Medi-Cal Website Glitches Cause Issues for Beneficiaries, Workers
Glitches within the computer system for Medi-Cal enrollment are causing problems for tens of thousands of beneficiaries, HealthyCal reports. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
Details of Glitches
Cathy Senderling-McDonald, deputy executive director of the County Welfare Directors Association of California, said improper oversight and problems with the Medi-Cal system's programming have caused some beneficiaries to receive up to 18 notices in a single day, often with conflicting information about their coverage.
Senderling-McDonald said the state's computer system was not developed to effectively send out such notices.
In addition to redundant and contradictory notifications, county eligibility workers are unable to:
- Delete duplicate applications; or
- Remove applications upon a consumer's request.
Senderling-McDonald said, "Our county eligibility workers need to be able to tell the system, 'This person is not eligible,' or, 'We need to withdraw this application,'" adding, "The computer can start that process, but our workers can't and that was a huge oversight in the programming."
Further, some cases that have been approved revert back to a pending status when sent to a different computer, according to HealthyCal.
For more information on the glitch, see this Capitol Desk post.
Efforts To Improve System
Anthony Cava -- spokesperson for the California Department of Health Care Services, which oversees Medi-Cal -- said the state is working to fix issues with the computer system.
Gov. Jerry Brown (D) in September 2014 signed legislation that will allow counties to maintain their own Medi-Cal notification systems to help cut back the number of notices beneficiaries receive. However, the law does not go into effect until January 2016.
Further, Brown included about $150 million for county Medi-Cal funds in his proposed fiscal year 2015-2016 budget.
Meanwhile, Elvia Malvido -- an eligibility supervisor for the Los Angeles Department of Public Social Services -- said that some counties, such as Los Angeles County, have been permitted to silo duplicate and ineligible applications within separate files, where they will sit until a solution is found. However, Malvido said that while the system is working more effectively than it did last year, such workarounds are time consuming and it likely will take several years to resolve all of the problems with the system (Guzik, HealthyCal, 1/29).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.