Monday, July 1, 2013 —
Raleigh, N.C. -- Today, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos announced NCTracks, the state's new Medicaid billing system, successfully began operations just before 6 a.m. with customer service representatives standing by to assist providers. NCTracks, built and operated by Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC), replaces the state's 35-year-old Medicaid Management Information System with the nation's first Medicaid-based multi-payer system.
"This very complex system has been 10 years in the making, but seeing it through to today's launch is an example of our commitment to enhancing technology to improve efficiencies in the department," said Wos.
"We anticipate that NCTracks will save the state $35 million each year in operating costs while making it easier for providers to submit claims and receive more accurate reimbursements."
Starting today, Medicaid providers will be able to submit claims using the new NCTracks online portal, www.nctracks.nc.gov. Besides normal claim volumes, NCTracks faces a backlog of approximately 1.5 million claims that accumulated during the 10-day transition period from the old system. Backlogged medical claims will be phased into NCTracks over the first two weeks of operations. Already, all 424,706 backlogged pharmacy claims from June 21 were successfully processed in NCTracks early this morning.
"Based on conversations with other states that made similar, successful system conversions, we anticipate two primary sources of disruption during the first 60 to 90 days: expected technical issues and a learning curve for users," said Joe Cooper, DHHS Chief Information Officer.
"In preparation for today's launch, we have established a call center with expanded hours and staff to manage the expected increase in call volume, as well as a centralized command structure with a 24/7 response team that is resolving technical difficulties as swiftly as possible."
Providers with questions or technical difficulties can reach a live customer service agent by dialing the Call Center at 1-800-688-6696. Cooper said despite increased staffing and extended hours, the Call Center anticipates longer than normal wait times. A new feature has been implemented for callers to notify them of the wait time before a live customer service agent joins them on the call. Callers on hold are advised to find answers to frequently asked questions on the NCTracks portal (www.nctracks.nc.gov), or submit their questions via email at NCMedicaid@csc.com. Providers who call DHHS staff for assistance can expect to be redirected to the Call Center for the most accurate answers to their questions.
"The best way to avoid potential issues and delayed payments is to undergo training in the new system," added Cooper.
"We continue to urge providers to take advantage of online and instructor-led training opportunities to understand how to use the new system features and enhancements."
Over the past several months, DHHS officials have urged providers to take advantage of in-person and online training opportunities to learn how to use the new claims processing system. In an effort to assist providers who were unable to participate in provider training sessions over the past few months, online training modules are still available 24/7 for providers to learn how to use the new system at their own pace. Additionally, DHHS and CSC have scheduled a series of interactive information sessions over the next few weeks and regional training sessions beginning July 15. Provider Representatives will lead each session to walk providers through the key features of the new NCTracks system and the steps they need to take to get paid. Providers can find a complete schedule of topics on the NCTracks portal, www.nctracks.nc.gov.
Each year, NCTracks will process 88 million claims to more than 70,000 healthcare providers totaling $12 billion that cover the services provided to more than 1.5 million Medicaid beneficiaries. The system will also promote information sharing and efficiencies by consolidating several other aging computer systems in Public Health, Mental Health and Rural Health, which will:
Decrease the likelihood of fraud and abuse by making available more provider, recipient and claims data.
Improve operations for the state, providers and recipients by switching providers from a paper to a digital submission process. (At least 57 forms have been eliminated.)
Accelerate processing/adjudication times.
Improve cash flow. (Providers will be paid 50 times a year, almost weekly; up from 42.)
Provide for electronic submissions for claims, prior authorization, enrollment, inquiry options, and attachments - saving money and time.