State Medicaid Director Replacement Named

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The head of North Carolina's health agency is picking a registered nurse and three-year department veteran to run the division that manages the state's $13 billion Medicaid program.

State Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos said Friday that Sandy Terrell will lead the Division of Medical Assistance. She replaces Medicaid director Carol Steckel, who is leaving her post after eight months to take a job with a Florida-based company that specializes in government-sponsored Medicaid services.

Terrell will be the Medicaid program's acting director after Steckel's last day on Oct. 11. Terrell has worked in the Medicaid division since 2010.

Steckel was seen as a central player in proposals by Wos and Gov. Pat McCrory to shift operations of the government health care program for the poor toward private companies.
The director of North Carolina's Medicaid program is leaving her post to take a job with a Florida company that provides managed care services to government insurance programs.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday the upcoming resignation of Division of Medical Assistance Director Carol Steckel just eight months after she took the post.

The department says Steckel is taking a position with WellCare Health Plans. Steckel writes she'll resign no later than Oct. 11. She received a $210,000 annual salary from the state.

Her departure would seem to be a blow to HHS in its efforts to bring Medicaid expenses under control. The legislature gave the department authority this summer to assemble a plan to rework how Medicaid is paid for by the state.

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