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DHHS promises improvements to Medicaid payment system, amid bipartisan criticism (video)

Legislative leaders upset by the continued delay in payments to health care providers were told Tuesday that the Department of Health and Human Services is working around the clock to fix the Medicaid payment system.

DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos stressed that NCTracks, which was rolled out July 1st to streamline payments and help track spending, was in fact working.

But Republicans and Democrats alike questioned Wos’ team about why they put the complex computer system into service knowing there would be some problems.

Sen. Tommy Tucker of Union County pointedly told the panel these missteps have hurt individuals and businesses:

“I run a small business with about 90 employees and if I was 90 days out on some of the cash flow from my customers, I couldn’t make it,” said Tucker. “We have had a number of people furlough their employees…I’ve had developers and real estate agents calling me and saying ‘Is this true? He’s not getting paid by the state. He can’t pay his rent.’ We have created a tremendous hardship. So how much longer is this going to have to go on?”

Sen. Martin Nesbitt of Buncombe County was more direct:

“I heard today that all of the problems that were raised can be addressed easily. Well then do it!”

Joe Cooper, DHHS’ Chief Information Officer, told the oversight committee he expects it will be 3-6 months before all the NC TRACKS issues are resolved.

For some of the highlights from the day-long hearing, click below.  To watch the full  meeting, visit WRAL.com.

Reporter Sarah Ovaska will have more on today’s DHHS hearing Wednesday morning on NC Policy Watch.

 

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DHHS promises improvements to Medicaid payment system, amid bipartisan criticism (video)