Ways to Connect

Michael Tomsic

Fast cars, greasy food, cold beer and a health insurance quote. Racing fans could find all those things Saturday at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Blue Cross Blue Shield set up shop at the NASCAR race to tell people about how health care laws are changing, and find new customers in the process.

Just past a booth selling Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine, the smells of Krispy Kreme doughnuts and Bojangles’ fried chicken mix together right before you come across North Carolina’s largest health insurance company.

Welcome to the Bank of America 500.

How Changes To Response Of Medicaid Audit Fit McCrory’s Message

Oct 11, 2013

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has been under fire this week. On Tuesday, the department's secretary received a day-long grilling in legislative committee hearings. That same day, the website North Carolina Health News reported that the McCrory administration and the department had done some extra spin to make the state's Medicaid program look particularly broken.

SC Suspends License Of Fort Mill Midwife Center

Sep 11, 2013

A Fort Mill birth center in which midwives deliver babies remains closed one week after South Carolina’s health department suspended its license.

The health department won’t comment on its investigation, but a statement from Carolina Community Maternity Center says the suspension occurred after a mother had to be rushed to a hospital and the birth resulted in, quote “a bad outcome.”

Living With Arthritis

Sep 9, 2013
handarmdoc / Flickr

Arthritis is a painful and persistent condition that affects millions of Americans every day. Over 300,000 children in America suffer from juvenile arthritis and there are over 100 forms of arthritis. According to the CDC, arthritis and rheumatic conditions cost the U.S. economy $128 billion annually and result in 44 million outpatient visits and 9,367 deaths each year. But what exactly is arthritis? What causes it? Is it hereditary? And are there diet and lifestyle choices that may help control the symptoms of arthritis? We talk with a few key experts, about living with and managing arthritis, when Charlotte Talks Monday, Sept. 9. 

Last year, North Carolina changed how it provides mental health care for those on Medicaid. The state put 11 regional organizations, called MCOs, in charge and gave them less money to work with. So, cuts to care were expected.

About half of these MCOs, including MeckLINK in Charlotte, have denied upward of 20 percent of requests for care, according to self-reported data from the organizations. Patients can appeal, but North Carolina has made the process far more difficult.

Mecklenburg County

Mecklenburg County’s mental health patients are being denied care they have grown accustomed to, after a statewide reorganization cut money available for Medicaid mental health. Mecklenburg County set up the agency, MeckLINK, to manage the remaining funds. The agency's officials blame the state for cutbacks, but providers say denials to patients for service exceed the amount cut by the state.

Health Insurance Coming To A Strip Mall Near You

Aug 11, 2013

Soon you'll be able to shop for books, shoes, video games – and health insurance – all in the same shopping center. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is opening retail stores in a handful of strip malls.

Richard Sabel

More than two-thirds of North Carolina adults are overweight or obese, and our state has waged a war against fat with the Eat Smart Move More campaign and its obesity prevention plan. But not everyone agrees with this. "Fat-activism" - It’s a growing movement of fat people and "fat-supporters" who say It is possible to be both fat and healthy. Programs that target and shame obese people can lead to unfair discrimination in the workforce, the schoolyard, and even in the medical field. The American Medical Association listed obesity as a disease last month, but these activists say "weight" and "heath" are two separate things. Will the push for fat-acceptance help reduce discrimination and bullying, or could it lead to a society of overweight Americans? We’ll speak with two “fat-activists” as well as a kinesiologist to find out more when Charlotte Talks.

'Solace' For Afghani Kids In Lake Norman

Jul 25, 2013
Tasnim Shamma

This week, about 20 kids from Afghanistan are flying back home after spending six weeks in the Lake Norman area. They were here to get medical treatment they otherwise would not have received. Some have sustained war wounds from roadside bombs and others suffer from chronic illness. While here, the kids stay with host families.

North Carolinians should soon have an easier time understanding their medical bills and comparing the cost of common procedures at different hospitals. Those are among the goals of legislation the General Assembly passed Thursday.