Transformation to Medicaid managed care has been a topic full of debate in North Carolina over the last several years. Last year, Medicaid transformation was proposed and due to a lack of funding, was set aside. 

Recently, another strong bipartisan majority of North Carolina lawmakers passed SB-808 (Medicaid Funding Act). SB-808 establishes a start date for Medicaid transformation of, no later than, July 1, 2021. This will last for at least the first three years of the state’s new Medicaid managed care program. 

Medicaid in North Carolina serves more than 2 million people. Moving forward the state will no longer be billed for each individual service provided to Medicaid recipients, but the state will now separate the Medicaid budget into various amounts which will then get sent to private health plans and providers. This will save the state a great deal of money and can be the start of promising actions in the right direction for North Carolina. 

Now, health care providers will be incentivized to focus on long-term health of patients, which will allow for more individualized care and encourage more preventative measures. Medicaid recipients will now receive whole-person care.

Additionally, the bill appropriates $50 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to go towards funding behavioral health and crisis services. Furthermore, it funds $20 million for early childhood initiatives, while an additional $100 million will be used to trace, track and monitor such efforts throughout the state.

Governor Roy Cooper signed the transformation into law last week.

Complete SB-808 text can be found here.

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