Alex Olgin

Health Reporter
Alex Olgin / WFAE News

Claims of a vindictive board of directors, more loyal to a CEO than the company they watch over.

A CEO who's salary far exceeds his peers.

Throw in expensive staff parties and retreats and you'd have a shareholder scandal in publicly traded company.

But when all of this happens and is paid for with tax dollars, you have something else entirely. The story of Cardinal Innovations Healthcare.

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare

The board of Cardinal Innovations Healthcare has voted to fire controversial CEO Richard Topping. But, come Monday, Topping will still be employed and still be the head of the company.

This unusual termination capped off an unusual night for company charged with administering $682 million tax dollars throughout 20 counties in North Carolina.

Alex Olgin / WFAE News

The board of Cardinal Innovations Healthcare is meeting Friday. Normally this alone is not news. But the last few months have been anything but normal for the largest behavioral health managed care organization in the state.

A large chunk of federal funding for community health centers in North Carolina is up in the air after Congress let the September deadline come and go without renewing funding. According to the North Carolina Community Health Center Association, last year more than half a million people got care at these centers across the state.  

Healthcare.gov

Wednesday was the first day that North and South Carolinians could buy 2018 health insurance plans through the marketplace. The open enrollment period lasts through mid-December.  

Alex Olgin / WFAE News

Starting today, the North Carolina Medicaid program will pay for medicines to treat hepatitis C for patients no matter how sick they are. In the past, the state wouldn’t pay for the expensive drugs unless the patient had stage two liver damage.  

Alex Olgin / WFAE News

The chief financial officer of Cardinal Innovations Healthcare left the same day an audit was released that’s critical of how the behavioral health organization compensates top executives.

Alex Olgin / WFAE News

Robotic arms coil 335 feet of steel wire into a roll four-and-a-half inches in diameter.  It is then dropped onto a conveyor belt. Where workers at Mar-Mac Wire in McBee, SC, package it into boxes.

Greg Collard / WFAE

Charlotte’s two mayoral candidates see expanding public transit as a way to increase economic mobility in the city. Republican Kenny Smith and Democrat Vi Lyles addressed the issue on WFAE’s Charlotte Talks this morning. But they disagree on whether the streetcar is a good investment. 

Mark James / Charlotte Observer

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare is making changes in the face of state investigations about excessive salaries and severance packages for top executives. The organization manages behavioral health care for Medicaid patients in 20 counties including Mecklenburg. Its board includes Mecklenburg County Commissioner George Dunlap. WFAE’s Alex Olgin spoke with him about those changes and why Cardinal’s CEO was paid $617,526, far in excess of state law. She joins host David Boraks during All Things Considered to discuss. 

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