Today, the Office of the Auditor General released an audit report covering the launch of the state's Health Insurance Exchange (HealthSource RI), as well as the Unified Health Infrastructure Project (UHIP) integrated eligibility system. The Rhode Island Department of Administration (DOA), Executive Office of Health and Human Services (OHHS) and Department of Human Services (DHS) provided data to the Auditor General to facilitate the development of this report, and his findings are largely consistent with the challenges detailed in the comprehensive UHIP assessment Acting Department of Human Services Director Eric J. Beane submitted in February.
"I thank the Auditor General for identifying ways we can further improve project governance for UHIP and other state IT projects," Beane said. "We are in the process of addressing many of these items already, and we look forward to continuing to work with our partners in government to ensure the state's IT projects meet the needs of Rhode Islanders."
The audit identifies several project management deficiencies during the development and launch of the UHIP project, including decentralized responsibility for contracts and project deliverables, inadequate system testing and problem reporting, and insufficient state project management and technical staff capacity. Since the release of the UHIP assessment in February, the state has continued to address these items by:
Establishing a single point of contract authority and a clear process for review and subsequent approval or rejection of project deliverables.
Instituting a regular meeting and reporting structure with the state's independent verification and validation (IV&V) contractor to ensure escalation of potential problems.
Significantly increasing state and contract project management and technical staff.
Significantly increasing testing capacity and clear guidelines for moving system changes from testing to production.
Conducting a statewide review and reform of information technology project management practices.
The Auditor General also discussed project costs related to the development of the UHIP eligibility system and the launch of HealthSource RI. His findings show that the actual dollars spent on the UHIP eligibility system total more than $30 million less than the planned expenses approved in the FFY 2016 IAPD. While planned expenses – federal and state expenses combined – were $364 million, actual expenses to date are only $332.5 million, of which $50 million (15%) is state funds.
Earlier today, the state submitted to the federal government the required FFY 2017 IAPD, which accounts for updated maintenance costs, unanticipated system stabilization and recovery expenses, and the $27 million credit that the state recently received from Deloitte. The FFY 2017 IAPD is available online at (http://www.transparency.ri.gov/uhip/).
The UHIP team will continue to work with the General Assembly, Auditor General and stakeholders to improve information technology contracting and project management practices for the UHIP project and other IT projects statewide.