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N.C. Department of Health and Human Services

The recent scandal at Cardinal Innovations Healthcare angered many individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities waiting for services. The state took control of Cardinal in November because the behavioral healthcare organization spent excessively on salaries, parties and severance packages. Across the state there are almost as many people with intellectual and developmental disabilities waiting to get a complete array of home and community services as are currently getting them. For families it can last years, be frustrating and feel unfair.  

Alex Olgin / WFAE

The problems that resulted in the state taking over Charlotte-based Cardinal Innovations Healthcare can be boiled down to one word: Excessive.

Excessive executive pay, excessive parties, excessive resort retreats. Some of it violated state law – and none of it looked good for a taxpayer-funded organization that serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in 20 counties.

And when it comes to services, some the families that depend on Cardinal accuse it of penny-pinching. 

North Carolina is one of 10 states that wants to add work requirements to its Medicaid program. Thursday the Trump Administration announced it's encouraging states to add these requirements for able-bodied adults.

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Healthcare.gov

Preliminary numbers show 8.8 million people bought health insurance plans through the federal exchange this year nationwide. That’s 96 percent of last year’s sign-ups, despite a lot of changes to the Affordable Care Act and a shorter window to enroll. Sign-ups in the Carolinas were also close to that of last year.  

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Alex Olgin / WFAE

UPDATED 12:18 p.m. 12/20/2017

Mecklenburg County commissioners voted to fund a pilot project to help prevent the spread of HIV. The county has an infection rate more than double the national average. Tuesday night, the county health director will propose spending $248,000 to get medicines that provide significant protection to those most at risk.

Alex Olgin / WFAE News

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare has a new board of directors. It includes a few who were on the previous board. State officials fired that board when it took over the behavioral health care organization last month, believing them to be a big part of Cardinal’s problem. After all, it was the board that approved the excessive CEO pay and severance packages.    

Alex Olgin / WFAE News

When state officials took over Cardinal Innovations Healthcare roughly two weeks ago, one of their first actions was to purge the company's board of directors. 

That was more than just a symbolic move. The board, state officials believe, was a big part of the problem.

Now, if all goes as planned, Cardinal will have a newly-elected board of directors by the end of the week.

But, like all things Cardinal these days, there's a twist. Some of Cardinal's old board members could be coming back.

Alex Olgin / WFAE News

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Solutions is a giant in a very specific field. It’s responsible for administering $682 million in taxpayer money to Medicaid recipients in 20 counties in need of mental health treatment, developmental disability services and those seeking treatment for addictions.   

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