After performance slowness, UHIP system getting fresh fixes

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The beleaguered Unified Health Infrastructure Project, or UHIP, computer system that manages Rhode Island’s public benefits and health insurance faced some “performance slowness” within the system on Wednesday, according to officials at the state office of Health and Human Services.

While the system did not go down or crash, said Department of Administration spokeswoman Ashley O’Shea, it was taking a long time for some users to log in — and proved simply impossible to log in for some because of the delays.

No client’s benefits were impacted, and the public web portal was not affected, but some workers experienced a slowly-churning interface. During the day Wednesday, “we periodically restarted the servers — without turning off the system — to provide immediate relief to workers who were experiencing slow performance,” O’Shea said.

It was determined to be a software issue, and a fix has been implemented, but since the problem was found while the system was determining eligibility for child care assistance for the 2017 calendar year, the department will continue to track child care cases to ensure they’re processed as soon as the issue is resolved.

In mid-November, the state had to shut down the “customer portal” of the system to fix a technical issue.

At one point, the department identified almost 1,600 bugs in the UHIP system to fix. With complaints abounding from families whose benefits have been delayed, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit last week against the state, claiming it’s been leaving the needy in the lurch. The Department of Administration released a statement in response saying it was continuing “to do everything in our power to meet the needs of the people we serve.”