W. Va. WCC Purchases New Processing System

December 30, 2004

The West Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission has purchased a new medical bill processing system that ultimately will reportedly make the agency more attractive to health care providers.

“Improving our efficiency in medical billing and payment will encourage more providers, particularly specialists, to accept Workers’ Compensation patients in all areas of the state,” Executive Director Gregory Burton explained. “That has been a consistent and legitimate criticism of our current system.

“We want to make it easier for providers to help us secure the best possible health care for injured workers and, whenever possible, get them back on the job in a timely manner.”

The new medical bill processing system will reportedly make it easier for health care providers to submit invoices and check on the status of payments.

“Upgrading the medical bill processing system will enable the Commission to conduct business in a vastly more efficient manner, reduce errors and improve speed and accuracy,” Burton noted. “The
new billing system will result in a more logical and streamlined business process.”

The Commission signed a $2.6 million contract recently with Medata Inc. for purchase and installation of the system. Burton said the system should be fully in place by early 2006. Workers’ Compensation officials began work on the project last spring.

The current medical bills processing system was implemented in 1994 and has been periodically upgraded.

Medical providers will be able self-register for access to the system via the Web. Once registered, they will be able to submit invoices for the treatment of injured workers, and check the status of their payments from the Commission for those services. Providers should reportedly notice shortened processing timeframes resulting from a more efficient system and business approach.

“One of our mandates from Senate Bill 2013 is to create a viable and solvent organization,” Burton said. “This project represents a significant step toward that goal.”

The new system will interface with the Commission’s current Workers’ Compensation Information System to handle the medical bill review functions currently performed by WCIS. Medical bills will
be processed on hardware at a Medata site; the Commission will pay Medata up to $1.15 to process each bill.

The contract includes provisions for system enhancements, data conversion, testing and training.

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