Submitted by Tom Sullivan on Wed, 12/04/2013 - 12:21pm
Richard (RJ) Eskow was on Fox Business with Neil Cavuto recently. Since New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is positioning himself to run for president as a moderate Republican and since Fox Republicans can't have that, Cavuto invited Eskow on to bash Christie for him.
Steckel is leaving her $210,000 state position to be senior director of public policy at WellCare Health Plans, which provides managed care plans for Medicaid and Medicare.
The state Department of Health and Human Services is working on a plan to transform Medicaid that will open the $13 billion government health insurance program for the poor, elderly and disabled to management by private companies. They call the plan the “Partnership for a Healthy North Carolina,” and Steckel had the lead role in creating it.
This story could be a an entire chapter in Business Ethics 101, a model of what not to do. But it probably won't be mentioned in any Legislative oversight hearings, because the NC GOP thinks private companies should be running the government anyway.
Carol Steckel resigned Monday as the director of North Carolina's Medicaid program. Steckel was brought in from Louisiana last spring to overhaul the Medicaid program, which has suffered repeated cost overruns in recent years.
Top officials [at NC DHHS] are about to embark on another "listening tour," according to a set of slides that Sandy Terrell, the Division of Medical Assistance's acting chief operating officer, presented at the North Carolina Institute of Medicines annual conference this month. It's unclear where and to whom the agency will be listening. Also unclear is what Terrell meant when she wrote that there would be "changes within the Division of Medical Assistance."
The Department of Health and Human Services refused a request to make Terrell or anyone else available to talk about pending changes in Medicaid, saying that an announcement was coming.
The system has missed – sometimes by a wide margin – its own targets on paying claims, and doctors around the state say they aren’t receiving payments.
Dr. Bill Atkinson, WakeMed CEO, says that isn’t isolated to physician practices in rural areas, pointing to the $2.5 million he says physician practices under the WakeMed umbrella are owed.
A couple of important points, and then I need to get back to hospital vigil duty: the healthcare sector nationwide is the single biggest employer, somewhere in the neighborhood of 17% of the workforce. That percentage is probably slightly higher in North Carolina due to so many world-class teaching hospitals and the massive biotech industry. And when you screw around with the Medicare/Medicaid funding pipeline, you are screwing around with the job security of tens of thousands of North Carolinians, if not hundreds of thousands. Aldona Wos isn't just a political mistake, she's an economic disaster in process.
DAG McCrony and the Tillisberger were hellbent on refusing the federal money for Medicaid expansion. These are our tax dollars, already paid, that now go to places with more enlightened governors, which even includes Ohio and New Jersey.
The decision not to adopt the Medicaid expansion will create inequities in coverage. Those with incomes below 100 percent will not be eligible for subsidies in exchanges or for Medicaid coverage beyond current eligibility levels. This leaves considerable gaps in coverage and will also result in substantially less revenue for hospitals.
Under the ACA, hospitals in these states will still face cutbacks in Medicare and Medicaid disproportionate share hospital payments as well as lower Medicare payment rates independent of whether or not a state adopts the Medicaid expansion.
The NCGOP is pursuing a strategy of radical restructuring. Human health is collateral damage.
THE BUDGET PASSED BY THE NORTH CAROLINA SENATE includes a special provision changing the state’s Medicaid eligibility requirements for pregnant women. Under the Senate provision,
starting in 2014, pregnant women earning more than 133 percent of federal poverty level (about $15,282 for a single person) will no longer qualify for Medicaid. Currently, pregnant women earning up
to 185 percent of federal poverty level (about $21,256 for a single person) qualify for Medicaid. This change will impact thousands of women.
Sanctity of life my ass. The sheer hypocrisy of the Tarheel Taliban is mind-boggling. Try to force women seeking an abortion to look at an ultrasound, when they are the ones who should be forced to look at every fetus they want to cut from Medicaid funding. You know what? That's what we should do, start collecting pictures of unborn babies who fall into this category and putting them on signs and pamphlets. Kinda hard to argue with that.
Submitted by Martha Brock on Wed, 05/15/2013 - 9:15am
Got questions or comments about the McCrory Administration’s plan to privatize much of the state’s Medicaid system?
Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos and Medicaid Director Carol Steckel will hold two public hearings today and again on Thursday to answer questions about privatizing the $13 billion program and what it would mean for patients and health care providers.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Aldona Wos told an audience in Reidsville today that the decision not to expand the state’s Medicaid program came from state Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin. Her comments came during a community forum held at Annie Penn Hospital during a question-and-answer period with the audience of 70 to 80 hospital personnel, community members and medical professionals.
To which the Department of Insurance had this to say:
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