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Computer glitches delays Medicaid services for thousands in state

About 2,500 Wisconsinites had their Medicaid services delayed, due to glitches in a new computer system.

But state Medicaid director Jason Helgerson says the backlogs are almost gone.

The health services agency replaced a 30-year-old computer system last November, which handles nearly all aspects of the state's Medicaid programs.

The glitches delayed approvals of about 4,100 total claims, mostly for prior authorizations before clients could get therapy and critical items like wheelchairs and leg braces.

Helgerson says about 800 claims are still backed up, and they should be resolved by Monday.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel quoted health care providers as saying the approvals came to a halt last October, and a handful just started coming in over the last couple weeks.

The paper said some providers gave their services with the hope that the state would approve their payments.

The state failed to process about 10 percent of its prior authorizations within a 20-day period that's required by law. Some items took four times as long to be approved.

Helgerson said the computer bugs affected only a tiny percentage of Medicaid's 925,000 clients in Wisconsin and any computer changeover of that size will have bugs.