WHN to administer N.C. Medicaid behavioral health plan

Published 6:48 pm Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Arthur Carder, CEO of Western Highlands Network (WHN) has announced that the N.C. Department of Health & Human Services has given Western Highlands Network final approval to proceed with the next expansion site for the 1915(b)(c) Medicaid Waiver.
Beginning Jan. 3, Western Highlands Network will assume the management of the N.C. Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Health Plan for Medicaid enrollees in Buncombe, Henderson, Madison, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Transylvania and Yancey counties.
Carder said, “This opportunity strengthens local oversight, improves access and facilitates the evolution of quality driven outcomes based on performance. As primary care and behavioral healthcare are better integrated our consumers should experience a better quality of life. The work of many stakeholders has been necessary to implement this waiver.”
The North Carolina General Assembly has supported Medicaid Waiver expansion to improve the functioning and efficiency of the behavioral health care. In selecting Western Highlands Network the NC-Department of Health and Human Services (NC-DHHS) stated, “Western Highlands Network demonstrates the skills, ability, and infrastructure necessary to successfully operate under a 1915(b) (c) waiver.”
The goals of the “waiver” are to increase consumer access to care, improve quality of care and demonstrate cost effectiveness.
In addition to increasing local control over $130 million dollars in behavioral health services, WHN has added 100 new jobs spread across the eight counties. The waiver will provide local response for consumers who have complaints or grievances.
According to WHN, benefits for consumers of services, providers and area communities are multiple, and the waiver affords the opportunity for greater local control health service delivery system.
For additional information about Western Highlands Network and the 1915 (b) (c) Medicaid Waiver visit www.westernhighlands.org.
– article submitted by Marilyn Kaylor