|Rep. Evelyn Terry, Sen. Earline Parmon and Rep. Ed Hanes|
"This is necessary because of the numerous mishaps that have occurred in this department, the last issue being the HIPAA breach with the mis-mailings of Medicaid cards," said Sen. Earline Parmon, during a press conference at the Enterprise Center with fellow Democratic Reps. Evelyn Terry and Ed Hanes. "We have increasing concerns about serious management issues at DHHS based on documents we have received and reviewed as a lack of response and transparency on the part of DHHS officials."
The caucus obtained a recent letter addressed to the Wos from the US Department of Agriculture putting the secretary on notice that the state agency "may soon be subject to suspension or disallowance of administrative funds" related to the provision of food assistance to low-income individuals.
"The data provided by DHHS indicates that more than 20,000 households continue to experience significant delays with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) applications and recertifications," USDA Regional Administrator Donald E. Arnette wrote in the Dec. 11, 2013 letter. "Of these households, over 6,000 have been waiting for more than three months to receive benefits. These delays are completely unacceptable and a serious failure on the part of North Carolina. Access to nutrition assistance program benefits for every eligible person who meets the qualifications, needs the help, and seeks assistance is a priority for [US Food and Nutrition Service]. We have grave concern for the low-income people of North Carolina who are waiting for assistance. DHHS must work aggressively to correct the issues that are impacting the ability of North Carolina citizens to purchase food."
Letter from USDA to NC DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos threatening suspension of federal funding