BOISE -- It was two months ago that the state of Idaho began using Molina, a new Medicaid reimbursement system for providers. Since it began, KTVB has talked to a number of providers who've had difficulty getting payments on time.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare says the system is getting better, but those we spoke to say they're still waiting for reimbursement checks.
“Medicaid is the only income we have, so when we don't get checks, it hurts a lot,” said Cynthia Dunagan.
Dunagan works for Provider Affiliate Agency which works with adults with developmental disabilities. She says since Molina came online on July first, they have not received payments on a regular basis, and the payments they do receive are only a fraction of what they're actually owed.
“Last week we got a check for $340, that's not even one percent of what we billed,” says Dunagan.
She now says after two months of inadequate payments, she's become desperate.
“Had to take money out of my retirement fund to keep paying my employees, and it's coming down to borrowing money,” says Dunagan.
“I think some issues are being addressed, but not at the pace at which we'd like to see them,” said Susie Pouliot, CEO of the Idaho Medical Association.
Pouliot says many of her members are in the same situation.
“Some of them are still having issues with enrollment, some of them are still having problems with payments they're not able to reconcile because they're not getting adequate documentation,” says Pouliot.
“We are pushing Molina to get those issues addressed as quickly as possible so that all providers can be reimbursed in a normal fashion,” said Emily Simnitt with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
Simnitt says they are aware that some providers still aren't getting payments on time and that the department is continuing to closely watch Molina's progress.
“There are still providers that are still struggling right now and still seeing some pretty big issues, so we're continuing to monitor the situation and we're meeting with Molina and tracking their progress on 18 issues we identified that need to be addressed,” said Simnitt.
“Whose problem does it become for the little guys down here trying to operate everyday?” said Dunagan.
Gov. Butch Otter and the head of Molina Healthcare, Mario Molina, met on Aug. 23 to discuss the issues with payment reimbursements in Idaho. Molina apologized to medical providers, and says there are over 200 people working to fix the all the issues.
Health and Welfare Director Richard Armstrong says Molina does need to fix 18 issues, including cutting down on call center wait times and making sure providers are correctly enrolled. Armstrong gave a deadline of 60 days for those fixes.
Health and Welfare has set up an emergency number for providers who need immediate help at 364-1804.