Optum to keep running Vermont Health Connect

Gov. Peter Shumlin’s administration will keep the current company running Vermont’s embattled health care exchange for the foreseeable future. The Department of Vermont Health Access extended its current contract with OptumInsight Inc. through Aug. 15. The previous contract expired Thursday, and the state sent out a request for bids Feb. 26. Dean Mudgett, the spokesperson […]

Top official says state not frustrated with exchange contractor

“We’re working hard to get the best damn deal for Vermont in every case, and in so doing, there is friction,” said Lawrence Miller, the chief of health care reform for Gov. Peter Shumlin.

State officials frustrated with Vermont Health Connect contractor

State officials are unhappy with Optum’s work on the health exchange; they are negotiating with another company, Speridian, to fix it.

State seeks new health care tech maintenance contract

The Shumlin administration is seeking a vendor to oversee future maintenance and operations for a suite of health information technology projects, including Vermont Health Connect. The Department of Buildings and General Services issued a request for proposals Feb. 26. The state is seeking bids by March 31 for a contract that would start July 1 […]

Lessons learned from Vermont Health Connect lead to oversight changes for next major IT project 

In light of its troubles with IT contracts for Vermont Health Connect, the state is changing its oversight structure for the next massive project, an overhaul of Human Services information technology.

Officials confident on open enrollment; costs still a concern

The Vermont Health Connect website, offline since September, will go live on Nov. 15. State officials say the site will offer a better user experience, but some business will have to be done by phone or mail. There may also be cost overruns next year, when the state budget already faces a large deficit.

Old mistakes, new problems haunt Vermont Health Connect

In order to relieve stress on the incomplete website, previously insured users are being asked to avoid it and, unless they have a problem, the call center, too. Snail mail is the recommended option. Additional costs to make the exchange functional could deepen the state’s budget gap. The project has a “current shortfall” of $11 million in requested federal grants and could need as much as $8.5 million beyond that, according to the internal memos.

Vermont Health Connect customers encouraged to renew offline

Existing Vermont Health Connect customers looking to renew coverage during the open enrollment period that starts Nov. 15 will be asked to avoid the exchange’s web portal, a state official said. Chief of Health Care Reform Lawrence Miller said the VHC web portal is expected to relaunch before Nov. 15, but those seeking changes will […]

Health care exchange backlog reduced, but many cases still unresolved

Vermont Health Connect is making strides in reducing a backlog in change requests, but thousands more remain in the queue. VHC is trying to clear the backlog before Nov. 15, when a new open enrollment period begins.

State signs $14.3 million expansion of Optum’s exchange contract

The total amount Optum can earn is $29.4 million on a contract that currently runs through the end of January 2015.

Federal law raises questions about who can bid for IT projects that support the exchange

The same provision may interfere with Hewlett-Packard’s plan to hire Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont as a subcontractor on a state health IT project.

CMS letter confirms security issues at Vermont Health Connect

State officials were warned in June that Vermont Health Connect would be disconnected from the federal data hub if security issues were not resolved by early September. The state could not do so, and took down the site voluntarily.

Optum report says poor leadership kept state from holding CGI accountable

Optum’s report finds insufficient state supervision of CGI’s work on Vermont Health Connect, recommends hiring a project manager with experience in handling $50 million to $100 million IT projects.

State signs $9.5 million contract expanding role of Optum in health care exchange

The contract revision includes a Sept. 30 deadline for bringing backlogs to “normal levels” for customers who need to make changes to their coverage or fix errors with billing or personal information.