Director of NC Medicaid program stepping down

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The acting director of North Carolina's Medicaid office is resigning.

Dr. William W. Lawrence Jr. said Tuesday he told the Department of Health and Human Services that he plans to leave the post next month. He was promoted a year ago to acting director of the program, which provides health insurance to poor, elderly and disabled residents.

Medicaid takes up about $3.2 billion of the state's $21.4 billion budget and is one of the largest agencies in state government.

Lawrence acknowledged that he's had a lot of "challenges to manage" during his tenure but said there was no particular incident that prompted his resignation.

He said he plans to return to clinical care and is finalizing a job offer outside of state government.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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