The contractor handling phone calls and mail for B.C.’s Medical Services Plan and PharmaCare programs continued to pay penalties for slow mail response times, but by the end of September it was meeting its target of answering phones in three minutes or less.
U.S.-based Maximus Inc. took over the service from the health ministry this spring, and has added a call centre to improve phone response.
Maximus has added staff and new technology for its document handling and expects to meet targets for mailed applications and changes by the end of November, the health ministry said in releasing its quarterly report on the service.
Health Minister George Abbott says he’s pleased with the improvement. He has defended the contracted service, pointing out that under ministry control there were many calls that went unanswered, and no quarterly public reports such as the one just released to inform the public about the state of service. Maximus took over the service complete with existing unionized staff.
The quarterly reports are available at the health ministry website, www.gov.bc.ca/health