A Great Idea from Carly Fiorina

April 18, 2012
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The problem:

Unlike private insurance, it built a system requiring monthly updates of each of its 50 million recipients’ eligibility, including filled-out and faxed-in monthly reports, income receipts, etc.

The problem:

Unlike private insurance, it built a system requiring monthly updates of each of its 50 million recipients’ eligibility, including filled-out and faxed-in monthly reports, income receipts, etc.

This requires an army of workers to process piles of eligibility paperwork. Over the years, as the program grew, so did the administrative staff… California’s health care agency reported that it employs a full-time staff of 27,300 to monitor and implement its Medicaid, financial aid and food stamp programs. At an average annual cost of $110,000 per employee, California is budgeting more than $3 billion yearly for administration. That’s money not spent on medical care, food stamps, or the financial assistance — just on the cost to watch over these programs.

The solution:

When people without insurance seek treatment, a trained staff member could simply go to an online address, input basic patient data, and check for available options and whether their income (checked online as it is now with the IRS) qualifies them for government services. This point-of-care enrollment would provide automated checkpoints for eligibility and implement a transparent system with fraud controls.

More on Carly Fiorina’s idea in USA Today.