LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – For months, health care workers in Southern Nevada say they’ve received only partial paychecks or have not been paid at all. The issue is tied to new software being used by Nevada Medicaid and a cyber attack impacting it.

Medicaid pays out reimbursements to health care providers when they serve low-income Nevadans, but those providers say that when they submit claims for those services, they’re either denied altogether or are only partially approved. They say this has caused them to lose money while continuing to provide medical care, and in many cases, has made it impossible to pay their staffs.

Nevada Medicaid says some of those unpaid claims will go out tomorrow, but not all. Those back payments will only go back to the end of February, when the agency created a workaround for that cyber attack.

“It’s very hard, you know, for us caregivers here right now,” Tracey Richards, who has worked with local clients as a home health care worker for 17 years, told FOX5 Thursday. “They’re just giving us trickles of money, so all I can do is issue out what they’ve given us.”

Richards says this has had a real impact on her and her colleagues.

“It means facing eviction. It means losing your car. It means not being able to pay your bills,” she said. “It’s very frustrating. You can’t sleep. You don’t know where your next check is going to come from.”

Richards’ frustration has been compounded, she says, by the lack of answers she’s gotten.

“All I’ve heard is maybes,” she said. “I have been told March 8th we’re supposed to get paid. So we shall see. I’ve been told that before.”

In an attempt to get more certainty of payment, Richards says she and some of her colleagues have considered leaving the industry altogether.

“It’s difficult to stay in a field like this where you consider that you don’t matter or you’re not essential,” she said.

Ultimately, though, Richards does not quite see herself doing that at this point.

“You get attached to these clients,” she explained. “These clients get attached to you. You become family to these people. It’s hard to just walk away like that.”

Although, Richards says, she cannot keep pushing forward with this financial uncertainty hanging over her head for much longer.

“We matter, we are essential, and there is no way that we should be going to work and not be getting paid,” she said of her unpaid colleagues. “It’s not fair, and something needs to be done about it.”

For workers who have been severely impacted, advanced payments will be made based on historical claim data. However, Nevada Medicaid says there will still be money owed after tomorrow, and it hopes to have a timeline for resolution in the coming weeks.

The governor’s office is aware of this issue, and while it’s still unresolved, Nevada Medicaid will continue holding listening sessions.

The agency sent FOX5 the following statement:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *