Some doctors in North Carolina still haven't gotten paid for Medicaid services five months after the state rolled out a new system for Medicaid providers, called NC Tracks. But the system is improving, according to a legislative oversight committee that met Monday.
Many providers and lawmakers agree the new system for processing Medicaid payments has been a monster. Now, to hear Senator Andrew Brock describe it, the state is teaching Frankenstein some manners.
"It's becoming a better process, and it's becoming a better issue," Brock said. He's co-chairman of the oversight committee on information technology, which received a progress report on NC Tracks from Medicaid providers.
Sherry Williams is an assistant administrator at Piedmont Triad Anesthesia in Winston-Salem.
"It's costing my practice additional money and employee hours," she said. "It's chaotic and it's stressful. And our North Carolina providers do not deserve to be faced with the cumbersome processes in this complex system in order to just be paid."
But Williams said she has noticed improvements in the past few weeks. She said her practice is getting paid for the bulk of the Medicaid services it provides.
Christina Young from Cabarrus Eye Center in Concord also spoke. She said there was a seven-week period when her practice didn't get paid.
"At this point, I'm happy to say that we are getting probably 75 percent of our payments in that were outstanding, with the exception of one physician who has not received any payments yet to date," she said.
North Carolina gave a company called CSC a contract to develop NC Tracks in 2008. Through the end of October, the state has fined CSC $390,000 dollars for the company's failures in carrying out the contract, according to a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services.
The meeting didn't address what percentage of providers are still having trouble with NC Tracks. But here's how one lawmaker summed it up at the end - it sounds like North Carolina is far from having an efficient system for making Medicaid payments.