UHIP backlog grows to nearly 28,000 cases

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The number of backlogged cases in Rhode Island’s troubled Unified Health Infrastructure Project (UHIP) has ballooned to 27,821.

According to data compiled by the state, out of 27,821 pending cases, 10,030 require additional documentation from clients, and more than 2,000 are duplicate applications. The backlog had been 19,821 as of mid-January, with about 7,000 requiring additional documentation.

Target 12 found the data on the state’s “transparency portal” on Tuesday. It was later removed from the site but remains available through the General Assembly website.

When asked why the spreadsheet was removed from the portal, Sophie O’Connell, a spokesperson for the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, said in an email: “This was simply a miscommunication on our end.”

“We did not intend to post it because the data are preliminary, and we believe that the new dashboard will present the most accurate, complete picture of system performance and customer service,” she said.

O’Connell also said the new data dashboard is scheduled to be released next week.

Since its launch in September, the $364-million, Deloitte-built computer system has been riddled with defects that have affected health care and benefits, including SNAP benefits for food, for tens of thousands of Rhode Islanders.

In February, Gov. Gina Raimondo apologized for UHIP’s problems and acknowledged the state should not have launched it last September. Multiple state officials have resigned over the fiasco and a top Raimondo aide, Eric Beane, has been appointed to help turn it around.

Asked last week how progress on UHIP was going, Acting Secretary of Health and Human Services Anya Rader Wallack told reporters: “We continue to work really hard every day with Eric’s team and Deloitte to develop detailed plans and prioritization of system fixes.”

“It’s still a work in progress and will be for some time,” she said. “But we have made great progress just in the few weeks I’ve been here to get on track with Deloitte, to make sure we have a full accounting of the system’s problems and that we have processes in place for setting prioritizes and fixing them.”

Ted Nesi contributed to this report.