Dear NCGA – For The Health Of Your Constituents, It’s Time To Take Up House Bill 184

The new deadline for hospitals to sign on to the State Treasurer’s new version of the State Health Plan has passed.

And there really is no change to the list of hospitals who are willing to accept the new reimbursement model that Folwell has presented in the same way as someone who is playing a poker game and goes “all in” with his first hand.

The UNC Health Care system has been fairly outspoken in its opposition to Folwell’s plan. From an article this week in the Winston-Salem Journal:

The second sign-up deadline for the controversial State Health Plan reimbursement contract came and went Monday with just one hospital agreeing to join during the 14-day period.

Only four out of 126 hospitals have signed the Clear Pricing Project contract backed by the SHP and state Treasurer Dale Folwell.

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UNC Health Care took a lead lobbying role with legislative leaders from both parties and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper to get Folwell and the SHP to delay, if not halt, the contract roll out. Cooper’s office said it is reviewing the UNC Health Care proposal.

Folwell and UNC Health Care have held negotiations, including Monday.

UNC Health Care said Monday that while it has not agreed to sign the contract, “board members had a good discussion (with Folwell) and we expect to engage in additional discussions.”

“We have the same goal as Treasurer Folwell — improving the health of employees, and that is accomplished through the provision of a sustainable health plan, implemented in a transparent fashion.”

Folwell took a less diplomatic stance on the current negotiations with UNC Health Care.

“Taxpayer-owned UNC Health Care has turned down a reasonable 100% profit and boycotts its own employees, and others, in favor of secret contracts and higher costs,” Folwell said.

“We can no longer be involved in activities that are designed to restrict competition and raise prices. We look forward to partnering with UNC Health Care when they are committed to the same.”

When asked about another deadline extension, Folwell said “deadline or no deadline, our responsibility is to figure out what we are spending $3 billion of taxpayer and employee money on.”

Cynthia Charles, communications director with N.C. Healthcare Association, said Monday that “we are not aware of any other hospitals having that level of discussions” as UNC Health Care.

 

Wake Forest Baptist is not going to sign on. Duke Medicine is rumored to release its position today and that position is to not sign on. Atrium and Novant have already given a public answer.

House Bill 184 -2

If Folwell is not going to extend the deadline, then he needs to lobby the NCGA, specifically Phil Berger and Tim Moore, to take House Bill 184 off of the committee table and allow the North Carolina General Assembly to vote on it.

House Bill 184

This would delay Folwell’s plan for a year and study the effects in the meantime.

It has been tabled for months by Berger and Moore, the same guys who are so adamantly against expanding Medicaid in North Carolina.

Passing HB 184 would go a long way into easing tensions in this state for the almost 750,000 people covered by the State Health Plan. If Medicaid was expanded in NC, then that would affect around another 750,000 North Carolinians.

1.5 million people.

About 15% of the entire state.

It would be interesting as well to hear how Folwell and Berger would respond to WalletHub’s recent rankings of Best and Worst States For Health Care.

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NC is next to last.

Next to last.