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DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos Explains Organizational Changes

DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos
Jessica Jones
/

North Carolina's Secretary of Health and Human Services spoke before a legislative committee Wednesday to explain organizational changes made in one of her divisions.

Secretary Aldona Wos explained the changes will help streamline the Division of Medical Assistance, which administers the state's Medicaid program. She also told legislators that a formerly enormous backlog in the IT system used to process Medicaid applications- called NC FAST- has been reduced by 81 percent. The Secretary says she expects the system to be caught up by the end of October.

Wos told lawmakers that would not be possible without having the Division of Medical Assistance under DHHS's roof:

"I believe that the division of medical assistance, if it had been located anyplace else other than the Department of health and human services, during this time, the level of collaboration needed to accomplish that goal never could have been achieved."

Earlier this year, some Republican lawmakers proposed moving state oversight of Medicaid out of DHHS into an entirely new department. But that proposal didn't make it into the state's final budget.

Jessica Jones covers both the legislature in Raleigh and politics across the state. Before her current assignment, Jessica was given the responsibility to open up WUNC's first Greensboro Bureau at the Triad Stage in 2009. She's a seasoned public radio reporter who's covered everything from education to immigration, and she's a regular contributor to NPR's news programs. Jessica started her career in journalism in Egypt, where she freelanced for international print and radio outlets. After stints in Washington, D.C. with Voice of America and NPR, Jessica joined the staff of WUNC in 1999. She is a graduate of Yale University.
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