Local News

Thousands of health care workers could be without jobs

Posted December 9, 2009 7:04 p.m. EST
Updated December 9, 2009 7:21 p.m. EST

— As many as 25,000 health care workers in the mental health and substance abuse field could be out of a job under new state requirements to help reel in health care costs with better oversight and more accountability.

Ultimately, that could lead to anywhere from 40,000 to 50,000 patients going without the required care they need, says John Tote, executive director of the Mental Health Association in North Carolina.

Among the new requirements is for all providers to have employed a medical director, clinical director and quality management and training director, as well as staff training and national accreditation.

Tote says the new system will push out the small provider who might not be able to afford implementing the changes. It will also leave larger providers who offer an array of services to care for more patients.

"Bigger does not necessarily mean better," he said.

He says that although he supports more oversight of health care, there needs more time and a better transition plan.

"To do this in a month or two is unbelievably fast for a fragile system already," Tote said.