HHS Completes Y2K Testing for State Medicaid Systems

The Department of Health and Human Services last week gave all Medicaid data exchanges among federal, state and financial institution systems a clean bill of health for the Year 2000 date change.

The testing was conducted among computer systems owned by state Medicaid systems; the Health Care Financing Administration, which oversees the Medicaid program; and the HHS Program Support Center (PSC), which operates the nation's largest grant disbursement system.

"Being ready for the Year 2000 is the primary management challenge at HHS," said Kevin Thurm, the agency's deputy secretary, in a prepared statement. "We are testing our systems with those of our partners to be sure that the information and data flow will not be interrupted during the millennium rollover."

Earlier this month, HCFA determined that there were no states at high risk for Year 2000-related problems in exchanging data, transferring funds and enrolling eligible individuals in Medicaid systems.

The PSC tested its Payment Management System with state Medicaid agencies to ensure that they could access the system. The tests tracked the Medicaid award posting from the original data submission at HCFA, through the Payment Management System and Federal Reserve Banks, and to the financial institutions where the grant recipients found the available program funds.

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