More than 100 child care providers underpaid due to UHIP technical problems

DHS Department of Human Services Rhode Island

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island DHS came forward to acknowledge that 130 child care providers have been underpaid due to technical issues with UHIP.

Kristen Duffy operates six child care centers in the state and knew first hand that there was a problem with the integrated benefits system.

“This is the first times in 10 years that I’m having to take a loan,” she said.

According to Duffy, the state owes her thousands for kids who receive child care assistance.

“We’re not able to see who’s approved, who’s not,” Duffy said. “We’ve had kids in our building for two months now that who knows if we’re getting paid for them or not.”

Duffy also explained that the system won’t open online for her sometimes and certain links within the system don’t work.

“I can’t tell my employees: my check didn’t come in this week, I can’t pay you,” said Duffy.

According to a spokesperson for the DHS, the state already sent out more than $130,000 to reconcile underpayments.

Other child care facilities have been overpaid, she also stated.

The DHS Director Melba Depena commented: “our child care providers deserve better customer service. I am deeply grateful that they have continued to provide excellent service to the children in their care while we work to resolve these issues.”

She directed the department to focus on sending weekly payments to impacted providers and additional provider training on the new system.