Audit finds that IL Medicaid paid providers late

An audit of Illinois'' Medicaid program has found that a $1.5 billion financial shortfall led to delays in paying physicians, hospitals and nursing homes over recent years. However, in recent times it appears that the state has gotten its act together in paying physicians, and what's more, may soon begin to pay hospitals on a timely basis as well. The audit, which covers fiscal years 1999 to 2007, found that while the state did a good job of processing Medicaid claims quickly, it was slow in sending them to the state comptroller for payment.  In fiscal 2006, for example, the state took six days to process claims, but 57 days to submit them to the comptroller.

Given these delays, the state may owe $81 million in interest payments to doctors, hospitals and others taking care of Medicaid enrollees, given that state law requires interest to be paid when Medicaid claims take longer than 60 days to process. To date, the state has paid $21.8 million for claims filed during the period studied.

Of late, however, the state has done better with its payment schedule. Now, it's paying physicians' Medicaid claims for ambulatory care within 30 days for child patients, and within 60 days for adult patients, officials said.

To learn more about the state's Medicaid progress:
- read this AMNews article

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