The State of Alaska Medicaid program has recently upgraded their 25 year old computer system. As anyone who uses a computer is aware, “software upgrades” are often two of the most dreaded words users want to hear. Major system upgrades rarely go as planned and major inconveniences and delays mount. Unfortunately, this has been the case with the transition to the new medicaid data base.
On October 1st 2013, the new medicaid system went live. Shortly thereafter, providers throughout the State of Alaska noticed that hold times to medicaid representatives had gone from 2-3 minutes to over 2 hours. Calls were being dropped and messages were not being returned. Patient travel for medical appointments could not be authorized and appointments had to be rescheduled.
According to State Medicaid officials, the problems are close to being resolved. It is hoped that by November 1st, the system will be working smoothly. In the meantime, medicaid recipients are asked to be patient during this time of transition. Change is never easy, but hopefully this transition to the new computer system will be worth the temporary inconvenience (to recipients and providers).