Checklist could reduce Medicaid payment errors
02/01/2012 12:00 AM
02/01/2012 11:03 AM
South Carolina’s Medicaid agency paid $406 million to people who were not eligible in 2010, and the agency director wants to implement a surgical-style checklist for employees to reduce those mistakes.
In a meeting of a Senate subcommittee Wednesday, Tony Keck blamed many of the mistakes on outdated technology, including using paper files.
“With some of the errors that we are seeing, they are very straightforward. I think following a checklist approach like hospitals are doing now in surgery to make sure don’t cut off the wrong limb or anything else -- if they can do it in surgery, we can certainly do it in eligibility,” said Keck, director of the state Department of Health and Human Services.
The issue came to light earlier this month when a federal audit showed South Carolina’s improper payment rate increased to 17.2 percent, up from 5.3 percent in 2007. The agency says a “large number” of those errors are “technical in nature” and that “applicants would remain eligible if internal procedures were followed.”
Keck said moving to an electronic records system would help, because it would not allow a state employee to process a payment until all the necessary information was collected. The agency’s Greenville office already has this system, but it is not yet available statewide, Keck said.
Editor's Choice Videos
Join the Discussion
The State is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.