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McCrory Administration Submits New Medicaid Plan Monday

Governor Pat McCrory's administration will make its new approach to overhauling the state's most expensive health care program official Monday. State health leaders will submit their new plan for Medicaid to the General Assembly.

There's one phrase that you'll be hearing a lot about with our state's Medicaid program: accountable care organization. When you hear that jargon, think: groups of doctors and hospitals.

Dr. Elliott Fisher at Dartmouth College helped develop the concept and unveiled it under a different name in 2006.

"The new model that we helped develop focuses on creating incentives for hospitals and physicians to come together to take responsibility for the full spectrum of care that patients experience, coordinating care across sites and among physicians, and being rewarded for both improving care and lowering the cost of care," he said.

At least, that's how they're supposed to work. Accountable care organizations are relatively new to North Carolina and the rest of the country, and they currently focus on Medicare patients. The federal government found that about half of them saved Medicare money in their first year operating. 

Many in North Carolina's medical community like this approach for Medicaid much better than the McCrory administration's original proposal, which would've probably put a few out-of-state insurance companies in charge of managing the program.

The administration will submit the new plan that's all about accountable care organizations to the General Assembly on Monday.