Mental Health Realignment


WHEREAS, North Carolina General Statute 122C-115 (a3) empowers a county to choose its Local Management Entity/Managed Care Organization (LME/MCO) subject to the approval of the Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Resources; and

WHEREAS, Cabarrus County and Union County representatives have had productive discussions and engagement with Partners Behavioral Health Management, an LME/MCO in good standing with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services; and

WHEREAS, Partners operates in a manner that is very inclusive, innovative and engaging with local agencies, stakeholders, and community partners; and

WHEREAS, Partners is committed to its purpose of “Improving Lives and Strengthening Communities” and Partners’ values align well with those of Cabarrus and Union Counties; and

WHEREAS, Partners’ priorities and projects align well with the county’s responsibilities to citizens with Behavioral Health and Intellectual/Developmental Disability needs; and

WHEREAS, Partners can ensure continuity of care for citizens needing care during a transitional time and is fully committed to continuing to contract with all service providers in good standing; and

WHEREAS, Partners internal and external culture aligns with the expectations of Cabarrus and Union Counties in meeting the needs of our citizens; and

WHEREAS, both Cabarrus and Union counties desire to ensure the highest quality of service available to meet the needs of county residents and ensure continuity of care;

April 9, 2021: State approves Cabarrus move to Partners Health Management

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Commissioners of the County of Cabarrus as follows:

  1. Cabarrus County seeks to disengage from Cardinal Innovations, Inc. and to join Partners Behavioral Health Management.

  2. The commissioners direct and empower the County Manager and others to complete all necessary steps to affect the change, in accordance with guiding statute and rules in the most expeditious manner possible.

  3. The Commissioners hereby authorize the County Manager to work with the County Attorney and staff to prepare any documentation and/or publication, including any letter of intent, plans, or procedures.

Mental Health Realignment Public Comments

October 28, 2020

I didn't know our counties had a choice and could disengage with Cardinal. I wish Chatham County would disengage with Cardinal. They have reduced/denied services to many of us lately, especially during covid! The paperwork and 'red tape' is very inefficient and lots of mistakes and places Cardinal makes errors. Cardinal says they added 199 new providers. We haven't seen this in our county. We have so few providers in Chatham. I could go on with all the issues. I'm a parent of an adult served by Cardinal. perhaps we will pursue disengagement in Chatham County also.

November 26, 2020

I am a Cabarrus county resident and have a son who has a severe and persistent mental health diagnosis. The decision for Cabarrus county to disengage from Cardinal Innovations Health Care I am in disagreement with. This decision was made without input from the community, families and consumers. It seems that Cardinal has been singled out without careful consideration. The problem that exists within the foster care system is systemic. Cardinal is not perfect but they are no worse than any of the other LME/MCO’s. The decision for multiple counties to disengage will cause havoc for the vulnerable individuals who need consistent services. In the many years my son has received services from Cardinal I have no complaints. I don’t see how other LME/MCO’s are any better than Cardinal. I implore the Secretary to not let Cabarrus county disengage from Cardinal. With the Taylor Plan to be in effect in 2022 this seems to be more political with no regard who will suffer from this decision. This decision will not help our consumers; it will only hinder them.

December 15, 2020

As a resident of Cabarrus County and a father of a child with I/DD seeking an NC Innovations Wavier slot, I am for the disengagement from Cardinal Innovations and realignment with Partners BHM. Although Cardinal Innovations has shown growth and efficiency with managing Waiver and other Medicaid Services, Partners BHM's management exhibits the level of care and compassion toward its members that I am seeking for my daughter. Partners BHM's management offers solutions with families through out-of-the box thinking and makes the effort needed to ensure members/families feel valued and respected. Cardinal Innovations continue to manage resources focused on the expanding the bottom-line through cutting needed services and excluding valuable providers. I look forward to working with an organization whose culture is open to making sure member's needs are met regardless of the challenges and barriers. I speak from the perspective of a resident, father, and advocate of others.

December 18, 2020

I have work with an agency that works with both MCOs. I must say that both have their strengths and weaknesses. I'm aware of several of the issues that have caused frustration and I believe that Cardinal could have and should have made some common sense corrections that would have helped solve some of the problems. That being said, I have found the SOC coordinator very helpful and willing to relay the concerns of the community to the Cardinal administration. I have also found, with both MCOs, that change come slowly. I also think that some of the changes they're proposing, will help with some of the problems if they follow through. I have also found Cardinal more receptive that some MCOs when it comes to approving services and handling disputes about authorizations.

Request a Listening Session with the Cabarrus County LME-MCO Realignment Committee

For any member or provider that would like to participate in a listening session with the Cabarrus County LME-MCO Realignment Committee to ask questions, seek information about the realignment process, or express concerns, send an email to

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