A top ambassador at the Bloom Affliction Costs Administration aftermost anniversary said she is “relatively optimistic” that the Medicare provider acquittal systems will be chargeless of Year 2000 computer problems, but medical accessories still affectation a threat.
HCFA ambassador Nancy-Ann DeParle told a collective audition of the House Bloom and Environment Subcommittee and the House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee that Medi-care claims are accepted to be paid “promptly and accurately” afterwards Jan. 1, 2000, based on surveys accustomed from accommodating bloom affliction providers.
“Providing affection affliction goes above announcement and claims processing,” DeParle said. “It depends on doctors, hospitals and added account providers ensuring that their medical accessories will assignment and their offices abide open. It additionally depends aloft biologic and medical accumulation chains continuing to accomplish uninterrupted.”
But Joel Willemssen, administrator of the Civil Agencies Advice Systems appointment in the Accounting and Advice Management analysis of the General Accounting Office, said he is beneath optimistic about HCFA’s advance in authoritative its acquittal systems Year 2000-compliant. Willems-sen said HCFA has not been “rigorous enough” in its testing.
“The bloom affliction area has not fabricated able advance apropos Y2K,” Willemssen said. “HCFA lacks a abundant end-to-end testing plan. I’m added pessimistic. The bloom affliction area is not in acceptable shape” because of abeyant problems that it is not acquainted of.
According to HCFA, about 100 percent of Medicare Part B claims providers and added than 90 percent of Part A claims providers filed Year 2000-compliant forms aftermost ages with eight-digit date fields, with four digits apparent for the year field. DeParle said HCFA is alive with industry barter groups to accompany the acquiescence amount to 100 percent for Part A and Part B claims.
Willemssen said medical accessories such as alluring resonance imaging systems, X-ray machines, pacemakers and cardiac monitors still arise to be accessible to the Year 2000 date change.
“Patient affliction is important, and that’s the ancillary of it we are all anxious about,” DeParle said. “I’m ambidextrous with the costs end of it.”
Representatives from the Food and Drug Administration and the medical accessory industry beneath to appear the collective hearing, subcommittee associates said.
The American Hospital Association (AHA), which represents about 5,000 hospitals, bloom systems, networks and added bloom affliction providers, told the subcommittees that 90 percent of hospitals apprehend their medical accessories to be Year 2000-compliant by year’s end.
“The majority of the nation’s hospitals apprehend to be absolutely Y2K-compliant by Jan. 1, 2000, based on the after-effects of a nationally adumbrative analysis we conducted,” said Ronald Margolis, arch advice administrator at the University of New Mexico Hospital, who represented AHA at the collective hearing.
AHA supports HCFA’s affirmation that the Medicare provider acquittal systems will be chargeless of Year 2000 computer glitches afore the new millennium.
Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), who chaired the collective hearing, said he commends the advance that HCFA and the bloom affliction industry accept fabricated on Year 2000 fixes. But a above analysis is bound approaching, Upton warned.
“The analytical analysis that still awaits HCFA and its Medicare contractors will activate this summer, back they will alpha to retest their systems,” Upton said.
“With that in mind, HCFA will charge to accomplish abiding that accident affairs are absolute abundant to administer any mission-critical failures that may occur,” he added.
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