State Treasurer’s Health Plan Blockaded By NC Hospitals

Jul 30, 2019

Forsyth Medical Center is operated by Novant, one of the hospital systems opposing the Clear Pricing Plan
Credit David Bjorgen

State Treasurer Dale Folwell wants to move the State Health Plan to a government-priced model he calls the Clear Pricing Project. As the debate escalates, the more than 727,000 North Carolinians on the State Health Plan face uncertain healthcare coverage and costs in the new year.

Anita Rao talks with WUNC data reporter Jason deBruyn about the treasurer’s plan to lower the State’s reimbursement expenses. Folwell’s plan would pull back the curtain on pricing information that is currently a trade secret between insurance companies and providers. Hospitals are refusing to sign onto Folwell’s plan, arguing lower disclosed reimbursement rates would hurt their ability to provide quality care. The providers’ association is lobbying for House Bill 184, a bill that temporarily maintains the current private system and requests further study. HB 184 passed the House and is now under Senate review. The debate is splitting the legislature along unfamiliar, non-party lines and Governor Cooper remains undecided as teachers, nurses, and pensioners are left in the dark.