Monday, April 5, 2010

Who Will Take Care of Your Claims?

So, I work for the recorder's office in my county. Along with handling mortgages and deeds and such, we all so handle some paperwork for both the federal and the state IRS. Recently the federal IRS decided to make some changes to how they pay us.

Previously, they submitted the documents with a voucher saying how much they thought it would be. If the fees weren't correct, we would make the appropriate changes (plus or minus) on the voucher and send it back with the recorded documents along with a bill. They then paid us by check. It took 2-3 months, but the system was working.

March 23rd, they stopped paying by check. Instead, they are using electronic fund transfer (EFT). They actually transfer the money the day they snail mail the documents. We get an email when the money shows up in the account.

Glitch: They don't always send the correct amount (plus or minus) and there is no easy way to correct it.

Glitch: No one knows the answer when you call and let them know that they have overpaid and sent too much money since one of the documents submitted had already been recorded. It was sent a second time (along with money) in error.

One of my coworkers has been on the phone multiple times with people. Each time, she is on hold for at least 10 minutes. Each time, she is told that she has the wrong department and they give her a new number to another wrong department where she is told that someone (who doesn't appear to exist) will call her back.

I'm wondering how having the IRS (they are the ones who will reportedly handle claims in the health care overhaul) will work. What will they do if they owe you money? I'm thinking you and I might be listening to a lot of elevator music and recorded assurances that "calls will be answered in the order received" and "that our call is important to them" and "that the next available representative will be with us shortly."

I guess I'm not sure why they didn't have the foresight to think through what happens if there are mistakes before they started the EFT payment.

Since they didn't think through that, will they think through how claims are paid?


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