Proposed Medicaid change could cost N.C. counties $20 million

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – North Carolina counties could be on the hook for $20 million if proposed Medicaid changes go into effect.

It started back in 2013 when health departments throughout the state including Pitt County provided services to people on Medicaid.

The federal government reimbursed counties for those services through a designated formula.

Now, local leaders said the federal and state Medicaid offices are discussing a proposed change to the formula and apply it retroactively.

Pitt County health director Dr. John Morrow said his department would possibly have to give back $532,000 in reimbursements it earned from 2013.

“It is a lot of money and it’s a real concern for public health,” Dr. Morrow said. “[We] potentially could be looking at cutbacks in services.”

Pitt County commissioner Glen Webb’s worried his county’s health department couldn’t sustain those cuts alone.

“There would definitely be cutbacks probably not just at the health department,” Commissioner Webb said. “County-wide, that is an enormous hit for us to take.”

He already met with Congressman G.K. Butterfield, and he plans to travel to Washington, D.C. to meet with Medicaid leaders.

“We don’t feel like counties should be punished for being good stewards and doing what we were supposed to do,” he said.

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