Rhode Island’s failed Medicaid (UHIP) computer system at center of issue
PROVIDENCE – The resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Elizabeth Roberts Tuesday was just the beginning of Governor Gina Raimondo’s newest attempt to fix the state’s problem-ridden public benefits computer system.
The governor announced Wednesday morning that she will continue to withhold payment from the primary vendor and builder of the Unified Healthcare Infrastructure Project: Deloitte Consulting.
Of the $364 million project, which is paid to multiple vendors, Deloitte has already received about $200 million. In a recent media briefing, Eric Beane, acting director of the state Department of Human Services, said about $68 million is left to give Deloitte.
Beane replaced former Director Melba Depena Affigne, who with Chief Digital Officer Thom Guertin, gave their forced resignations last month. Raimondo gave Beane 30 days to review UHIP and come back with recommendations.
Roberts departure, changing Deloitte’s contract, more training for staff, hiring additional technicians and asking some staff who were laid off prematurely last fall – which Beane described as valuable because of their institutional knowledge – are a result of his findings, which was also released Wednesday.
His assessment concludes it was a mistake to go live in September, a collective decision made by Raimondo and state leaders after receiving what he described as “incomplete and sometimes inaccurate information” and “too rosy” of a picture.
A draft of his Powerpoint presentation for the House Oversight committee hearing scheduled for late Wednesday afternoon included a graphic Deloitte gave a couple of weeks before UHIP was turned on with all green lights.
“Nothing would surprise me,” Serpa said. “It seems we’ve had a huge management problem since before this thing launched in September.”
With reports from staff writers Patrick Anderson and Jennifer Bogdan of the Providence Journal