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NCTracks Pays Medicaid Providers Ahead of Schedule

 

For Immediate Release
Monday, July 8, 2013
Contact: news@dhhs.nc.gov
              919-855-4840

Raleigh, N.C. - Today, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced that NCTracks will successfully pay its first round of Medicaid claims this week, surpassing expectations of many health care providers.

"NCTracks is working so well after its first week in operation, we will pay many claims a full week ahead of schedule," said Joe Cooper, Chief Information Officer for DHHS. "We are continuing to address specific technical issues as they come up, but this should be welcome news to North Carolina's hospitals, long-term care facilities, physicians, dentists and pharmacies."

NCTracks, the state's new Medicaid billing system, went live on July 1 and has now successfully processed more than 2.5 million claims. Over the weekend, teams from DHHS and CSC successfully completed the first checkwrite and cleared those claims for payment this week. Total payments to North Carolina providers this week will exceed $137 million, which includes payment for all backlogged claims that had accumulated in the 10-day transition from old to new claims systems. Providers should receive detailed claims information -- including explanations of payments or denials -- in their online NCTracks mailboxes overnight Monday. Electronic payments are scheduled for Wednesday, as planned.

A response team from DHHS and CSC is working on a 24/7 basis in the first weeks of operations to prioritize and tackle any technical and performance issues as they are found. CSC added system capacity and applied system fixes to help address some of the performance issues providers experienced last week. In addition, CSC has added extra call center agents to address the volume of provider calls causing higher-than-normal hold times. Providers with issues or questions are advised to research answers online at www.nctracks.nc.gov, which features provider announcements and Frequently Asked Questions, before turning to the Call Center at 1-800-688-6696.

Cooper explained that one of the contributing factors to long wait times may be that less than 20% of providers attended training sessions prior to the system's July 1 launch date: "Until our provider partners are comfortable with system operations, call volumes and wait times are likely to remain elevated for the next several weeks. We continue to urge providers to take advantage of online and instructor-led training opportunities in the next couple of weeks to help avoid delayed payments and long waits on hold."

In an effort to assist providers, online training modules are still available 24/7 for providers to learn how to use the new system at their own pace. Additionally, DHHS and CSC will hold a series of scheduled interactive information sessions over the next few weeks and regional training sessions beginning July 16. Provider Representatives will lead each session to walk providers through the key features of the new NCTracks system and the steps they need to take to submit claims and get paid. Providers can find a complete schedule of topics on the NCTracks portal, www.nctracks.nc.gov.

NCTracks went into operation July 1 as the first multi-payer claims system in the nation. Each year, NCTracks will process more than 88 million claims to more than 70,000 healthcare providers totaling $12 billion that cover the services provided to more than 1.5 million Medicaid beneficiaries. The system will also promote information sharing and efficiencies by consolidating several other aging computer systems in Public Health, Mental Health and Rural Health, which will:

  • Decrease the likelihood of fraud and abuse by making available more provider, recipient and claims data.
  • Improve operations for the state, providers and recipients by switching providers from a paper to a digital submission process. (At least 57 forms have been eliminated.)
  • Accelerate processing/adjudication times.
  • Improve cash flow. (Providers will be paid 50 times a year, almost weekly; up from 42.)
  • Provide for electronic submissions for claims, prior authorization, enrollment, inquiry options, and attachments - saving money and time.

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