Panel hears of concerns with Medicaid system

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The chairman of the House Health and Social Services Committee says the launch of the state's new Medicaid payment system made the rocky rollout of the federal health care law "look good."

Rep. Pete Higgins made his comments during a hearing Tuesday, in which the state health commissioner and vendor behind the system, Xerox, spoke to the problems.

Commissioner Bill Streur said the long-delayed system will be fixed.

He said the state has provided $118 million in advances to providers to help them with claims that have not yet been paid. But Karen Perdue of the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association said some providers are leery of accepting advances because the money has to be attached to a patient and they're worried about audits.

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