Medicaid providers are told state can't pay them now

Doctors and other Medicaid providers around the state began receiving letters today from the Alaska State Department of Health and Social Services stating that their payments would be delayed because the state has run short of money. The letters were dated May 24, but there has been no notification from the Office of the Governor that payments were being withheld in his signature Mediciad program.

The letter, from Margaret Brodie, Director of the Division of Health Care Services, said that the delay is necessary due to a "tight budget situation" in the current fiscal year. Brodie's letter says the solution will come as "Medicaid funds are reallocated among accounts."

"Doctors are getting stuck in this shell game, using doctors as political pawns," said one medical provider, who asked to remain anonymous. "Shame on them for dragging doctors into a reimbursement that is questionable as to whether it even meets our costs, and now to delay payments because the State is out of money?"

The letter received by providers:

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 A provider from the Kenai Peninsula said, "First it was the Xerox billing bungle, and we're still waiting for payments from 2013 because of that. Now we are getting a letter from the state saying it is out of money and has to shift funds around so it can meet its bills. This is outrageous."

This story will be updated.

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