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Judge dismisses Eastpointe Lawsuit Against Nash County

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by Eastpointe against Nash County attempting to prevent the county from switching mental health providers. Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Doug Parsons dissolved the temporary restraining order on July 3.

With the termination of the restraining order, Trillium Health Resources will now be providing mental health services to patients in Nash County. Eastpointe filed the lawsuit on June 8 and attorneys representing Nash County filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit claiming there is no federal jurisdiction in the matter.

According to reports, Nash County appropriates local funds to provide health care services not provided through state or federal agencies. According to reports, the Nash County Board of Commissioners voted to leave Eastpointe after several financial disputes over member contributions and alleged “fiduciary misconduct by Eastpointe executives.” Other member counties have also questioned a budgeted 4 percent cost of living adjustment for all Eastpointe employees.

Eastpointe’s lawsuit names Nash County, Trillium, the N.C. Department Health and Human Services,  NC DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen and firmer NC DHHS Secretary Richard Brajer. The lawsuits alleges former NC DHHS Secretary Brajer ignored the General Assembly’s directive to establish rules governing how a county may leave one MCO-LME to move to another.

In a press release, Eastpointe notes the court will now rule on the motion for a preliminary injunction in the matter.

Nash County officials say patients will see very little difference in the services offered by Trillium.

The Eastpointe Board of Directors voted earlier this year to merge with Cardinal Innovations. The NC Department of Health and Human Services has not approved the merger.

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