Monday October 19, 2020

Cabarrus pursuing new Behavioral Health Management Organization

The Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners have unanimously approved a resolution to begin the process of transitioning administration of behavioral health and intellectual/developmental programs and services from Cardinal Innovations Healthcare to Partners Health Management.

Cabarrus County Director of Human Services Karen Calhoun presented the proposal to commissioners at their October 19 meeting.

“Partners Health Management is the right fit for our community,” said Calhoun, who will also serve on the County’s transition team. “Cabarrus County is committed to providing our residents with appropriate levels of mental health services. Their vision and strategic planning closely aligns with what we’re doing to create a safe and healthy community.”

Partners Health Management places an intentional focus on community interaction and high-engagement with stakeholders.

Calhoun expects the transition to take between six and nine months. The Secretary of North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services will review the process and set an official transition date.

Cabarrus residents who have participated or sought out mental health services are encouraged to share their stories over the next 60 days as part of the comment process.

Those comments will be available for public review for another 30 days after the comment process closes.

Cabarrus County and Partners Health Management have outlined a plan for transparency as the process continues, and will regularly communicate these to the public.

To protect residents in greatest need, disengagement with Cardinal Innovations will occur simultaneously with the transition to Partners Health Management and Cabarrus County will continue to work with Cardinal Innovations in the best interest of the residents of Cabarrus County.

“All efforts will be made to provide transparent information, ensure a smooth transition and prevent disruption of behavioral health services in Cabarrus County,” Calhoun said.

Cabarrus County residents may offer input on this decision and the transition plan by emailing mentalhealth.realign@cabarruscounty.us or mailing to: Cabarrus County Manager, ATTN: LME/MCO Realignment, 65 Church Street S., Concord, NC 28025.

Read the resolution adopted by the Board of Commissioners and to read Cabarrus County's detailed plan for the transition.

The role of a LME/MCO

The NC Department of Health and Human Services contracts with a Local Management Entity/Managed Care Organization to manage behavioral health care services paid with federal, state and local taxes. The sources of those funds include Medicaid (1915 (b)/(c) Medicaid Waiver), state and county funding and grants. Cabarrus County currently contracts those services through Cardinal Innovations.

North Carolina law permits a county to choose its LME/MCO subject to the approval of the Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Cabarrus and Union counties took similar action on October 19, requesting approval of the Secretary. Cabarrus and Union counties have worked jointly to align these requests in the best interest of their residents.

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