Letters to the Editor

Ken Lewis: Managed care has place in Medicaid reform

Recent opinion pieces opposing North Carolina’s Medicaid reforms ignore the fact that in more than 35 states, managed care plays a key role in providing quality patient care for Medicaid recipients. There are many success stories, and lessons learned, from other states’ experiences.

Using this knowledge, North Carolina is well-positioned to develop innovative ways to improve care for our Medicaid population.

Your July 27 editorial “No change needed in N.C. Medicaid” rightly noted that North Carolina has a great physician, hospital and ancillary provider community and has been a pioneer in many aspects of health care delivery.

The managed care organizations I represent can build on these successes and facilitate closing the gaps in care to ensure whole-person care and promote exceptional quality.

As North Carolina awaits federal approval to implement Medicaid reform, we in the managed-care community are reaching out to hospitals, doctors and other stakeholders to discuss how we can work together in this new landscape. We want to make sure health care providers do not face undue or confusing administrative burdens and that they have the support they need from us to focus on what they do best: delivering the best possible care for their patients.

Ken Lewis

Executive director, North Carolina Association of Health Plans