Health Care Reform Planning Comes to North Carolina

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What will health care reform mean for me and my company? That’s the ten thousand-dollar question everyone is asking. And it’s probably no surprise that an entire cottage industry of “experts” has arisen quickly, all claiming they have the answer. I get daily email notices of another health care reform summit, conclave, webinar, or book explaining the new reform law. In reality, no one knows yet the full extent or impact of health care reform in North Carolina or anywhere else in the nation. So much of this massive law has yet to be defined in regulations, federal and state agency policies and other government interpretations.

But North Carolina’s state government has begun planning for reform. Recently, I was invited to participate in a new Fraud and Abuse Task Force organized by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in Chapel Hill and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, and I quickly agreed. The purpose of the task force, in part, is to identify gaps in enforcement of fraud and abuse provisions in the health care reform legislation, to identify new or revised statutes the state will need to adopt, and generally to ensure our state enforcement mechanisms “fit” within the many fraud and abuse provisions of the new reform law. The task force has no real decision-making power. Instead, we will make recommendations to state government agencies and, either directly or through those agencies, to the General Assembly.

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