STUMP » Articles » Obamacare Watch: 6 March 2014 -- Meet the Worst Obamacare Exchange: Cover Oregon » 6 March 2014, 06:37

Where Stu & MP spout off about everything.

Obamacare Watch: 6 March 2014 -- Meet the Worst Obamacare Exchange: Cover Oregon  


6 March 2014, 06:37

I thought of starting us off gentle with Obamacare posts, but forget about it. Let’s go straight for the worst, which is Oregon.

There is a possible criminal fraud investigation over this exchange, it’s that bad — a fraud against the federal government, which supplied a lot of funds to get this exchange going… which has never actually gone. It’s all manual processes right now.

Would you like to hear how the manual processes are going? Glad you asked.

Nearly 4,000 applicants for a state program that provides undocumented immigrants with pregnancy services were instead enrolled in full Oregon Health Plan coverage, contrary to federal law, thanks to problems with the Cover Oregon health insurance exchange.

State officials say they discovered the problem several weeks ago and are correcting it.

The pregnancy program goof, however, is just one of many little-known problems that Oregon Health Plan members, providers, care groups and state officials have wrestled with as Oregon’s system for enrolling people undergoes chaotic change.
Two thirds of Cover Oregon’s enrollments — more than 70,000 — have gone into the low-income Oregon Health Plan, the state’s version of Medicaid. Combined with other enrollments since Oct. 1, OHP membership has swelled by more than 200,000, or about a third — a favorite talking point of state officials.

Many of those enrollments, however, have not gone smoothly:

-Thousands of OHP enrollees were labeled as individuals rather than family members, meaning some families were split between care organizations – creating needless hassles for parents seeking care.
-For months, the state grappled with inaccurate Medicaid coding, crucial to securing accurate federal matching funds.
-Department of Human Services workers who used to help clients afflicted by erroneous information now face difficulties doing so because their responsibilities have been transferred to Cover Oregon.
Not only that, but Cover Oregon sent over names of thousands of Oregon Health Plan enrollees as individuals, rather than labeling them properly as families. In some cases this has caused some family members to be assigned to one care organization and provider group while others are assigned to a completely different one.

Paul says that problem is being fixed manually on a case-by-case basis.

“It’s been a mess for us,” said Jeff Heatherington, CEO of Family Care, Inc., one of the organizations that cares for Oregon Health Plan members in the Portland area. “It makes it very difficult for us to tie families together in our database. We can’t identify them, so we have to go through and set up a new data structure internally and then match addresses — all of which have been hand-entered so they don’t necessarily match.”

Now Michelle Malkin seems to think that is some kind of nefarious pro-illegal immigrant move (with pregnant illegal immigrants getting shoved onto Obamacare as opposed to Oregon’s own program), but come on. What incompetence can explain doesn’t need further explanation. It’s like all those conspiracy theories that suppose superhuman organization and competence from people who have never come close to evincing such qualities.

“Ah, but that’s what you want you to think!”

Just from Bayesian reasoning, incompetence is far more likely than super-competence disguised as idiocy. It’s been known to happen (and I’ve used that for very specific occasions where I was dealing with strangers, once, and never again), but let’s be real.

I mean, look at this little nugget:

Another problem: Oregon Health Authority workers have had to send out federally required notices to OHP members by hand, rather than in the automated way originally intended.

They can barely get their jobs done as it is, trying to deliberately screw with a specific group that may not be easily identified in a manual process…. uh huh.

But hey, maybe they meant to do that.

And monkeys might fly out my butt.


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