North Carolina State Owes Medical Providers for Caring for Poor, Elderly

The state Medicaid office owes medical providers nearly two years worth of back payments for poor, elderly patients, an expense that will increase past and future costs, according to the state budget office. The state has not been properly paying providers for patients who use both Medicare, the federal government health insurance for the elderly, and Medicaid, the government health insurance for the poor. Providers have been complaining since the state first started using a new Medicaid payment system called NCTracks in July 2013 that they were being underpaid, but the state did not start making those payments until March of this year. For people who use both forms of insurance, Medicaid pays deductibles and copayments. Both the state and federal governments pay Medicaid bills. State budget director Lee Roberts said the state does not know how much it will cost to make all the overdue payments or how much future expenses will rise. Legislators were warned about additional costs, but the information came with no details, said Sen. Ralph Hise, a Spruce Pine Republican who co-authors the state health and human services budget.

Source/more: Raleigh News/Observer

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