RI leaders wrongly promised UHIP would ‘pay for itself’ by next June

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Two years after insisting Rhode Island’s new $445-million advantages system would pay for itself by subsequent June, state officers now admit they do not know if the issue-plagued pc system will ever save sufficient to cowl its value.

The costliest IT undertaking in state historical past, the Unified Well being Infrastructure Venture – or UHIP – has turn into synonymous with authorities failure since its disastrous launch a yr in the past this week. The issues affected tens of hundreds of Rhode Islanders enrolled in packages together with meals stamps and Medicaid, and the fiasco pressured Gov. Gina Raimondo to fireside senior officers and apologize for going ahead over federal objections.

“I’m not a cheerful buyer,” Raimondo advised Goal 12 in an interview this month.

“Errors are going to be made,” she stated. “The query is, do you’ve gotten a pacesetter who’s going to acknowledge the errors, take motion, maintain individuals accountable and repair them. And prior to now few months I’ve changed my complete staff, we’ve proven outcomes, and we’re on our option to fixing the system.”

But considerations about UHIP have been being raised lengthy earlier than it launched, because the challenge’s preliminary price range soared from roughly $200 million to $364 million – on the similar time that its go-reside date was being pushed again greater than a yr, to July 2016. (It was later delayed one other two months.) Legislative price range specialists privately questioned why it was rising so quick.

In response to Goal 12’s inquiries on the time, the R.I. Government Workplace of Well being and Human Providers in October 2015 offered a 12-web page presentation it now says was ready by Deloitte, the seller constructing UHIP, that dismissed the price considerations and painted a rosy image. The doc was additionally given to the legislature.

“UHIP will save Rhode Islanders greater than $ninety million annually (together with $forty million common income) and pay for itself by FY18,” the presentation declared – a reference to the present 2017-18 fiscal yr, which ends June 30. It stated the financial savings would come from “waste and fraud prevention, operational enhancements, extra environment friendly providers and error discount.”

From an October 2015 state presentation defending UHIP.

Now, although, state officers say that estimate was incorrect – they usually can’t supply a brand new one. Additionally they acknowledge UHIP generated no internet financial savings within the fiscal yr that ended June 30, regardless of guarantees as late as final November that it might nonetheless…

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