Long-term care, home care providers voice UHIP-related issues at meeting

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — As state leaders try to repair and recover from the damage done by the botched UHIP system, the focus of Thursday night’s meeting was only on long-term care and home care providers.

Under the UHIP system launched in September, some providers say they are having trouble paying their vendors and making payroll.

Acting DHS Director Eric Beane testified that there is $10-20 million still owed to providers who care for patients with pending Medicaid applications. Millions of dollars have been paid in off-cycle payments already.

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Mary Benway from Community Cares Nurses described her frustrations in front of the House Oversight Committee at the meeting.

“We’re providing the services, not denying the care, but we’re waiting. The system doesn’t recognize the patients,” said Benway. “We have no mechanism to bill for the patient.”

The issues were addressed head on by Beane.

“One significant improvement is that we have expedited payment for overdue applications that have been pending for more than 90 days,” he said.

Beane called this a significant step in helping to alleviate cash flow problems providers have.

“But in the long run, we need to get the system right,” he added.

Beane estimated that up to two or three thousand Medicaid applications could be in the system pending.