State lawmakers want to know what the Department of Social Services is doing to answer the needs of people calling its Medicaid hotline, after hearing about one woman’s runaround.
Lawmakers responded to a report by ABC 17 news that a pregnant woman had been trying to get help from the Department since June. She says it repeatedly lost her paperwork and wouldn’t return her calls.
The chairwoman of the House Committee that focuses on the Department’s budget, Sue Allen, calls the situation “horrendous.”
“It’s not just that one person because we know if one person is having a problem, there are many people having the same or similar problems,” says Allen.
Family Support Division Director Alyson Campbell admits to the committee her division isn’t getting the job done, but says an effort to fix the problem is still getting up to speed.
“It’s been in place now three weeks, and so when we first implemented it we didn’t know the capacity of the staffing that we would need,” says Campbell.
The Department says thirty percent of its callers are having their needs met, which Campbell acknowledges is too low. She says staff are being reassigned to taking calls and other changes are being made to improve that percentage, but Allen says the situation remains frustrating.
“In a company, in a private business, people would be gone,” observes Allen.
She says she’ll be watching for progress.