Walker Administration Says Medicaid System Is On The Mend

The state’s troubled Medicaid payment system has seen improvements in recent months, according to Walker administration officials.

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Healthcare Services Director Margaret Brodie briefed legislators on the state’s progress with the system at House Finance committee hearings today and yesterday. The update comes as Gov. Bill Walker has asked lawmakers to accept federal dollars to expand the state’s Medicaid program.

Out of the 500 defects found in the Xerox-built system, fewer than 100 remain. Brodie also said claims were being processed with greater than 90 percent accuracy. She said the system is not perfect, but it is improving dramatically and can handle more claims.

“The amount of work that remains is still significant, yet from October 2014 to the present, we have made significant progress.”

The problems with the payment system have caused Republican lawmakers to describe Medicaid as “broken,” and a number have said they do not support expansion of the program until the system is reformed.

Brodie’s presentation did not convince some Republican members of the House Finance committee that the system had been sufficiently repaired. Rep. Lance Pruitt, an Anchorage Republican, said he does not feel the improvements go far enough.

“We seem to be a little bit more comfortable that the same thing, at that point in time, we had an issue with.”

The committee will continue to hold hearings on Medicaid throughout the week.