the wrong direction. Looking to for-profit, out-of-state companies with little commitment to the people of N.C. is a bad idea.
DR. RICHARD LORD
PAST PRESIDENT, NORTH CAROLINA ACADEMY OF FAMILY PHYSICIANS