Jeffco commissioners urged to take over for Maximus

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By Ramsey Scott

There’s a strong push for counties across Colorado to take back processing some Medicaid applications from a private company that’s had a difficult time meeting time and quality guarantees.

More than 40 heads of county human services departments indicated they’d like their county commissioners to approve taking over processing Medicaid medical claims from Maximus, a private company contracted by the state, said Gini Pingenot, policy and research supervisor at Colorado Counties Inc. The group met during the Colorado Counties Inc. conference last week.

“The case (to take over the work) is so strong that it felt that a very solid 40 in support,” Pingenot said. 

Maximus, a private company that provides processing services to governments, had guaranteed it would process 95 percent of the applications correctly and in a timely manner. It has fallen short of that mark, reporting in March a backlog of 53 percent of all Medicaid claims. 

Jeffco’s Human Services Director Lynn Johnson estimated her department handles about 40 percent of Maximus’s work due to delays and applications being completed incorrectly. Johnson has been on record supporting taking back the work from Maximus. 

The state has proposed allowing counties to take back processing Medicaid medical applications once Maximus’s contract with the state expires in June 2015. The state wants feedback from counties by June 25, Pingenot said. 

The state and counties are still discussing how the state would pay counties to take over the workload. Jeffco has said it would need to hire 12 additional staff to take over the 4,000 cases Maximus handles for the county.