NC DHHS revolving door spins again

And this time a boatload of taxpayer's money is going through the door, too:

Steckel is leaving her $210,000 state position to be senior director of public policy at WellCare Health Plans, which provides managed care plans for Medicaid and Medicare.

The state Department of Health and Human Services is working on a plan to transform Medicaid that will open the $13 billion government health insurance program for the poor, elderly and disabled to management by private companies. They call the plan the “Partnership for a Healthy North Carolina,” and Steckel had the lead role in creating it.

This story could be a an entire chapter in Business Ethics 101, a model of what not to do. But it probably won't be mentioned in any Legislative oversight hearings, because the NC GOP thinks private companies should be running the government anyway.

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Wellcare: Shady business

Medicaid director heads to company that wants NC business

The state Department of Health and Human Services is working on a plan to transform Medicaid that will open the $13 billion government health insurance program for the poor, elderly and disabled to management by private companies. They call the plan the “Partnership for a Healthy North Carolina,” and [Carol] Steckel had the lead role in creating it.

Soon after her departure was announced on Monday, Steckel sent an email to colleagues asking to be cut out of the loop.
“Please discontinue sending me any and all information regarding the Partnership activities, managed care and/or reform of the Medicaid system,” she wrote.

“If you have any questions regarding the Partnership please see Joe Hauck or Mardy Peal.”
DHHS spokesman Ricky Diaz said it was “an appropriate thing for her to do” since she’s going to a managed care company.

Read more here.

What is not included in Lynne Bonner's story for the News and Observer is information about the US Dept. of Justice investigation of health care fraud that resulted in convictions of four top executives of Welcare in June 2013:

Four Former Wellcare Executives Found Guilty in Florida
Monday, June 10, 2013

A federal jury in Tampa found four former executives of WellCare Health Plans Inc., a health maintenance organization (HMO) operator, guilty of various charges, including health care fraud, making false statements relating to health care matters and making false statements to a law enforcement officer, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Robert E. O’Neill of the Middle District of Florida and Special Agent in Charge Christopher B. Dennis of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Office of Investigations Miami office

Today, former WellCare Chief Executive Officer Todd S. Farha, 45, of Tampa, was convicted of two counts of health care fraud; former WellCare Chief Financial Officer Paul L. Behrens, 51, Odessa, Fla., was convicted of two counts of making false statements relating to health care matters and two counts of health care fraud; William L. Kale, 63, of Oldsmar, Fla., former vice president of Harmony Behavioral Health Inc. (a wholly-owned subsidiary of WellCare), was found guilty of two counts of health care fraud; and Peter E. Clay, 56, of Wellesley, Mass., former WellCare vice president of medical economics, was found guilty of making false statements to a law enforcement officer...

Martha Brock

I thought they sounded familiar

This company definitely bears watching. Thanks for the info, Martha.