Medicaid costs linked to computer system

Medicaid costs linked to computer system

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by MIKE HANSON / NBC Charlotte

WCNC.com

Posted on July 7, 2014 at 4:55 PM

MONROE, N.C. -- The State Department of Health and Human Services has launched a YouTube video touting the success of NC TRACKS, the computer system that helps healthcare providers receive Medicaid reimbursements.

Chris Lonon, with Home Instead, appears in the video and gives a testimonial. Home Instead is based in Monroe, and helps Union County seniors stay in their homes with in-home care. Thirty-percent of their clients are on Medicaid. 

I don’t think they had the capacity for the amount of claims filed,” Lonon said.

He admits that NC TRACKS has gotten better, but at the beginning the computer system was overwhelmed.

“I liken it to [what] the federal government did with Healthcare.gov. They instituted this big website and it just didn’t work,” Lonon said.

Now a year later Lonon says the best part is the instant feedback on whether or not a claim can be submitted. The old system would send the claim back a week later, pushing the billing process further and further behind.

At a press conference in May, DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos highlighted NC TRACKS as part of the solution to keeping Medicaid costs more accurate and predictable.

“We are tackling the hardest issues that are in front of us,” Wos said.

Budget predictability is key for the lawmakers in Raleigh this week hammering out a compromise on how much the state should spend to fund the $13 billion program. The federal government pays two-thirds, and the state pays the rest. In past years Medicaid shortfalls ran into the hundreds of millions.

The budget was supposed to be finalized by July 2, but that hasn’t happened.
 

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