Message from the CEO - June 2018

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare — June 06, 2018
Since joining Cardinal Innovations last fall, not a day has passed where I haven’t been inspired; I’m inspired by our members, by their families, by our dedicated providers, and all of the people across our state who work hard to make our system better.

For example, just last weekend I was inspired by all of the 1,900 athletes who competed in the North Carolina Special Olympics summer games! I was honored to attend the opening ceremonies where I met some incredible people. A huge congratulations to all the athletes, you are amazing!

I am also excited to report that we are in the final stages of decision-making with our Community Reinvestment Initiative. This goal of this effort, which we announced earlier this year, is to find and fund high impact projects in the communities we serve. When the request for proposal (RFP) submission period closed last month, we were pleasantly surprised at the great number of responses we received from organizations throughout our geography requesting support for a broad range of projects.  The evaluation committee will present their recommendations to our Board of Directors and then the NC Department of Health and Human Services for final approval. We expect to make award announcements within the next 30 days.
As you may know, the North Carolina General Assembly is in the middle of their 2018 legislative short session in Raleigh. Just last week, the state budget bill for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, was released and passed by the legislature. The budget bill includes some funding for an opioid addiction treatment facility in the Triad area. Many of you may have have familiarity with TROSA facilities elsewhere in the state, and are aware that they have a proven record of success for residents completing their programs and offer long term residential services and ongoing recovery work in a safe, supportive environment. Our teams are actively meeting to discuss the importance of this facility to our future work in the Triad.
We’ve heard from many of our members and community partners about concerns regarding the additional cut to LME/MCOs single-stream funding for state-funded services in the final budget. The bulk of the cuts are directed at Cardinal Innovations and just like previous years, Cardinal and all of the LME/MCOs are required to maintain the same level of service regardless of the cuts. In addition to the single-stream cuts, there are other items in the budget that have consequences related to the viability and sustainability of the LME/MCO system as a whole.

We are currently working closely with our partners across the state to address mutual concerns about the budget, and believe that the voices of our members are an important aspect of these conversations.  
While also in session, legislators, regulators and stakeholders are continuing to actively discuss the transformation of Medicaid in North Carolina. These conversations will shape the system of the future, and it’s critically important that we are part of these to ensure that the needs of you, our members, and your families are represented. Thank you to everyone who has reached out to advocate on behalf of those most impacted by these activities, and we commit to keeping you informed and involved.

Trey Sutten, CEO
Cardinal Innovations Healthcare

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