Forsyth County Residents Voice Concerns About Breaking from Cardinal Innovations

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare — May 11, 2021
Winston-Salem, NC, May 11, 2021 – Concerned families expressed opposition to the potential disruption that would be caused to healthcare for individuals with behavioral health or intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD) should the county move forward with a plan to break from Cardinal Innovations. Comments expressed through a 60-day public comment period showed concern about changes in care coordinators, lack of community input into the decision, and added confusion due to statewide Medicaid transformation.
Forsyth County

Read all the public comments from Forsyth County.

“Change is hard for anyone.  Our members, some of whom are the most vulnerable in our community, have made it clear that that they don’t want unnecessary change and appreciate the care they get through Cardinal’s network,” said Trey Sutten, CEO of Cardinal Innovations.  “We hope that county commissioners pause and consider the voices expressing concern about the disruption that would be caused by disengagement.
He continued: “We continue to strengthen our services in the county, including how we care for children involved with the foster system and expanding our network of providers. Cardinal Innovations is committed to serving Forsyth County and will continue to work directly with county officials and local stakeholders to help our members be safe, healthy and well.”
The official disengagement decision will ultimately be determined by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
All public comments can be viewed [here]. The selections of comments below expressing concern about disruption are taken directly from the page and have been condensed for length:
Scott W. Davis: “Cardinal has been serving our community for years, and their work and the relationships care coordinators have made with members and their families should not be disrupted at a time like this.” (Page 95)
Michael Tyree: “I think ‘Change’ is very difficult as it, for those of us who aren't disabled. So I can only imagine how devastating and disrupting this sort of change might be to someone who is disable or suffers with a mental disorder. We should do whatever it takes to create a sense of normalcy for these individuals. Anything else would be cruel and inhumane.” (Page 9)
Families Together Inc CEO Dan Zorn: “Medicaid Transformation 2021 is in full play. … Moving to another LME/MCO during this dust storm may cause significant confusion for Consumers, and the Providers who serve them.” (Page 28)
National Alliance on Mental Illness NW Piedmont Chapter President Louise B Whealton: “I celebrate Forsyth County’s involvement in the mental health care of its citizens. The proposal to implement TWO major changes at almost the same time, however, concerns me greatly, especially now while mental health needs are increasing due to the pandemic.” (Page 3)
Debra M Rhodes: “The potential fallout to individuals, their families, & the staff of Cardinal Innovations, is immeasurable. Why? Why wasn't the community asked for their input prior to this decision?” (Page 16)

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