mecklink

Local News
11:02 am
Wed April 2, 2014

MeckLINK Saga Ends, Cardinal Takes Over County Mental Health

Stephaney Gaddy works with a 33-year-old with developmental disabilities at the Arc of Mecklenburg County.
Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

As of today, the Mecklenburg County government no longer oversees mental health, substance abuse, or disability services for the county. MeckLINK—the organization it built to handle those services—closed today, as the larger, outside agency Cardinal Innovations takes over. MeckLINK operated for little over a year, but that tenure spurred fights with state lawmakers for control, cost the county millions of dollars, and contributed to the fall of two top county officials.


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Local News
10:09 am
Wed March 26, 2014

County To Continue Funding Mental Health Services After Cardinal Takeover

Mecklenburg County government will continue to supplement state and federal Medicaid dollars for mental health services with its own money. The county has provided those funds for years, but their fate has been in limbo, as officials prepare to hand over mental health oversight to an outside organization.


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Politics
3:01 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Fuller: No Tax Hike; Calls For Poverty Task Force

Mecklenburg County Commission chairman Trevor Fuller says the county is fixing problems with the its mental health agency MeckLINK, the 2011 botched property tax revaluations and internal political turmoil: "In short, we are getting our house in order."
Credit Tasnim Shamma

Mecklenburg County Commission Chairman Trevor Fuller says he doesn't want to raise taxes this year because the county expects to see a surplus in revenue from construction and other growth.

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Local News
11:09 am
Tue January 7, 2014

County Employees Receive Priority For Cardinal Job Openings

Credit MeckLINK

By state-mandate, Mecklenburg County’s mental health agency MeckLINK will lose its Medicaid contract at the end of March, less than a year after the county hired more than 200 employees and launched the agency as part of a statewide reorganization. Now county staff are working to save the jobs of the employees MeckLINK has hired.


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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
5:19 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

MeckLINK Nearing Its End

Credit MeckLINK

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.


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Local News
4:23 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Accounting Tricks Keep MeckLINK In The Black, Out Of State Hands

The map of the state's 11 managed care organizations, as planned in October 2012, during a statewide reorganization. Mecklenburg County is the only county to run its own organization.
Credit North Carolina General Assembly

In the waning moments of a year-long battle with the state over its mental health services agency, MeckLINK, the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners has approved some accounting tricks to maintain its leverage over the agency’s fate.


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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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