County to study options to Cardinal Innovations

Published 8:43 am Thursday, March 11, 2021

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Davie County could join a handful of counties that are severing ties with Cardinal Innovations Healthcare – which provides services to the intellectually and developmentally disabled, those with mental health issues and substance abuse disorders

Cardinal provides these services for 20 counties in the region, paid mostly by Medicaid and state funds. It began facing charges of inadequate services and long wait times for services last November.

Last week, Davie County commissioners said it is time to test the market place, after hearing from a Cardinal representative who said positive steps are being made to alleviate the problems. Karen Bentley, Cardinal vice president of community outreach and engagement, said that changes are being made based on feedback from defecting counties. She presented statistics that weren’t local enough for Davie officials. “We are flexible. We are adaptable,” she said.

“I’d like to see more numbers about actual data over time,” said County Manager David Bone.

“I’d like to see more Davie County specific reports,” said Commissioner Benita Finney. “Generalized reports are not that helpful.”

Commissioner Mark Jones said it would behoove the county to look at all options. “We have to address the needs of everyone in our county. If there’s something better out there … we need to address it and analyze it and see where we go. I would really like to see us assess the marketplace.”

Commissioners asked Bone to get ideas from Health Director Suzanne Wright, and to see what options defecting counties are looking for. It takes about six months and state approval to make a change.

“It would behoove us to do that,” said board chair, Terry Renegar. “There’s a great deal of discussion in this community – the mental health community, that we look at all of the options that we possibly can.”