The county's expensive, error-prone program for seeking health-claim reimbursement from the state now is functioning with 93 percent accuracy.
By NORBERTO SANTANA
The Orange County Register
County officials are upbeat that MediCal billing software, which cost at least $17 million and last year was full of bugs, is being cleaned up.
Officials reported today that the system - which automatically sends MediCal claims to the state for reimbursement - had a 93 percent accuracy rate for 13,000 test bills sent to the state in April. The system is now "live," meaning that it is being used to send test bills. Officials continue to use an older software system to send current bills to the state.
"We are on time and on schedule," said Dr. Dan Hatten, a deputy chief executive officer in charge of information systems.
Hatten said a full transfer to the new software system should be complete by the end of the summer.
A Kansas City-based company, Cerner Corp., was supposed to have developed the electronic billing for the county Health Care Agency by July 2002.
However, the system was plagued with bugs that generated costly overruns.
The Orange County Register requested a copy of the county's contract. Cerner sued the county to prevent its release.
Today, supervisors praised the company for its work.
"It's way behind schedule and way over budget, but that's the past," said Supervisor Tom Wilson.
Supervisor Chris Norby added, "hopefully we can learn from the past."