Vermont cutting ties with health care vendor
Staff Report | August 04,2014
WINOOSKI — State officials announced Monday that CGI, the state’s lead contractor developing Vermont Health Connect, is being dumped in favor of a new firm.
Lawrence Miller, Gov. Peter Shumlin’s chief of health care reform, and Mark Larson, commissioner of the Department of Vermont Health Access, announced the change at a news conference in Winooski. The change marks an abrupt change for the Shumlin administration, which has steadfastly stood behind CGI’s efforts to fix the troubled website while other states and the federal government dismissed the firm weeks and months ago.
The state’s online health insurance marketplace, required by the federal Affordable Care Act, has been plagued by ongoing technological problems. Thousands of users who need to change their information must undergo a cumbersome manual process rather than the faster, electronic way the website was expected to offer.
According to Miller and Larson, Optum, which was brought on board several weeks ago to help the state address the backlog of so-called change of circumstance requests, is expected to take over development of the website. Larson said the firm has been “coming in to help assess and finish work in several states.”
It “seems likely,” Miller said, that the cost of developing and finishing Vermont Health Connect will go up. CGI will receive one more payment of $9.7 million for work through Sept. 20, bringing its total haul, nearly all federal funds, to about $67 million.
A full story will appear in Tuesday’s editions of the Herald.