Computer error to delay Medicaid payments to state health providers
A computer interface error will delay Medicaid payments to Washington health-care providers for several days next week.
Seattle Times staff reporter
A computer interface error will delay Medicaid payments to Washington health-care providers for several days next week, officials said.
The delay is the first since the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) installed ProviderOne, a $166 million claim-processing system, on May 9.
Friday's error was not related to ProviderOne's ability to process Medicaid claims, said Jim Stevenson, a DSHS spokesman. Rather, it was a breakdown of communications between ProviderOne and a computer system that cuts the checks for health-care providers.
The interface program experienced a service outage on Friday, causing the delay, said Rich Campbell, director of the Division of Systems and Monitoring in the Medicaid Purchasing Administration.
The checks are usually mailed or transmitted on Fridays and received by providers on Mondays or Tuesdays. The delay will cause checks to be sent out on Monday and received on Wednesday or Thursday.
While the delay is not expected to cause significant problems for hospitals or other large health-care providers, it could present obstacles to smaller providers, a DSHS news release said.
Federal Way Family Physicians, for example, bills Medicaid for about 80 to 100 patient-visits per week, which is roughly a quarter of its business, said office manager Kris Firth.
Depending on the length and timing, a delay in Medicaid payments could cause financial problems for the practice, Firth said.
"It's a big deal," she said. "We'd have to be careful with what we order and delay payments for our bills."
Sean Collins Walsh: 206-464-3195 or firstname.lastname@example.org