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Contract Questions
DHHR Wants To Move Forward With Medicaid Bid
August 22, 2012

C L I C K   T O   P L A Y
A big money contract to process Medicaid claims and look after health coverage records is still in limbo, despite several attempts to award it.

That has some lawmakers reconsidering a move that allows the state Department of Health and Human Resources to operate outside of the state's normal purchasing processes.

Although the DHHR has to follow state rules, it doesn't have to go through the Purchasing Division.

But an audit says the agency lacks expertise and that there are possible conflicts of interest getting in the way of contract bidding.

The Bureau of Medical Service's Medicaid management contract is a 10-year deal worth more than $200 million. Despite calls the DHHR should go back under the Purchasing Division's umbrella, the interim secretary says the bid should go forward under the current system.

“It's very complicated,” DHHR Secretary Rocco Fucillo said. “You have to have enough time and implementation. So, if you keep backing up the contract, you may run out of time, which would cause problems and then it would be bad for the entire state. Because providers rely on that for their means of payment, the information we receive and services to the client.”

Despite wanting to move ahead with the Medicaid contract, which could affect 330,000 thousand West Virginians, Fucillo says the DHHR would benefit from the Purchasing Division's expertise.

“Purchasing is a very complicated animal. So, obviously with all of the questions that have come up about different things since then, without being specific, it makes sense to take advantage of and work with and collaborate and repeal the exemption and allow the Department of Administration Purchasing to guide us through,” Fucillo said.

With this Waste Watch report, in Charleston Kennie Bass Eyewitness News.

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