MeckLINK is the County department that manages, coordinates, and monitors mental health, intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, and substance abuse services (MH/IDD/SA) for Mecklenburg residents. MeckLINK authorizes services and manages payment of service claims for Medicaid and State funded behavioral health services. MeckLINK manages a network of community providers who offer a variety of services to meet a person’s needs and promote recovery and independence.
A recent law, Senate Bill 208, passed in June by the N.C. Legislature requires that no MCO in the state of North Carolina be governed by county government. MeckLINK is the only MCO with this governance structure and therefore must adopt a new governance structure as a separate area authority by March 31, 2014.
During the Board’s Public Policy Workshop on September 10, Commissioners were interested in receiving more information about the surrounding regional authorities. Commissioners asked about pending lawsuits, logistical plans for handling the County’s approximately 155,000 Medicaid eligible consumers, and the possibility of employment for over 200 current MeckLINK employees.
The County Commission will further consider the future of MeckLINK Behavioral Healthcare on Tuesday night. The Board will be asked to direct staff to issue a Request for Information (RFI) for the Medicaid Managed Care Services currently managed by MeckLINK. The RFI will include questions to which LME/MCO authorities will be asked to respond. The information produced in response to this RFI will help the County review the option to create a multi-county authority.
Commissioners could also elect to create a single county authority and appoint an independent authority board to govern MeckLINK. The MeckLINK Transition Team made that recommendation in a report released last week. The three-person transition team advised that a single county authority is the best option for preserving control over the budget and public policy, and would result in the least disruption for the consumers and families receiving services.