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.