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Originally published: 2013-02-07 17:14:18
Last modified: 2013-02-07 17:14:18

State wants ideas on Medicaid

by Anna Oakes

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Monday published a request for information for recommendations to assist the DHHS Division of Medical Assistance in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the state's Medicaid program.


The state department invites health care providers and citizens with innovative ideas to submit recommendations to the DMA by March 15 at 2 p.m.


"We are seeking information and input that will help build a state-of-the-art, sustainable Medicaid program," said Carol Steckel, DMA director, in a statement. "We must prove to the residents of North Carolina that the program can provide high quality access to health care services ... (and) manage the tax dollars entrusted to us in a better, more efficient way."


Recommendations will be evaluated by leadership and utilized as a platform for future discussions.


The announcement follows a report from State Auditor Beth Wood, a Democrat, released Jan. 31 identifying several problems with the state's Medicaid system, including administrative inefficiency, lack of oversight of contracts, lax cost-control and cost-management measures and disjointed accounting practices that have led to inaccurate financial projections.


Wood said at a press conference that the state has exceeded its Medicaid budget by more than $1.4 billion over the past three fiscal years, including $375 million in state funds.


North Carolina has 1.5 million citizens enrolled in its Medicaid program, and more than 88 million Medicaid claims are processed by the DHHS every year, a press release from the governor's office stated. On average, North Carolina's Medicaid program costs North Carolina approximately $36 million a day, it said.


To view the request for information and instructions for submitting recommendations, visit http://www.ips.state.nc.us/IPS/Default.aspx and search for the bid number 30-DMA100-13.