North Carolina has finally obtained official federal government approval to shift the state's Medicaid program to a managed-care system.
The state Department of Health and Human Services said it received Wednesday a waiver from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to move away from the traditional fee-for-service program used for decades.
The state initially made its waiver application in 2016, amending it last year. The General Assembly approved the transition idea in 2015.
Under the plan, statewide managed-care companies or regional hospital and doctor networks will get flat monthly amounts for each patient covered. The system would also include mental health and prescription benefits.
DHHS already has received bid offers from eight companies or networks interested in managed-care contracts. The agency wants to begin managed care late next year.