Extra $34 million OK’d for Nevada’s new Medicaid computer system | nnbw.com

Extra $34 million OK’d for Nevada’s new Medicaid computer system

Geoff Dornan

CARSON CITY Nev. — The Nevada Board of Examiners on Jan. 9 approved adding $34.35 million to three different contracts needed to finalize the new Medicaid Management Information System.

That brings the total amount of those three contracts to $439.2 million.

Marta Jensen, administrator of the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, said the cost of the new system is being paid for by the federal government.

Two of the contracts are required by the federal government to provide independent validation of the new system. She said the vast majority of that total, $422.8 million, goes to HP Enterprise Services, the company actually building the MMIS that will replace Nevada’s aging Legacy system. She said it’s currently scheduled to “go live” next February.

Until then, she said the existing system must be kept up to date and functioning so providers are paid “timely and appropriately.”

Phase one of the new system is already online, handling Medicaid enrollment, as is Phase 2, which handles prior authorizations for medical services.

Jensen said at present, there are 650,000 Nevadans receiving Medicaid benefits, 212,000 of them because of the expanded eligibility provided through the Affordable Care Act.

The board also approved more than $3.5 million to expand the Graduate Medical Education program beyond the University Medical Center in Las Vegas.

Jensen said the program in cooperation with the UNR Medical School provides residencies for students to include potentially all public hospitals. The board was told for example there will be four slots at Humboldt General Hospital in Winnemucca but there are also slots at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno and other hospitals around the state.

The Graduate Medical Education program was created in an attempt to keep more medical school graduates in Nevada to do their residency since studies show most new doctors remain where they were residents.

Nevada has long had a serious shortage of doctors, particularly in the rural areas and experts say far too many Nevadans graduate from UNR Medical School and don’t return to the state.