Wednesday, January 23, 2013

DHHS Secretary Sets MeckLink "Go Live" Date to March 1, Cancels MeckLINK Assignment to Cardinal

Mecklenburg County and DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos, M.D. have reached an agreement that allows MeckLINK to move forward with implementing the State's Medicaid waiver. As part of the agreement, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) rescinds its assignment of the 1915 b/c waiver operations in Mecklenburg County to Cardinal Innovations Healthcare Solutions.

Therefore, DHHS has directed providers of mental health, substance abuse, and intellectual/developmental disability services to continue cooperatively working with MeckLINK.

The agreement stipulates that MeckLINK's "go live" date is March 1, 2013. DHHS will continue to closely monitor MeckLINK's readiness progress over the next several weeks and make the final determination by mid-February whether MeckLINK will implement waiver operations or to reassign them. The State's monitoring will include two readiness reviews by Mercer Consulting, which will occur the weeks of January 28 and February 11.

"We are pleased that Dr. Wos shares our view that MeckLINK should implement the Medicaid waiver in Mecklenburg County," said Mecklenburg County Manager Harry L. Jones, Sr., "This agreement aligns our efforts to achieve implementation at the earliest possible time and avoids the delay, expense and distraction of litigation. MeckLINK staff continues working diligently to prepare to implement the [program] and we remain confident we will demonstrate readiness to begin operations by the deadline."

The agreement between Mecklenburg County and DHHS reverses former DHHS Acting Secretary Al Delia's December 31, 2012 action reassigning the 1915 b/c waiver operations in Mecklenburg County to Cardinal. Dr. Wos and her staff engaged immediately in concerted discussions with County staff and legal counsel to reach this mutually beneficial resolution prior to the commencement of an administrative appeal.