Stanly moves forward to disengage with Cardinal Innovations

Published 10:47 am Tuesday, March 16, 2021

The management care organization which operated behavioral health care in Stanly may soon be changing.

At Monday’s meeting of the Stanly County Board of Commissioners, the board passed several measures relating to efforts to disengage from Cardinal Innovations.

Commissioners’ efforts to disengage from Cardinal were first authorized by the board in November. The county began the process to switch from Cardinal to Partners Behavioral Health.

Cabarrus and Union counties have passed similar measures regarding Cardinal and have both submitted formal packets to Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Dr. Mandy Cohen.

County Manager Andy Lucas said the required 60-day comment period had passed, while also posting said comments for 30 days on the county website. Three comments were made during the period which along with responses from Lucas were included in commissioners’ packets.

Two of the comments centered on not wanting a change to their children’s provider.

“Partners and Cardinal are the MCOs (managed care organizations), they are not the direct providers of care,” Lucas wrote in an email. “Partners will accept (the child’s) provider and every other direct provider into their network. Stanly County and many other counties in Cardinal’s catchment area have attempted on multiple occasions to voice concerns regarding Cardinal’s approach to mental health services. “

Lucas added, “Those concerns have been simply dismissed by Cardinal’s leadership for multiple years. Cardinal’s one size fits all approach does not work for rural counties. Thus, Stanly County is moving to a new MCO partner that understands the value of innovation, collaboration and true partnership.”

Lucas presented to commissioners a resolution to approve the following items: an authorizing resolution of the county’s disengagement plan, a continuity of services plan, disengagement financial liabilities report and a distribution of real property plan. The property plan was not applicable to Stanly since Cardinal did not own any real property in the county, according to Lucas.

Commissioners unanimously passed a motion to approve the plans and submit them to the state.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio was the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press from 1999-2001 and has currently served in the same capacity since 2008. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also been honored twice by the North Carolina Press Association.

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