The current debate over the long-term sustainability of North Carolina’s Medicaid program pits defenders of the status-quo Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC) model against reformers touting Governor Pat McCrory’s proposed Partnership for a Healthy North Carolina.
The Partnership embraces a Medicaid reform approach already up and running in states such as Florida, Kansas and Louisiana. In these states, patient choice, competition among privately-run plans, innovation and accountability have resulted in Medicaid patients who are healthier and happier with their care and millions of dollars in annual taxpayer savings.
CCNC is a non-profit collection of regional networks that provide certain care coordination services to Medicaid patients. Designers of the program hoped that assigning primary care providers to Medicaid patients would result in better–coordinated patient care that would reduce unnecessary utilization and better manage conditions.
CCNC has failed to keep its promises of improved patient health and lower costs. In fact, the majority of North Carolina’s widely-tracked Medicaid patient health outcomes have been in decline, while Medicaid spending has dramatically grown. Several design flaws have contributed to CCNC’s poor record, including:
- A one-size-fits-all government-centered system that denies patients meaningful choices and ignores patients’ individual health needs and concerns
- The absence of any competition among plans to drive innovation, better customer service and greater accountability
- Wildly varying assessments among several state-hired consultants of the level of savings achieved
- A funding scheme that limits policymakers’ ability to accurately predict and budget for Medicaid spending
These and other flaws continue to burden patients, taxpayers and policymakers, and have sparked a movement within Raleigh to fundamentally restructure North Carolina’s Medicaid program to make it truly pro-patient, pro-taxpayer health care safety net.
This report identifies and explains CCNC’s flaws and shows how the Partnership for a Healthy North Carolina is a far more effective approach to not only improve patient health, but also rein in Medicaid spending and save taxpayer dollars.