News and information about health, health care, health care policy from Charlotte and the Carolinas. 

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare
Mark James / Charlotte Observer

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare is making changes in the face of state investigations about excessive salaries and severance packages for top executives. The organization manages behavioral health care for Medicaid patients in 20 counties including Mecklenburg. Its board includes Mecklenburg County Commissioner George Dunlap. WFAE’s Alex Olgin spoke with him about those changes and why Cardinal’s CEO was paid $617,526, far in excess of state law. She joins host David Boraks during All Things Considered to discuss. 

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare
Mark James / Charlotte Observer

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is giving Cardinal Innovations Healthcare more time to comply with state laws dealing with CEO pay for top level executives. The regional managed behavioral health care organization had been paying its CEO three times more than law allows and has generous severance packages for top level executives.

There is now a disincentive for health insurance navigators to set up shop in rural areas. Navigators are those specially trained people that help consumers sign up for health insurance on the marketplace. The Trump administration has tied their funding to how many people they sign up for coverage on the marketplace. Since chances are higher of signing up more people in urban areas, navigators in South Carolina are focusing on cities at the expense of rural areas.

President Trump’s decision to stop paying subsidies to insurance companies means many middle class families will likely pay more for coverage. As part of the Affordable Care Act, insurers got those payments to help make health insurance affordable for customers.

Novant Health

Updated at 3:34 p.m. 10/09/2017

Michael Jordan is giving Novant Health $7 million to open two family clinics in Charlotte. Novant said the clinics, to be built in low-income neighborhoods just north and west of Uptown, are scheduled to open in late 2020.

Photo Courtesy of the Kaiser Family Foundation

UPDATED at 11:10 p.m. 10/04/2017

Two measures to extend federal funding for CHIP - the  Children’s Health Insurance Program - moved forward Wednesday. That’s encouraging news for the families of more than 300,000 kids in the Carolinas who get their health insurance through the program. Congress let funding for it expire last week.

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare
Mark James / Charlotte Observer

Charlotte based Cardinal Innovations Healthcare is the largest provider of mental health, developmental services and drug treatment in the state.

But lately, Cardinal has made headlines for excessive executive pay which state officials say is illegal.

Alex Olgin / WFAE News

In 2010, there were only 39 new cases of Hepatitis C reported in North Carolina. Last year there were 186 reported to the health department. Those numbers might not stand out in a state of 10 million people. But they are alarming because they represent a fast growth in a chronic illness that already afflicts more than 110,000 people in North Carolina. And there are probably more who don't know they have it. In response, groups are trying to prevent the spread by giving addicts clean needles.  

Under the newest health care bill which could come to a vote next week, some states including North Carolina stand to lose a lot of federal dollars. That’s according to one of the leading health care consulting groups. It attributes the loss to spending limits on Medicaid and changes in federal subsidies for people buying coverage on the health insurance exchanges.

A few years before the Huntersville eye cancer cases started to pop up, on the other side of the country in Colorado, 34-year-old Gregg Stracks was diagnosed with ocular melanoma. His wife, Sara Selig, was in medical school at the University of Colorado.