McCrory Offers Plan To Privatize Medicaid Risk

Gov. Pat McCrory's administration wants to privatize North Carolina's $13 billion Medicaid program to hold down the spiraling costs of delivering health care for the elderly and disabled.

State Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos says plans are to recruit about three big managed-care providers who compete as they deliver medical, mental, and dental services throughout North Carolina.

Wos says the plan will hold down rising costs to taxpayers while erasing administrative roadblocks she says frustrate doctors and hospitals who accept Medicaid patients.

Wos says the plan is to pay the managed-care providers a set monthly price for each Medicaid patient enrolled, then let those companies take the risk of cost overruns if they can't keep within budget.

The change is targeted for a July 2015 start.

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North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory is proposing a plan at 10 a.m. on Wednesday to hold down the spiraling costs of health care for the elderly and disabled.

McCrory has scheduled a news conference for Wednesday during which he says he'll bring everyone to the table to create a new health care partnership to reform Medicaid.

The Medicaid program spends about $13 billion in state and federal funds a year to provide health coverage for more than 1.5 million North Carolina residents -- most of them poor children, older adults and the disabled.

McCrory last month ordered state government offices to trim costs to help keep the budget balanced because he said the state Medicaid program was expected to spend at least $200 million more than projected.