Local News

Easley Announces Health-Care Initiative

Posted April 3, 2008 3:20 p.m. EDT
Updated April 3, 2008 11:54 p.m. EDT

— Gov. Mike Easley announced an initiative Thursday to improve health care and reduce its cost across the state.

A set of best-practice guidelines will work to standardize the level of care and insurance coverage for the five most chronic conditions: diabetes, asthma, hypertension, congestive heart failure and heart attack. Chronic diseases account for 80 percent of health-care spending.

“This is going to be a revolutionary approach to the delivery of health care in North Carolina,” Easley said. “We have worked with the top medical experts across the state, health insurers and physicians to design a health-care delivery system that fits the 21st century needs but also takes advantage of 21st century technology.”

The plan will develop and expand the availability of individuals trained to treat chronic diseases.

“This program has the potential to transform the delivery of health care in North Carolina,” said Chuck Willson, past president of the N.C. Medical Society. “This is the first time in America that doctors, insurance companies, hospitals and others have come together to implement a system to truly improve medical care.”

All of North Carolina’s major health insurance companies have agreed to support the program, Easley said.

“Having an evidence-based standard of care will mean every patient in North Carolina has the same opportunity for quality health care,” said Bob Greczyn, president of Blue Cross Blue Shield.

A program was also developed to monitor the plan's results.