managed care

Medicaid is always one of the biggest expenditures for states, and North Carolina is overhauling its program to try to make its budget more predictable. The overhaul is essentially a mixture of health care models that are gaining national prominence. The result will change who's in charge of keeping low-income patients healthy and how North Carolina pays for it.

Public Domain

North Carolina lawmakers Tuesday passed fundamental changes to the state's Medicaid program. If Governor Pat McCrory signs it, it would change who's in charge of keeping patients healthy and how the state pays for it.


Mecklenburg County commissioners are poised to give up the county’s new mental health agency, MeckLINK, less than a year after it opened for business. The state is forcing their hand.

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.