Raleigh, N.C. — Secretary of Health and Human Services Rick Brajer has named Dee Jones, the operations director for North Carolina's current Medicaid program, to be operations director of a new division tasked with designing and running a revamped health insurance system for the poor and disabled.
Lawmakers created a new Division of Health Benefits as part of House Bill 372, which requires the state shift Medicaid from a fee-for-service system to one that cares for patients through managed care. The new division, which will operate on different personnel rules from the bulk of state government, will have to come up with the outlines of that new system by next summer.
"Dee’s knowledge of process standardization, system implementation, operations, finance and project management, coupled with her prior experiences as a COO across private and public sectors, will ensure a successful beginning for the Division of Health Benefits," Brajer wrote in a memo Thursday.
Jones is a former chief operating officer for the Department of Administration and will hold that title in the new Division of Health Benefits. Essentially, she will be the division second in command.
"A director, and all other staff are still to be determined, and those positions will be filled as warranted during the development of the division," a DHHS spokeswoman said.
Creating the new division is expected to be the first step in a multi-year process of changing the state's Medicaid system. The new division is expected to provide an interim report to lawmakers in March and submit a waiver request to the federal government by June.