NAPLES, FLORIDA – Findings released in a new report published today cast serious doubts about Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC)—North Carolina’s Medicaid model—and the dangerous impact it is having on Medicaid patients’ health and taxpayers’ bottom line.
The report, CCNC Flaws: Why Community Care of North Carolina is Failing Patients, Taxpayers and Policymakers, is a joint publication of the Florida-based Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) and the North Carolina-based John Locke Foundation. In it, the authors expose several CCNC design flaws, which include a lack of patient choice and patient-centered care, the absence of competition and accountability and no reliable estimates of taxpayer costs.
“The health and well-being of every North Carolina CCNC Medicaid patient is at risk,” said Jonathan Ingram, FGA’s director of research and co-author of the report. “Any program in which patient health is getting worse is obviously failing the patients who rely on it and the taxpayers who fund it. CCNC should be replaced with an affordable Medicaid safety net that provides truly needy patients the security of high-quality care that meets their specific health needs.”
CCNC’s performance has declined in more than half of the most widely tracked health outcomes since 2010. The report notes that, compared to 2008, CCNC patients are less likely to be prescribed proper medication for persistent asthma, less likely to receive screenings for various cancers, less likely to have preventive visits and less likely to receive appropriate immunizations.
The report also questions CCNC’s claims of saving billions of dollars, noting that hospital admissions have not significantly declined and ER visits are increasing. In fact, there is no agreement on whether or how much savings CCNC achieved. Three separate, state-hired consultants arrived at wildly different savings estimates based on the same exact data. These consultants-for-hire even noted that the methods they used cannot guarantee alleged savings were the results of CCNC rather than other factors.
These consultant-prepared reports have been dismissed as having little value by the federal government and other academic and health policy organizations. Despite these poor analyses, the North Carolina Legislature has relied on them to create the state’s Medicaid budget, leading to budget overruns that have average 11 percent during the past four years.
“CCNC is wrought with flaws that have squandered billions of taxpayer dollars with little to show for it except declining patient health,” Ingram explained. “The facts prove it’s time for CCNC to go. Policymakers should look to Governor McCrory’s proposed Partnership for a Healthy North Carolina to replace the failed CCNC system with a proven pro-patient pro-taxpayer health care safety net.”