It's abundantly clear that Queen Aldona is the problem.
Both Hise and Dollar also said that the Department of Health and Human Resources sorely needs experienced Medicaid officials to manage a complicated program that provides care to 1.7 million North Carolinians: the blind, disabled, elderly and poor children and their parents.
To which North Carolinians respond "DUH!"
Yet the thoroughly incompetent Aldona does just the opposite, surrounding herself with people who have no such experience. To top it off, she pays them ridiculously inflated fees using our taxpayer dollars [emphasis mine]
Meanwhile, the department recently doubled the value of its one-year contract with Alvarez & Marsal, a D.C.-area consulting firm, from $3.25 million to $6.8 million. The Alvarez & Marsal principals on the contract list no Medicaid experience on their resumes.
A vice president at the company owned by Wos’ husband, Hauck was working under a no-bid $310,000 annual contract. Neither [Aldona's Chief of Staff] Payne nor Hauck list any Medicaid experience on their resumes.
So why wouldn't Wos hire someone with experience? Well, she did -- and then she proceeded to run that person out of town on a rail.
Micromanagement by Secretary Aldona Wos helped lead to the departure of Medicaid Director Carol Steckel, whose post then stayed vacant for seven months.
Wos, appointed by McCrory, hired Steckel amid great fanfare in January 2013, saying how “pleased” she was with Steckel’s “energy, enthusiasm and considerable talent.” Steckel came to North Carolina with 27 years of Medicaid experience and was paid an annual salary of $210,000.
According to DHHS emails, seven months later Wos muzzled Steckel, saying she could not attend any meetings or give public speeches out of the presence of minders from the secretary’s office.
“One day, out of nowhere, the secretary let loose on Carol,” Brennan said in an interview. “She just jumped all over her. ... It just got worse and worse.”
Brennan described several of the weekly Medicaid update meetings called by Wos.
“If Carol tried answering a question, she was told to shut up,” he said. “Yet anyone else at the meeting could answer questions.”
Major decisions at the department boiled down to one thing, Brennan said: “Nobody was allowed to do anything without the permission of the secretary.”
Attention Ralph Hise, Pat McCrory, Governor Pope, Tillisberger and NCGA DHHS Oversight Committee: the solution to NC's Medicaid problem is ridiculously simple.