Pandemic Lessons and Advice for Public Health Workers From NC Health Secretary

July 22, 2020

On today’s episode of Managed Care Cast, we feature a short excerpt of an upcoming interview in the August issue of The American Journal of Managed Care® with Mandy K. Cohen, MD, MPH, North Carolina's secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, as part of our yearlong Q&A series. We discussed the state's upcoming transition to Medicaid managed care, the pandemic, her advice to public health workers in the face of criticism, and how what is learned from the pandemic can help inform the future of managed care going forward.

2020 marks the 25th anniversary of The American Journal of Managed Care®, and the August issue will feature, as part of our yearlong Q&A series, an interview with Mandy K. Cohen, MD, MPH, North Carolina's secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. An internist by training, Cohen was appointed to the role in January 2017 by Gov. Roy Cooper and was previously the chief operating officer and chief of staff at CMS.

In July, Cooper signed into law the state’s plan to transform Medicaid from fee for service to managed care, integrating physical health, behavioral health, and pharmacy benefits, along with a focus on social determinants of health. Under Cohen, the state is focusing on value, not just in terms of the capitation environment but also by including alternative payment models under the idea of “buying health.”

On today’s episode of Managed Care Cast, we feature a short excerpt of the upcoming interview, where we also discussed the pandemic, her advice to public health workers in the face of criticism, and how what is learned from the pandemic can help inform the future of managed care going forward.

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Read other interviews in this series:

What Accounts for the High Cost of Care? It’s the People: A Q&A With Eric Topol, MD

Do Americans Have the Political Will to Tackle Healthcare Costs? A Q&A With Gail Wilensky, PhD

Looking Back on the ACA, Looking Forward to Bipartisan Solutions: A Q&A With Rep Frank Pallone Jr

In Uncertain Times, Public Service Leadership More Important Than Ever: A Q&A With Sherry Glied, PhD

Pandemic to Bring Painful Choices for States, Policy Makers: A Q&A With Larry Levitt

Hopes, Worries for US Health Care in Wake of COVID-19: A Q&A With Donald M. Berwick, MD, MPP

Challenges and Similarities in HIV, COVID-19 Crises: A Q&A With Anthony Fauci, MD