Responding to recommendations from federal government, state extends testing and training timeline by 60 days to ensure smooth transition for workers and customers
CRANSTON, R.I. (June 21, 2016) Rhode Island Health and Human Services Secretary Elizabeth Roberts announced today that the state will launch a new integrated health and social service eligibility and enrollment system on September 13, extending the testing and training timeline by 60 days. The decision to extend until September will allow the state to implement readiness recommendations offered by the federal government in recent weeks, including a pilot of the new system. The new system will replace an antiquated software system that has been in use for more than three decades and will seamlessly integrate healthcare, SNAP, cash assistance, child care and long term care services and supports.
"Rhode Island has been running the same enrollment and eligibility software since the Reagan Administration," said Secretary Roberts. "This new system is a smart investment that will result in better customer service and significant savings for state taxpayers. As we move toward the September launch, we will continue to incorporate best practices and lessons learned from other states. We are confident that setting a launch date in September will allow the state ample time to anticipate and prepare for any issues that may develop during a transition from an aging software system to a modern, digital portal that meets our 21st century needs."
In the weeks ahead of the system launch, the state will continue to conduct worker training and additional statewide testing, in response to recommendations from the federal government. Additionally, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, the Department of Human Services and HealthSource RI will continue their broad outreach to stakeholders, advocates and customers to inform impacted Rhode Islanders about the new, more convenient application and enrollment process the new system will support. There will be no additional software development costs associated with the extended timeline and the state will be able to absorb the modest operational costs of maintaining the current system for two additional months.
The new system, commonly referred to as the Unified Health Infrastructure Project (UHIP), is a comprehensive, federally-compliant, digital enrollment and eligibility system. The system is projected to achieve approximately $16 million in partial-year savings during FY17 through more efficient processes and enhanced protections against waste and fraud.