Serpa Calls for Auditor General to Conduct Independent Review of UHIP

Thursday, February 23, 2017


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Patricia Serpa

House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Patricia Serpa requested the Office of the Auditor General to conduct an independent audit of the expenditures involving contractors and vendors linked to the UHIP public benefits computer system. 

“This is a serious problem that has impacted all Rhode Islanders. UHIP’s failures had a dramatic effect on our recipients and providers who depended on these services, but the broken system has also impacted all of our state's taxpayers who must foot the bills for this botched effort,” said Representative Serpa. 

On Tuesday, RI Community Food Bank CEO Andrew Schiff told GoLocal LIVE that the need in Rhode Island is great and the failure of United Healthcare Infrastructure Project has increased demand.

“We know that  lots of people have had to turn to food pantries because they’re not getting their SNAP benefits. They haven’t been able to get into an office, into the Department of Human Services for help,” Schiff says.

“There’s just no reason for it. The state has to get it fixed. People who are eligible for benefits need them and that’s one of the ways we can make sure we are preventing hunger,” says Schiff. 
In 2016 the Rhode Island Community Food Bank distributed  9.2 million pounds of food to people in need through their network of 160 agencies. 

Rhode Island Auditor General Dennis Hoyle has accepted her request.

The Investigation 

Serpa has asked auditors to review the funding streams for the project, how costs are allocated, and whether payments were generally consistent with contract terms. She has also requested that the auditors provide the Oversight Committee with this information to help the members meet their responsibilities in conducting the extensive review. 

The Office of the Auditor General will also continue to assess how UHIP is used to determine eligibility and benefits for multiple federal programs including Medicaid, State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), Supplemental Nutritional Assistant Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). 

The report, scheduled for completion on March 31, will report findings and offer recommendations related to UHIP which was used to determine Medicaid and SCHIP eligibility in fiscal year 2016.   

The auditors had also previously communicated findings and recommendations related to UHIP in the fiscal 2014 and 2015 single audit reports.

Serpa added, “Deloitte has been blamed for much of the computer system’s failures in the Administration’s internal report, but a thorough analysis by the auditor general may find failures beyond Deloitte. This will give taxpayers a broader understanding of where the money is being spent. There are many contractual obligations still to be met, and the public deserves to know if there are additional problems that have yet to be uncovered.”



Related Slideshow: UHIP Assessment Report to Governor Raimondo


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