Legal Setback Could Raise NC Medicaid Shortage $9-Million

The projected shortfall for North Carolina's Medicaid program has grown since a legal setback on carrying out new restrictions to hire people to help at-home patients with dressing themselves and cooking.

Medicaid's chief business operating officer told House members Tuesday a judge's order last month blocking the state for now from implementing a new personal care services policy could mean $9.4 million in additional expenses by June. Steve Owen told the budget committee that would raise the projected shortfall to more than $149 million.

Gov. Beverly Perdue's administration and Republican legislative leaders have been at odds over how to close the shortfall. Neither side wants to cut provider reimbursement rates or eliminate services. Republicans have been unwilling so far to set aside cash to make up the difference.

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