Pay raise for North Dakota

Thursday, August 25, 2011

BISMARCK, N.D. - While providers in most states are seeing Medicaid reimbursement dwindle, HME providers here received an across-the-board increase of 3%. 

"Every little bit helps," said Barb Stockert, government and payer relations coordinator for Bemidji, Minn.-based Healthcare Accessories and the North Dakota state chair for the Midwest Association of Medical Equipment Services. "A number of years ago we had taken some good hits and now they've come back."

The rate increase was effective July 1.

North Dakota Medicaid reviews reimbursement on an annual basis. HME providers meet with agency officials two or three times a year to address questions and concerns with Medicaid policy.

"It's a good working relationship," said Greg Lord, director of Great Plains Health Care in Bismarck. "But it takes time. We've done this for 10 years. You develop a camaraderie and trust factor that goes a long way."

That working relationship extends beyond reimbursement discussions. Medicaid also gives providers a heads-up on other issues, like audits or billing trends.

"They'll tell us about things they are seeing on their end, like a backlog in the claims process," said Stockert. "It does help."