Thursday, December 21, 2006

Other Links/News

Eye on Williamson County has a post up today regarding fraud within HHSC.....

Dig Deeper Texas has a post up (kinda late in posting this, sorry) regarding Albert Hawkin's involvement with the Texas Health Institute.



HHSC announces partial cancellation of IEES/Accenture project

"New Strategy" could be beginning of the end for failed experiment

HHSC will announce publically later today a "new strategy" on its call center experiment and the Accenture contract. In a tacit acknowledgment that the experiment is a failure, HHSC will

* Drop most plans for Accenture to do eligibility work. The HHSC announcement says that in the "rebalanced model" Accenture will scan the case documents into the system, run data-broker checks, and report the information to state staff, who will proceed with the case.

* The JSAP system put in place to decide who will get state jobs under the new system will be scrapped.

* 900 Texas Works positions that are currently considered temporary positions will be converted to regular full-time positions

* Cut the contract by $356 million (about 30%) and end it in 2008 instead of 2010

* Accenture will take over direct operation of CHIP eligibility from Maximus. (This is probably the result of Maximus' plans to reduce its participation in the IEES project after losing nearly $50 million on the "Texas Project" in 2006)

* No further roll-out with Accenture. The pilot in Travis, Hays, and Williamson counties will be resumed "after a rigorous readiness review" and "with a more limited role for the vendor". No other roll-out will be attempted before the contract ends in 2008.

* The HHSC announcement also says that TIERS will be rolled out statewide over about 18 months beginning in January 2007.

It's a good start. Now, cancel the contract, rebuild eligibility, look hard at TIERS.

The announced changes are a welcome sign that HHSC is moving in the right direction in managing this failed experiment, but the $543 million that will still go to Accenture will be wasted, and the time from now to the end of 2008 will be wasted trying to keep a failed experiment on life support.

* The contract with Accenture should be cancelled. Several provisions allow the state to cancel at any time. We have already paid Accenture over $120 million and there is no indication that the State of Texas will get any value from this contract: the remaining $543 million will be throwing good money after bad.

* We should start right away on rebuilding our capacity to provide human services eligibility to the people of Texas . Converting the temporary positions to regular status is a start, but we need to hire an additional 1000 or more staff, and rebuild our capacity to train them.

* Before we commit more resources or cases to TIERS, the whole system must be evaluated by competent staff who are not paid by HHSC. If the system can be fixed, it should be. If it cannot be fixed, it must be replaced


Anonymous said...

The one thing I noticed from the broadcast versus the e-mail sent by Hawkins to staff is that JSAP is being "suspended" by Hawkins and not "scrapped" as mentioned here. I wish Hawkins would say "scrapped".

Anonymous said...

Another comment I wanted to add is that the timing of this announcement sure is suspect in light of the San Antonio Express-News article about the audit report just released- Hawkins did not bother to address the real problems with TIERS, but is quick to throw out these other items.

Fr. John Whiteford said...

I think with the Democrats taking over the House and Senate, there was probably a desire to start moving ahead of being dragged before over sight comittee hearings to explain what they have allowed to happen here in Texas. I would look for even more back peddling in the coming year. This is great news. I hope someone investigates what has happened, especially with the TIERS contract and why the contract with Accenture was really pushed through contrary to all reasoning.

Anonymous said...

I agree with fr. john. We may not have gotten rid of Perry & Co, but it's possible that we weakened their support in Washington. I would love to see Mr. Hawkins go to Washington next year and deliver his spin to the Dems there. Hawkins wins my vote for Worst Commissioner Ever. No other commissioner during my tenure has been so ruthless about crushing and ruining the very agency he oversees.

Anonymous said...

We had an incoming State Senator visit our eligibility office last week. I hear he did this kind of thing at the highway department. He didn't see to know much about TIERS but at least he was asking the right questions.

Anonymous said...

I think it is hilarious. Someone finally looking at all of the fraud. That is what has bothered me since HB 2292 was signed. Rich getting Richer, poor getting poorer. That is the Republican way.
Hang in there guys...Maybe something will happen this legislative session. If Strayhorn had not run for Governor, we would have another one right now. Chris Bell. I blame that on the Union having backed her. It was a ploy. That's all...

hhscsurvivalist said...

I say all TSEU members should stand and take a bow! Those who are not members because they say "What is the Union doing for me?".....Well, there's your answer! If not a member - please join! We need a stronger voice in Austin.....I'd like us to be like New Jersey one day - their State employees elect their own governor!