Health

Local News
11:04 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Meck Commission Votes For Cardinal To Succeed MeckLINK

Mecklenburg County commissioners voted 7-2 last night to work out an agreement to turn oversight of mental health, substance abuse, and disability care to Cardinal Innovations, less than a year after the county launched its own agency, MeckLINK, at a cost of more than $8 million. The county started MeckLINK because of a state reorganization, and now it has to give it up because of another one.


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Local News
10:59 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Cardinal Has Bargaining Power In MeckLINK Takeover

MeckLINK commissioners (center table) Vilma Leake, Trevor Fuller, Karen Bentley, and Bill James meet with Cardinal Innovations leadership (left table).
Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

Mecklenburg County commissioners met with the leadership team of Cardinal Innovations on Monday afternoon, in one of the final steps as the county prepares to surrender oversight of its mental health patients and millions of dollars in Medicaid funds. Commissioners had three requests for Cardinal, but little leverage to negotiate.


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Local News
2:40 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

BlueCross BlueShield Goes Racing For Obamacare Customers

The entrance to Blue Cross Blue Shield's part of the fan zone is right near Bojangles' and Krispy Kreme trucks.
Credit 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.

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Local News
12:09 am
Fri October 11, 2013

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

Mark Payne, Chief Compliance Officer at North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos answer questions during a day-long hearing at the Legislative Office Building in Raleigh on Tuesday.
Credit CHUCK LIDDY — cliddy@newsobserver.com

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.

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Health
1:35 am
Wed September 11, 2013

SC Suspends License Of Fort Mill Midwife Center

Carolina Community Maternity Center
Credit carolinasbirthcenter.com

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.”

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Charlotte Talks
9:00 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Living With Arthritis

Swelling and deformity of the DIP joint - the end joint of the finger. This is the most common place for osteoarthritis in the hand.
Credit 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. 

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Local News
9:21 am
Fri August 30, 2013

A Convoluted Appeals System For Mental Health Patients

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.


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Local News
9:16 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Frustrations With MeckLINK Grow As Denials For Care Increase

A slide from MeckLINK's June presentation to the Mecklenburg County Commission. It shows the decline in Intensive In-Home Treatment, an expensive treatment, where mental health workers visit a child at home or school.
Credit 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.

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Local News
6:28 pm
Sun August 11, 2013

Health Insurance Coming To A Strip Mall Near You

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.


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Charlotte Talks
12:00 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Fat Activism

Ragen Chastain
Credit 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.

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