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Bladen County's Premier Local News

(March 31, 2015) Recently released survey data shows that the publically managed Medicaid system for behavioral healthcare is providing positive real-life outcomes for consumers and meeting the needs of its provider network.


Just two years ago, the state’s public Local Management Entities-Managed Care Organizations (LME-MCOs) completed the transition from a fee-for-service model to a managed care model for behavioral health.  Under the direction of the General Assembly, the LME-MCOs took on the financial risk for managing Medicaid funds. 


“In general, consumer satisfaction numbers remained positive as our LME-MCOs fully implemented public managed care,” said Mary Hooper, executive director of NC Council of Community Programs.  “We are pleased to see such strong satisfaction numbers while Medicaid behavioral health operates within a capitated budget.”


The survey looked at 4,442 adults receiving mental health and substance abuse services.  Of those adults, 91 percent were satisfied with the services they received; 88 percent believed their access to care was good; and 89 percent thought the Medicaid appeals process was satisfactory.  Among providers, overall satisfaction was 78 percent.


Many consumers are seeing positive outcomes in their everyday lives as a result of care.  The survey shows that 74 percent of adults receiving MH/SA services say they are better able to “deal more effectively with daily problems; to control their lives; and to deal with crisis.”  Life issues such as getting along better with family, improvements in work/school and a lessening of symptoms were also noted by those surveyed.


As far as the quality of the care consumers receive from providers, 93 percent of adults agreed that their provider staff offered the support they needed for recovery, that they felt respected, and they were supported in their efforts to take charge of their illnesses. 


“We are seeing that overall satisfaction is high, and the numbers also show where we can continue improving,” Hooper said.  “The great thing is that many of the state’s behavioral health providers recognize that we are all partners in the system.  We are working together like never before to make sure consumers get the right services.”


LME-MCOs partner with consumers and providers regularly at the local level.  Each LME-MCO has a Consumer and Family Advisory Committee that advises its board and provides input regarding service array, access to care and consumer outreach.  They also have Provider Councils that meet monthly with LME/MCO staff to discuss network issues, policy and business practices.