Yesterday, the North Carolina Senate voted 34-10 to approve HB 372, Medicaid Transformation, a Medicaid reform bill calling for a mix of commercial insurers and in-state health care providers. It also would change the fee-for-service system to a per-member monthly allotment to encourage patients and medical providers to control costs. And the bill would create a new cabinet-level Medicaid department, headed by a secretary appointed by the governor and confirmed by the legislature. The bill now goes back to the House, where its future is uncertain. Read the highlights of the bill.
The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) continues to advocate aggressively for policies placing physicians and clinical decision-making at the forefront of any Medicaid reform structure. The NCMS worked hard beginning in 2012 to persuade the state to continue carrying the underwriting risk of the Medicaid program and allow doctors to implement value-driven systems of care directly with the state. The General Assembly is determined, however, to shift the underwriting risk of Medicaid to insurance companies. We believe some of the insurers that show an interest in Medicaid will be physician-led, and we strongly support these physician-led efforts.
To help you in conversations with your colleagues or when you contact your elected representatives, which we encourage you to do, the NCMS has identified the essential provisions to be included in any Medicaid reform legislation. These provisions will help protect the way you practice medicine and ensure a viable Medicaid program. Read them here. And, please send your legislator a message.