Local News

Suit against DHHS changes hits roadblock

Posted March 8, 2010

N.C. health, mental health, Medicaid generic

— An administrative law judge who stopped changes to how the state Department of Health and Human Services allots care did not have jurisdiction to do so, Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens said Monday.

The Association for Home and Hospice Care of North Carolina Inc. filed suit against the state asking that changes to how care is determined be stopped.

Judge Don Overby placed a preliminary injunction on the Division of Medical Assistance Feb. 19, stopping it from using a new scoring system to determine how many hours of in-home care patients can receive.

DHHS is under pressure to reduce costs because of budget cuts made by the state legislature. The agency admitted that the review of care was spurred by budgetary concerns.
In his ruling, Overby found association members would be harmed if DHHS proceeds with the planned cuts.

Stephens did not rule on the merits of the case but merely decided that the Office of Administration did not have jurisdiction. A DHHS spokesman said Monday that the department was pleased with the decision.

The Association for Home and Hospice Care was weighing whether to appeal to the decision through the state court system or to take it to federal court.


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  • DizzyDaphnee Mar 9, 2010

    The media cannot be trusted anymore. They only report what they are "told" or "allowed". On top of that no one checks anything for accuracy, validity and the articles themselves are meaningless most times I feel. They CREATE more questions than give any answers. More blatant decline of the sensibility or integrity of a what used to be a coveted career for many to make their mark by doing work that benefited the many NOT the few. I find most of the media outlets in NC very poorly executed.

  • freedomrings Mar 9, 2010

    I don't know the answer for this one. End of life care provided by hospice is vital. The people who provide it are compassionate, truly wonderful, gifted people. Many of these people are elderly and are from an older generation, a generation that worked very hard their entire lives and should be respected. These are farmers, coal miners, auto workers...everyday Americans that make the country great. My grandfather worked his entire life as truck driver, never took a dime from the government, then he got cancer and hospice came in and made him comfortable.

    You want to make cuts? Lets start with people who abuse the welfare system and have been receiving free housing, food stamps, and medical care for themselves and their 4 kids for years and have shown no signs of improving, like taking advantage of college grants that would allow them to go to school free of charge so they can get off welfare.

  • cameragirl Mar 9, 2010

    There has to be sacrifices somewhere. What does the average person not understand about "we are short on money"? I guess everyone thinks like Obama that we can just print more up. That's not the case people. These lawsuits that people have against the state costs money to fight in court or didn't people realize that. When money flows freely again then maybe services can go ahead full steam, but until the economy picks up we are going to lack funds to do all that we had in the past. People need to come to a realization that there are a lot of people out of work, therefore not paying taxes.


  • mochabrown Mar 9, 2010


  • Sidekick Mar 9, 2010

    Just like all gov't programs, the agencies that get the money waste it and the folks that need it, like Zambonieman, doesn't get the services. There needs to be a full audit of every agency that is receiving any state or federal funds for ANY care programs. You would be able to balance the budget.

  • zamboniman Mar 8, 2010

    The State of North Carolina "powers that be" need to look at these people who require these services that keep being cut. When I wrote letters to our senators/congressmen, the answer I received was that the DHHS budget was the biggest and that's why these cuts have to be made. NO, it's because the people who are receiving these services cannot speak for themselves. We have a handicapped daughter who must keep these services she has. I've heard it before - why don't the parents just keep their children at home with them? It is not always possible, due to many different circumstances. Cutting more services just leads to these persons landing in a hospital, possibly taking up a bed that one of your family members may need. Parents, guardians, anyone who is involved with a handicapped or mentally ill person needs to stand up, voice your concerns, and tell these people in power that we cannot take any more cuts!

  • mulecitybabe Mar 8, 2010

    Want to hear something strange? I voted on the story about the Cherry Hospital tech being assaulted on Sat. When I looked at the story on Sun there were 0 votes, so I voted again, and later saw someone else voted, making 2 votes. Now there are 0 votes again. What's going on, WRAL? Only certain stories are important? And why aren't there more details about the injured worker?