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Union County Pursues New Behavioral Health Management Organization

Union County Pursues New Behavioral Health Management Organization

Posted on October 19, 2020

A young woman meeting with her mental health counselorUnion County is dedicated to improving the quality of life of the residents who have chosen our county as their home. To adhere to that strategic goal, the Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution on October 19, 2020 to pursue a relationship with Partners Health Management to manage residents’ behavioral health services funded by federal and state dollars, including Medicaid. Partners is a Local Management Entity/Managed Care Organization (LME/MCO), which is a governmental entity that manages mental health, intellectual/developmental disability and substance use services. Currently, Union County's behavioral health services are managed by Cardinal Innovations Healthcare. However, Partners’ intentional focus on community interaction and high-engagement with stakeholders, among other attributes, more closely aligns with Union County’s vision and strategic planning.

North Carolina law permits a county to choose its LME/MCO, subject to the approval of the Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Union County and Cabarrus County took similar action on October 19 requesting the approval of the Secretary. Union and Cabarrus have worked jointly to align these requests for the best interests of both counties’ residents.

Union County is committed to ensuring the best behavioral health system is available to residents. Union County believes this realignment will better serve the community and its needs. Union County has always desired more local services and a choice for county residents. Partners' philosophy of flexibility in network options allows greater levels of service on both accounts. Partners operates in a manner that is very inclusive, innovative and engaging with local agencies, stakeholders and community partners.

As we work through this transition, Union County remains committed to facilitating and providing appropriate services for our residents. It is important to ensure services are uninterrupted and provided with high quality, timeliness and a focus on community involvement. Union County will continue to work with Cardinal Innovations in the best interest of the residents of Union County. All efforts will be made to provide transparent information, ensure a smooth transition and prevent disruption of behavioral health services in Union County.

The official transition date will ultimately be determined by the Secretary of North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services. To protect residents in greatest need, disengagement with Cardinal Innovations will occur simultaneously with the transition to Partners.

Union County residents may offer input on this decision and the transition plan by emailing us or mailing to: Union County Manager, ATTN: LME/MCO Realignment, 500 N. Main Street, Suite 932, Monroe, NC 28112.

Click here to read Union County's detailed plan for the transition.

Click here to read the resolution adopted by the Board of Commissioners.

Click here to read Union County's letter to NC DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen.

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