Director Barbara Sears provided testimony to the Senate Panel stating “She believed the state was ready to handle the redesign transition, but that the department will be ready for problems as they occur.
Is it perfect? Nothing ever is when you put on a program this large,” she said. “What I do know is the speed at which we are prepared to respond.”
In response to Director Sears comments to the Senate Panel, as a Behavioral Health Billing Consultant currently working with software vendors to test their systems for the Redesign, I would like to provide some feedback.
I can attest that many vendors are facing true challenges in meeting this tight deadline.
I do agree that Medicaid responsiveness during this first week of testing has been very good. Actually, when they answered the phone on the morning after the first day of testing, their greeting was “Good Morning Teresa” and they were extremely helpful and responsive.
I know the effort they have put into making this change successful is substantial.
However, I think there is a piece of the puzzle that is being severely understated. VENDORS are not ready. This means agencies will not be ready and the communities they serve will be impacted negatively.
Some software vendors will not be able to roll out the required functionality changes until late June. This will not allow enough time for agencies to update their systems in time to bill July 1st.
The amount of customization an agency must do AFTER the required system updates are in place is substantial considering the changes to all coding including an extensive additional modifier requirement based on the services that each provides.
In addition, over the last 6 weeks, several policy changes have been made that DIRECTLY impact how vendors need to develop their functionality.
Below are two different links. Click on the Ohio Medicaid logo to see the current existing rate structure.