Projected UHIP spending tops $444M

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The price tag for Rhode Island’s most expensive IT project is climbing.

According to a document obtained Friday by Target 12, the new cost estimate for the Unified Health Infrastructure Program, known as UHIP, is $444.5 million through the 2018-19 fiscal year.

The majority of the cost is being covered by the federal government.

Alisha Pina, a spokesperson for the R.I. Department of Human Services, said the projected spending does not include a request for funding to pay Deloitte, the vendor that built the troubled system. She also said spending in the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years is now expected to be lower than previously projected.

“The change reflects updated staffing details, and our continued commitment to hold Deloitte accountable to delivering the system we envisioned and paid for,” Pina said. “As such, we have not submitted a request for funding for Deloitte at this time. It is dependent on our negotiations that are underway.”

UHIP’s troubled launch last September has affected health care and other benefits for tens of thousands of Rhode Islanders.

In January, Gov. Gina Raimondo halted all payments to Deloitte, and in February she publicly apologized for launching the system when it wasn’t ready.

But there are signs of progress. As of August 1, the number of pending applications in the UHIP system had dropped to 4,380, according to the state. Of those, 2,790 are considered “overdue,” meaning that the application has been pending longer than regulations allow.

Susan Campbell (scampbell@wpri.com) is the Call 12 for Action and Target 12 consumer investigator for WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.