North Carolina Medicaid director Dave Richard to retire

Published 12:28 pm Thursday, February 9, 2023

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The official who oversaw the conversion of North Carolina’s Medicaid agency to managed care will retire from state government at the end of the month, the state health department said last Thursday.

Dave Richard, the deputy secretary for Medicaid for the last eight years, guided the $21 billion program through the overhaul that went live in July 2021. State Medicaid moved from a traditional fee-for-service model to one in which provider organizations receive fixed monthly payments for every patient seen and treated.

Richard joined the Department of Health and Human Services in 2013 as director of the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services. He previously served 24 years as executive director for The Arc of North Carolina.

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“Few have done more to improve the health and well-being of North Carolinians,” the department said in a written statement. “Dave leaves North Carolina Medicaid stable and strong with a robust team of leaders to carry the torch.”

Medicaid enrollment has soared since the pandemic to over 2.9 million. The anticipated end of a pandemic-era prohibition on removing people from the Medicaid rolls and requiring states to conduct annual eligibility verifications will reduce beneficiaries over the next year.

Richard’s retirement was first reported by Axios.