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North Carolina will reap almost $16 million from a national Medicaid fraud settlement involving one of the nation's largest drug makers.
While other Southern states already have drawn the line on the federal health care overhaul, North Carolina doesn't seem quite settled on whether to commit to insuring hundreds of thousands more people starting in 2014.
North Carolina state Senate leaders are taking a more cautious approach to proposed budget adjustments than the House by spending less and setting aside more money in reserve in case Medicaid costs get out of hand.
The Legislature has given final approval to a method to close a shortfall in North Carolina's Medicaid program this year that also contains a provision to slow efforts to privatize medical services for prisoners.
It sounds like Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue's administration and Republican legislative leaders have a plan to close an estimated $150 million shortfall in Medicaid expected by the end of June.
Gov. Bev Perdue's administration says federal Medicaid regulators have given the state an extension until the end of the year to comply fully with new requirements about personal care services.
State auditors are questioning how a contract to overhaul and operate the claims processing system for North Carolina's Medicaid program became bogged down with cost overruns and a nearly two-year delay.
A federal judge has blocked North Carolina's Medicaid office from implementing rules for personal care services that a lawsuit contends has led more than 2,400 people to lose paid assistance at home for things like cooking, bathing and dressing.