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Columbus County approved to disengage from Eastpointe MCO

By Erin Smith

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen has approved the disengagement of Columbus County from the Eastpointe MCO network. According to a letter from Eastpointe MCO Chief Executive Officer Sarah Stroud, the decision was announced late Wednesday.

An email from Stroud dated Wednesday, March 21, and sent to Eastpointe’s partners Stroud noted the disengagement will take effect on July 1 and that Eastpointe is reviewing NC DHHS Secretary Cohen’s decision and evaluating the next steps to take.

“We are evaluating Secretary Cohen’s decision and considering next steps. Eastpointe’s members, employees, and other stakeholders deserve a stable behavioral health care system, which we will take appropriate steps to preserve.


Eastpointe remains committed to Columbus County members and citizens and will make sure that they continue to receive high quality behavioral health services,” writes Stroud.


In 2017, when Columbus County petitioned NC DHHS to be allowed to leave the Eastpointe network, they cited a belief their county’s residents were not receiving the quality of services they deserved.

Nash County was the first county to announce they were disengaging from the Eastpointe MCO system citing patient care issues and costs. Their official departure from the MCO in early 2017  led to a lawsuit against Nash County, Trillium, and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, which was later dismissed.

The official departure of Columbus County from the Eastpointe network now reduces the number of counties being served to 10.

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