(Cranston) – Today, the Republican nominee for Governor Allan Fung, stood in front of the Executive Office of Health & Human Services (EOHHS) to bring to light continued issues that face the office.
“The whistleblowers coming from inside DHS are nothing short of RI heroes. We are not turning the corner as the Governor says. Raimondo is only turning a blind eye,” said Mayor Fung.
On August 30th, Department of Human Services Director Courtney Hawkins was informed by the USDA administration that the elected revisions to a state contract for the SNAP program will increase the cost of the UHIP roll out an additional $12 million. With this latest price increase, the total cost of the rushed UHIP launch is now $660 million.
Additionally, Rhode Island’s SNAP payment error rates are the second highest in the country at 11.24%. The national average for SNAP payment error rates is 6.3%. If this issue isn’t corrected significantly, the state will be subject to even more fines.
It has been brought to our knowledge the Medicaid estate recovery division in EOHHS legal services, has recently been reorganized due to a backlog in cases. One report contained nearly 800 backlogs which resulted in lost money for the state.
“Our sources have told us that collections is still using the antiquated ‘ProCats’ system because the UHIP version is not even programmed. I challenge the Raimondo administration to come clean and divulge just how much money the state lost out on because of her legal department’s incompetence,” said Mayor Fung.
Finally, one former and current state worker came into our headquarters who were tasked with data entry to help speed up SNAP application processing. The assignment was sent to the workers’ personal emails rather than their state ones. They were then told to report offsite to the Deloitte offices on Charles Street in Providence. While they were inputting data, there would be occasions where someone didn’t have a social security number. Both workers claim they were told by Deloitte staffers to just ‘click through it’ and it auto-populated a social security number.
“Given the serious nature of their claims of fraud and their supporting documents they provided that corroborated much of their story, we have referred them to the Federal Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General referral hotline. My understanding is that they have done that, and as such have been asked not to speak to the press until their interviews with the OIG,” said Mayor Fung.
It will be a priority of a Fung Administration to make sure the mess the current Governor has created is cleaned up.
“When I get in as Governor, we’re doing a full sweep and cleaning house. And any fines we incur are going to be paid for by Deloitte,” said Mayor Fung.
First, Mayor Fung will ask for the Federal HHS OIG to come in and conduct an audit to get a complete understanding of the problem at hand.
Secondly, Mayor Fung will create triage teams to send out to the nursing homes and VNAs while ensuring a full and realistic account of funds owed or unaccounted for by the current administration.
Finally, Mayor Fung will create a backup system of paper and pencil to ensure benefit timeliness. It is important that those in need get the benefits they need while we fix this mess.
“If the experts tell me there is no possibility of the system working, then we are going to trash it, and start over. I know Deloitte has donated $165,000 to the Democratic Governors Association in 2017/18 to prop Raimondo up, so she won’t stand up to them, but I will,” said Mayor Fung.