EDITORIAL: Legislators should probe DHS snafus
|By The Honolulu Star-Advertiser|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
So the latest upheaval to beneficiaries of
Earlier this month, at least 4,582 families enrolled in
Last week, worried enrollees and families, some with medical appointments already on the calendar, flooded state
McManaman said the vendor failed to send the earlier notice, a renewal form, on the scheduled
Even if this explanation covers the full extent of the problem -- and without a statement from Cardinal, that can't be assumed -- there have been too many snags in operations lately to let this slide. McManaman said that ultimately nobody has lost insurance, and apology letters going out now extend continuous coverage through
But the disruption to families, who had to stop everything and rush down to state offices for reassurance, was far too great to wave off like that.
Lawmakers, who seem fully aware of the dysfunction, need to step in and call for a full accounting of the problems. An informational briefing should be slated where McManaman and other DHS officials could answer questions about the slate of problems over the past several months.
Some of them may be related to information technology. The recent rollout of the agency's
In May, the department mistakenly notified 4,500 aged, blind or disabled individuals that their benefits would end. Those notices were generated "as a result of adding new long-term care functionality" to Kolea. McManaman contends that the latest problem was not due to Kolea.
But there have been numerous reports by DHS employees, who asked not to be identified, who beg to differ, pointing to a string of software glitches.
Whether such reports qualify as a smoking gun or merely a red flag, they're not something to be ignored.
The enactment of the ACA has added new requirements for financial information from
But that data collection and other aspects of the Obamacare rollout has been plagued with so many problems that the public's confidence in DHS competence has been badly shaken. Last year, for example, the state sent 250,000 Quest members information about their health insurance options, but inadvertently left out information from
But the whole state is underwriting the cost of these errors, so the general public has the prerogative to feel indignant, too.
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