NC Department of Health and Human Services
Medicaid recipients with disabilities at risk of losing their doctors if health care providers don’t sign contracts
People who use Medicaid and have severe mental illness, substance use disorders or developmental disabilities soon might have to switch doctors if their health care providers don’t sign on with new managed care plans. These providers include many of the state’s large health systems, major hospitals and their physicians’ offices. They have been slow to sign on to Medicaid managed care networks that the state calls tailored plans. These plans are supposed to cover both the physical and mental health needs of people with behavioral health or cognitive disorders.
Half of NC counties once again have high COVID-19 community levels
The first week of July, just four North Carolina counties had high COVID-19 community levels, according to data from the state’s Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As the month closes, that number is 50 – half of the counties in the state. The CDC looks at […]
Medicaid expansion would help people incarcerated in jails and prisons — the ‘black hole of the mental health system’
Thousands of people currently cycling in and out of jails and prisons are among the roughly 600,000 who would get health coverage under Medicaid expansion, potentially transforming North Carolina’s justice system. Dorel Clayton became unmoored after his mother died of ovarian cancer, in 2001.
Contact tracing, staying home no longer required for K-12 students, staff exposed to COVID-19
Individual contract tracing is no longer recommended for K-12 schools and students and staff members are no longer required to stay home after a COVID-19 exposure unless they experience symptoms or test positive for the disease, according to an update to the state’s StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit. The new rules go into effect Feb. 21, […]
Monday numbers: Safe syringe programs have led to a 44% increase in overdose reversals since 2019
The reach of safe syringe programs in North Carolina has expanded dramatically since the legislature passed a 2016 law allowing health officials to provide sterile syringes, new needles, and naloxone kits to reverse opioid overdoses. The programs are meant to reduce the spread of blood-borne diseases such as HIV and hepatitis, and refer people to substance abuse treatment.
Gov. Roy Cooper, state health leaders, urge districts to reverse course on optional masking
Gov. Roy Cooper and state health officials want school boards that have made face masks optional to change course. In a letter Friday, Cooper made an “urgent request” to the school boards to follow the guidance in the North Carolina Strong SchoolsNCToolkit, which recommends students and staff wear masks. “The science is clear that children […]
State Board of Education members question decision to not mandate masks
Gov. Roy Cooper’s decision to lift a statewide mask mandate allows school districts to decide whether to require staff and students to wear them. The move has baffled some educators, coming as the state experiences a surge in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations due to the more transmissible Delta variant. State Board of Education member James […]
As vaccination rates decline, DHHS and health care providers trying to reach rural, underserved communities
The total number of vaccinations dropped by 23% over one week in April, an indication that North Carolina still faces challenges in achieving its vaccination goals. Now the state Department of Health and Human Services wants to direct vaccination efforts toward neighborhoods where few people have gotten shots.
State health officials say expansion of COVID-19 testing in schools would help slow infections
State health officials want to expand testing for COVID-19 in school districts as more students, teachers and staff return to classrooms this month. Officials are focusing on “screen testing,” which is done on a regular basis, usually weekly, as opposed to diagnostic testing performed on individuals who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19. “We do have some evidence from national studies that the weekly testing of students, teachers and staff […]
For Black, Latinx, Native American residents, community connections are key to COVID-19 vaccination success
Shirley Hill rolled up her right sleeve for a COVID-19 vaccination Wednesday when doses were ready for her and 49 others at the Temple of Praise church in Kenly. Hill, 75, had been trying to get a vaccine appointment closer to her home in Goldsboro, but couldn’t even get on a waiting list.
When a hospital is overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, deciding who gets critical care
New state plan guides doctors, nurses on difficult ethical questions It is a nearly impossible decision: Who would get life-saving treatment when hospitals are overwhelmed by critically ill patients and running out of equipment or space?
School districts, charters receive rapid COVID-19 tests as part of pilot program
Seventeen school districts and 11 charter schools have been selected by North Carolina health officials to receive rapid COVID-19 tests as part of a state pilot program. The K-12 schools will use the tests when in-person instruction is occurring. All schools selected offer either full in-person instruction or a hybrid of remote learning and in-person instruction. The NC Department of Health and […]