Auditor Hoffer to examine VHC

Vermont Auditor Doug Hoffer has just announced plans to conduct an audit of  “corrective actions” to improve functioning of the Vermont Health Exchange.  The audit is to begin in mid-to late September.

“The preliminary objective of this audit is to evaluate whether the State has plans to correct reported shortcomings in Vermont Health Connect (VHC) and the extent to which it monitors these plans.  During the course of the audit this objective may change based on the information gathered during the planning phase.”

In his letter to Dr. Harry Chen, Acting Secretary, Vermont Agency of Health &Human Services, Auditor Hoffer explains that his office is aware that the DHHS Office of Inspector General is currently doing fieldwork of its own and has chosen a delayed start date in order to avoid complicating VHC’s efforts with an additional ongoing audit.

Results of the Auditor’s own fieldwork will be reported to the Governor,”other statutorily mandated addresses and the public.”

The Governor should welcome involvement by the Auditor, whose reputation for independence and care can only enhance the credibility of VHC and its commitment to transparency and accountability.  It is this kind of proactive effort that will ultimately overcome VHC’s “growing pains.”

Warts and all, this is what good government looks like.

About Sue Prent

Artist/Writer/Activist living in St. Albans, Vermont with my husband since 1983. I was born in Chicago; moved to Montreal in 1969; lived there and in Berlin, W. Germany until we finally settled in St. Albans.

5 thoughts on “Auditor Hoffer to examine VHC

  1. understanding how the web site could be so royally screwed up.  Take my story for instance:

    Back in the November and Dec of 2013, my wife logged in, created an account at Vermont Health Connect.  Multiple moments of hilarity ensued over several months, as logins and passwords worked one day, then failed the next.  Information entered was saved one day, gone the next.  Numerous sessions with the help desk, sometimes via email, sometimes via the phone.  Then success arrived, and we enrolled in a plan.

    But then billing reared up, and we started getting invoices from Health Connect, with instructions to keep paying them.  So we did.  But MVP didn’t agree, and wanted our premiums directly.  My wife called Health Connect, explained things, and was told, yes, keep paying your premiums to Health Connect, we’ll resolve it on our end.  And then another month passed, and two bills arrived again, this time with MVP’s including notice of failure to pay premiums.  So again, another round of phone calls and emails.  Again, Health Connect told her that everything was fine, we’ll take care of it, continuing send payments to them.

    And then a third month. Same story.  And then a fourth month.  Same story.  My wife asked that she be included on emails to supervisors.  No can do, Health Connect said, our system doesn’t allow it.  Round and round she went, and to this day, no resolution of the billing troubles.

    So it leads me to wonder, just why did this exchange need to be so complicated?  People sign up, input their financials, and then done.  That shouldn’t be hard.  On the insurance side, build a database of the three plans for each insurer.  That doesn’t seem too hard either.  Now marry the two databases.  Again, it shouldn’t be too hard.  So why would this require tens of millions of dollars?  And not work?  What could they possibly have spent their time on?  I just don’t get it.

  2. So many folks, Democrats included, worship the almighty private sector.  The Republican party is hog-tied to the notion that governments can’t do anything right, and the media continues to foment the discussion by searching for and highlighting the failures (re VA admin wait lists).  Yet here we have a clear case of the state hiring a PRIVATE FOR-PROFIT consultant to build the exchange, and the consultant absolutely blew the job.  The PRIVATE industry failed on this one, mightily, and without penalty.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *