Counties reach agreement on CenterPoint representation
by Meghann Evans
The Stokes County Board of Commissioners approved an interlocal agreement Monday that will give Forsyth County six members on the CenterPoint Human Services Board and two seats to each of the other member counties.
Stokes, Rockingham and Davie counties will be represented by two seats apiece on the board for CenterPoint, which is the state-mandated agency overseeing mental health, substance abuse and developmental disability services across the four counties.
The makeup of the board is changing with the transition of CenterPoint to a managed care organization under the new Medicaid waiver system. The smaller counties such as Stokes feared that Forsyth would hold the majority on the board, but now the combined representation of the small counties will match that of Forsyth. Stokes Commissioner James Booth noted that if one county had enough representation to override all the others there was no point in the small counties having representation.
Stokes Commissioner Leon Inman is a member of the current CenterPoint board, and he said everyone seems to be ok with the resolution.
“I think that, the work that’s been done I feel ok with,” said Inman.
He noted that three of the other members on the CenterPoint board will come from the Consumer and Family Advisory Committee, and the resolution recommends that these members be from three different counties. The Stokes commissioners discussed the need to get someone from Stokes to agree to serve on that committee, since it is the only county without representation there.
On Tuesday, CenterPoint announced that it had submitted a recommendation to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services to delay its start date as a managed care organization by 30 days. This would put the agency’s implementation of the Medicaid waiver into effect in February 2013 instead of January.
CenterPoint officials said the additional time would be used to credential and train providers, “continue system testing to ensure accurate data validation,” and refine reporting processes.
“Credentialing and training the more than 1,200 providers in our network takes time,” said CenterPoint CEO Betty Taylor in a statement. “We want to be sure that we have as many providers as possible on board when we begin operations to assure that we can provide quality services with minimal disruption to consumers.”
CenterPoint Board Chair Melanie Barbee said additional staff will join the organization as planned in early December and that the organization is “well-positioned” to cover the cost of the implementation delay, which is expected to total about $265,000.
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