Carolina Journal’s Dan Way reports:

North Carolina has received federal approval to transition to a cost-saving, whole-health Medicaid managed care system that will take the state out of the day-to-day management of the government insurance program for the elderly, disabled, and poor.

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services signed off on a required waiver North Carolina requested to launch a demonstration program to integrate physical health, behavioral health, and pharmacy benefits.

The current system often fails to coordinate care for the state’s 2 million Medicaid recipients. That can create inefficiencies, duplicated services, and higher expenses. The new system is intended to provide more predictable costs.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services filed the waiver application in 2017. In a news release Wednesday, Oct. 24, DHHS called the approval “a major milestone in implementing North Carolina’s Medicaid Transformation and in moving the state’s health care system toward further integration and coordination.”

“Our highest priority is the health and well-being of the people we serve,” said DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen. “Receiving this waiver approval from the federal government will help us continue to build an innovative and whole-person centered system that addresses both medical and non-medical drivers of health.”

“Today’s action is another step in the legislature’s effort to transform our state’s broken and wasteful Medicaid program into a more sustainable, patient-centric model,” Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, said in a written statement. “The General Assembly began this process in 2015 and we look forward to working with DHHS as implementation continues.”

You can read the full article here. You can read what John Locke Foundation’s Health Care Policy Analyst, Jordan Roberts, has to say about Medicaid managed care here.