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NCTracks is On Track

 

For Immediate Release
Monday, August 5, 2013
Contact: news@dhhs.nc.gov
              919-855-4840

Raleigh, N.C. - NC Tracks, the Department of Health and Human Services' (DHHS) new claims system, recently completed its first month of operations, processing more than 15 million claims and paying health care providers more than $750 million during July. NCTracks, which pays state Medicaid and other claims weekly, finished its fourth payment cycle of July, compared to three payments in a typical month under the 35-year-old previous system.

Payments to North Carolina healthcare providers in July 2013 totaled $758 million under the new NCTracks system. While the system has successfully processed and paid millions of claims, DHHS and its partner, CSC, continue to address technical glitches and providers' issues with the new claims system, as expected.

"We've said all along that this is not going to be a simple conversion, that it'll take 30, 60, maybe 90 days until everyone's comfortable with it," said Joe Cooper, DHHS Chief Information Officer. "The good news is that after the first month, the system is working and we are doing everything we can to help providers through this transition to get paid."

Although some providers may still be experiencing difficulties with claims or payments, others have grown to appreciate the improvement NCTracks represents over previous claims systems.

"The first week was bumpy, but we are doing well now," said Jean Koehn, CEO of Visiting Respiratory Care of Four Oaks. "The system is great! We know immediately if we will get paid or not on a claim."

The single biggest issue keeping providers from getting paid is taxonomy, the system of medical codes that NCTracks uses to determine whether a provider has the proper credentials to bill for the item or procedure on a claim. To assist providers with taxonomy issues, DHHS and CSC continue to hold additional training, both in-person across the state and online, as well as proactively reaching out to providers, associations and third-party billing agents to walk them through the steps necessary to successfully process claims and ultimately get paid.

"Transitioning to a new, taxonomy-based system is like getting a new cell phone which may not have the same apps or be as intuitive to use initially," added Joe Cooper, DHHS Chief Information Officer. "We understand the importance of timely reimbursement to providers, and after one month of operations, continue to work closely with the provider community to successfully transition them to the new system."

The second most common reason for a provider not getting paid is missing or incomplete bank account information. Last week, more than 1,100 paper checks were mailed to providers who were missing their bank account information. This week, approximately 900 providers who continue to have issues with electronic banking will be mailed paper checks.

Other provider issues are being handled as they occur, many on a one-on-one basis.

As provider issues are resolved, wait times at the NCTracks Call Center (1-800-688-6696) continue to improve. Average answer times are down to around 17 minutes, well below the lengthy hold times a few weeks ago. CSC continues to hire and train additional Call Center staff to address providers' needs.

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