Medicaid patients are taking heat from glitches in Washington’s new computer system. It’s supposed to process Medicaid payments, and with its failure comes several physicians and clinics refusing to accept further Medicaid members until they receive payment for patients they have treated earlier. Other medical practitioners are planning on following suite by likewise rejecting Medicaid beneficiaries until such time that they’ve received payment for earlier treatments. Medicaid’s online program called ProviderOne proved to be quite expensive and is three years later than what was previously planned when it got launched back in May.
Director of Patient Financial Services for Valley Medical Center Andrea Gannon says that Medicaid claims are in fact now being processed and thus they are not receiving their dues. Valley Medical Center alone is awaiting around US$3.8 million dollars in pending payments from ProviderOne. Valley is big enough to wait for pending payments, but other small time health care providers won’t be able to afford having their daily cash flow interrupted. Meanwhile, health care providers are repeatedly frustrated over receiving no human response over Medicaid hotlines.
Rural Health Clinic Association of Washington and administrator at Lake Chilean Clinic Dr. Barbara Berg says that her town is extremely rural and small, thus any disruption to the cash flow will greatly take its toll on business. Medicaid is currently being co-funded by both federal and state governments, and has a customer base of commonly low-income families as well as disabled Americans. Federal government is now pushing states into investing in new computer technology to prevent such mishaps from recurring.