Mental health agency problems worry NC lawmakers

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RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina lawmakers are displeased over how a regional mental health administrator has operated since it was converted to a new kind of managed care agency that’s supposed to be imitated statewide.

The state Department of Health and Human Services told a General Assembly oversight committee Tuesday the Western Highlands Network faced a roughly $4.5 million shortfall halfway through the year. The network’s chief executive was fired three weeks ago.

An outside consultant told lawmakers they alerted the department to concerns before the network shifted to a managed care system in January, but several of the problems remained as of July.

Department acting Secretary Al Delia said the agency is still on track to complete the conversion statewide by January, but some lawmakers are worried whether it can be done.

Credit: The Associated Press.