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Posted inHealth

Still on hold: A solution for long DSS call-wait times

It took an average of 54 minutes for callers to reach a Department of Social Services worker by phone last month. That’s an improvement over February’s 70-minute average, and one of the lower average monthly wait times in the past year. But client advocates say it’s long past time things be improved in the phone system, which launched in July 2013 as part of a highly touted “modernization” initiative.

Posted inHealth, Politics

After providers complain, lawmakers consider changes to Medicaid audits

Legislators are considering changes to the way the state audits Medicaid payments to health care providers, who have complained for years that the process penalizes honest errors and can lead to costs dramatically higher than any identified mistakes. One independent pharmacist got involved in pushing for change after an audit of his drug store found $268 worth of problematic prescriptions — and he faced a penalty of $144,814.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Proposed cut in dental reimbursement could jeopardize children’s care

Gov. Dannel Malloy’s proposed budget charges the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) with achieving $90 million in savings through a reduction in provider rates. A conservative estimate of the impact of reducing dental fees by 5.6 percent indicates that 24,000 fewer HUSKY-insured young people under 21 years of age would have access to a dental visit in each of the next two fiscal years.

Posted inHealth

Legislators say DSS hearing rules must change for ‘fundamental fairness’

They’re called fair hearings — the chance people get to appeal decisions made by the state Department of Social Services, such as denials of applications for benefits or being turned down for Medicaid coverage of a certain treatment. But some legislators say the way the department handles the hearings makes them anything but fair.

Posted inHealth

DSS call center wait times drop, but two-thirds of callers still hanging up

Callers who wanted to talk to a Department of Social Services worker by phone last month had to wait an average of 39 minutes and 29 seconds to do so. That’s down from one hour and 13 minutes in February. Social service officials say that’s progress, but client advocates say another figure gives more cause for concern.