The U.S. Virgin Islands will be incorporated into West Virginia's state-of-the-art Medicaid Management Information System in a bid to reduce costs and improve services to the territory's Medicaid recipients, according to a Government House statement.
The agreement will allow West Virginia's system to handle claims generated by the territory's Medicaid population. DeJongh signed a memorandum of understanding with West Virginia in 2011 detailing the sharing of the MMIS platform and earlier this month executed the contract with the system provider, Molina Medicaid Solutions. The contract was subject to approval by the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services and went through several rounds of review over the last two months at the federal level
Government House officials said in the statement the project was born out of an informal conversation deJongh had with then-West Virginia governor – now U.S. Senator – Joseph Manchin III during the Democratic Governors Association in the territory in 2008. DeJongh described the territory's challenges, and Manchin, who at the time was serving as head of the DGA, said his state had automated and upgraded its claims reimbursement Medicaid system in the mid-2000s.
"I can't thank Sen. Manchin and current Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin enough. Sen. Manchin told me four years ago that West Virginia could help the Virgin Islands attain access to a state-of-the-art system, and he followed through with his promise,” deJongh said in the statement.
“West Virginia's system, operated by Molina, is the first to be certified under the Department of Health and Human Services Seven Conditions and Standards for Enhanced Funding. By using that service to transform our Medicaid system, it allows us greater access to further federal assistance down the road and throughout the period of Health Care Reform,” deJongh said.
The MMIS technology will bolster the integrity of the Medicaid claims process by enhancing reporting. Government House also says it also will improve services to beneficiaries, allow timely payments to providers, and facilitate collection of important claims data that can be used to further improve the Medicaid processes and enhance the quality of care to the territory's Medicaid beneficiaries.
Establishing an MMIS independently would have cost in the tens of millions of dollars, according to Government House. The official MMIS project kicked off Oct. 9 and will continue through Oct.19.
The kickoff follows the recent transfer of the Medicaid Program from the Department of Health to the Department of Human Services and will allow Human Services staff dealing with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families to get a hands-on feel for the design of system modules and a context for how their programs will integrate with Medicaid to provide “one-stop” shopping for families potentially eligible for all three programs.
”This partnership will save money for the Virgin Islands and all federal taxpayers,” said Cindy Mann, Deputy Administrator and Director of the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services.
The Virgin Islands is expected to be fully incorporated into the system and should go live by July 2013.