by Sam Hieb
In today’s lead editorial, the N&R urges state leaders –namely Gov. Pat McCrory, Sen. Phil Berger and Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos —- to fix the flaws in the state’s medicaid system.
The editorial refers to the report released last week by State Auditor Beth Wood as a frame of reference:
They can start with administrative costs, which Wood said have been “significantly higher” than in other states. The most glaring problem is “insufficient monitoring of administrative services that are contracted out.” The state’s Division of Medical Assistance was not even able to provide auditors with a listing of contracts and related expenditures, even though payments exceeded budget by more than $100 million over four years.
The division even violated state law by carrying over a $131 million debt to the federal government from one year to the next, an improper accounting trick that disguised a shortfall.
Interesting that the N&R concedes that “(c)ertainly, if the state can’t manage the Medicaid program any better than the audit indicates, it should not take on more responsibility.” The state Senate passed a bill doing just that, although the House is expected “to take a slower approach than the Senate.”
Granted, it will be interesting to see how this plays out, given how difficult it is to roll back the gov’t tide. Given the results of the recent national election, don’t you think the federal government will make it as difficult as they can.