Rebecca Friedman

  • Hosted by Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy
  • Sponsored by Kilpatrick, Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Service location Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Law school Harvard Law School
  • Issue area Health Care
  • Fellowship class year 2019
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Rebecca provided legal representation, advocacy, and education to protect low-income Medicaid beneficiaries experiencing changes, confusion, and barriers to accessing healthcare as North Carolina transitioned to a managed care Medicaid system.

In July 2021, North Carolina implemented an overhaul of its Medicaid system, launching the transition to managed care from a mostly fee-for-service system. As a result, almost 1.6 million Medicaid beneficiaries in the state entered a service delivery model very different from what many had known for their entire lives. There was widespread concern about the confusion and uncertainty that would result, and fear that individuals would be unable to receive essential care and services or see the providers with whom they had built relationships. An urgent need existed for direct support for Medicaid beneficiaries experiencing these changes and for advocacy to ensure Medicaid beneficiaries’ rights were prioritized and protected.

Fellowship Highlights

During her two-year Fellowship, Rebecca:

  • Collaborated with partner organizations and government officials to anticipate problems arising in the state’s transition to Medicaid Managed Care, successfully advocated for beneficiary protections, and educated beneficiaries and stakeholders about the major changes affecting the state’s Medicaid program
  • Conducted 18 presentations to educate allies, partners, and other service providers, and to provide substantive training to NC Medicaid Ombudsman staff about the transition to managed care
  • Participated in approximately 200 external meetings, including many recurring coalition meetings, to advance the impact and reach of her work
  • Advocated to government officials for flexibilities and enhanced support to promote access to health care and other public benefits for marginalized populations as the devastation of COVID-19 lingered
  • Represented clients denied access to Medicaid, food stamps, or other essential public benefits and helped beneficiaries understand their rights under new public benefits programs and policy flexibilities that were implemented in response to COVID-19, providing advice and/or legal assistance to over 60 individuals
  • Advocated for better care for individuals with serious behavioral and intellectual disabilities in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties

Next Steps

Rebecca will continue in the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy’s Family Support and Health Care Program as a Staff Attorney, where she will persist in advocating for Medicaid beneficiaries’ rights as North Carolina’s managed care system’s implementation continues. She will provide direct representation to low-income recipients of Medicaid, food stamps, and other public benefit programs in Mecklenburg County and advocate for statewide policy improvements.


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