This morning, North Carolina DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen presented an overview on proposed changes to the state’s Medicaid Reform plan that has yet to be approved by the federal government. Medicaid, the state-federal funded public health insurance program, offers medical assistance to over 2 million low income-children, parents, pregnant women, the elderly, and disabled. The program costs about $14 billion.

Some initial thoughts:

  • It’s a step in the right direction that DHHS wants to integrate physical and behavioral health services for North Carolina’s most vulnerable patients. Holistic care has the potential to lead to better care coordination and communication among physicians and clinicians


  • While North Carolina is among the last of states to hold out on having multiple commercial managed care companies contract with the state to offer health plans that fit the varying needs of Medicaid patients, it has led the nation in providing mental health services under a managed care model.

For more information on how Medicaid managed care operates, see here.