Computing error leads to thousands of Medicare payouts to ineligible candidates

While advances in the medical technology field are designed to decrease the likelihood of errors and optimize a facility's practice, a recent computer glitch experienced in Maine allowed roughly 19,000 individuals to receive Medicare benefits when they were no longer eligible.

According to Health and Human Services commissioner Mary Mayhew, the financial burden caused by the error is still being calculated, reports an article published by the Bangor Daily News.

As Mayhew told the news source, one computer system in the state was responsible for bill paying while a separate system dealt with the eligibility of Medicare candidates. Consequently, because the two systems had no cohesion, there was no communication between the two servers that suggested individuals be removed from the system when officials determined their eligibility was no longer valid.

Moreover, after uncovering such a glaring accounting error, there exists the possibility that additional Medicare claims are being filed for ineligible participants, the article reports.

"We need to do a system-level comprehensive analysis of what else should we be looking at within this system that is affecting our data, the integrity of our data and our ability to make informed decisions about this program," said Mayhew.

In order to avoid the sort of mess that Maine healthcare officials will need to clean up now, it would be wise for other facility managers to partner with a certified medical technology consulting company that can provide electronic medical billing solutions. By implementing software such as Medisoft Version 17, healthcare practioners will be able to leverage simple patient accounting and optimized internal collection to avoid the misstep being experienced in Maine.

Furthermore, with staff training initiatives, these professionals can be sure that all staff members have a thorough knowledge of how to properly utilize the software so that gaps in employee knowledge will not result in fiscal loss for the facility.

Microwize Technology is a leading healthcare IT consultant offering products such as electronic medical records software and medical billing software from top providers like Allscripts and McKesson, including McKesson's Medisoft, Lytec and Practice Choice products.