September 20, 2017
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Comments for: Report: Lack of prioritization, too much latitude for state contractor led to $10.6 million in MaineCare overpayments

AUGUSTA, Maine — Staff members at the state Department of Health and Human Services were aware of a technical flaw in the state’s new MaineCare claims and payment system in August 2010, a month before the system’s launch. However, the flaw wasn’t resolved until March 2012,… Read More
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  • Ok, so doctors are getting caught over billing Mainecare for millions, the system itself caused over payment of millions, but it is the people on Mainecare that are the frauds… Do I have that right Governor?

  • Anonymous

    So, in other words “What we have heah is a failuh to communicate.” (Cool Hand Luke, in case you are wondering).

    • StillRelaxin

      Nice and apt movie line, but I don’t remember the speech impediment.

  • Anonymous

    So, to what extent is Molina Healthcare responsible for the cost to the State of Maine. Let me guess, not at all, we the taxpayers will foot the bill and the company is probably still being paid large sums of money for a failed system. What about the DHHS employees that were aware of the problems with the computer system and failed to notify agency leadership?

    • Anonymous

      You are probably most correct. The software in place, in that sort of system, should be able to “speak” to other software (the list of eligibles), the vendor seems to be at fault. Through the whole history of “computer nightmares” at DHHS – it goes way back – not one vendor has been asked to repay anything to my knowledge.

      • Anonymous

        It is not up to the vendor to ensure that their software can cooperate with other software systems. It is up to the end user to ensure that the software package can meet their needs. They aren’t picking names from a hat, selecting a software package is usually a lengthy process that takes months or even a year before they go through with an implementation process. Before they even get to that phase though, its up to the end users to express their needs of the software–companies providing this stuff cannot read minds. Its up to the end users again to ensure that this new product has a way to extract the data and how it can be used in their existing systems. It continues to get more complicated from there, but anyone familiar with databases, IT, and software knows what I am getting at. Its not this big unknown.

        The error here is completely on DHHS–user error, not vendor error for not communicating with the competition or other software packages. Most software does essentially speak to other software, through using import/export data features within the software or going straight to the source, the database, and manually pulling the data from one location, finding the similar tables/fields, and uploading it to the other. Still, this would be a job of someone in their IT department, and something usually covered before the implementation of the potential software package to ensure that they can communicate with other systems in some form. It sounds like the ball was dropped well before they even starting using this new software.

  • Guest

    Outrageous. All those people out there living in needless angst!

  • Anonymous

    Once again DHHS just proves how inept its leadership is on a daily basis. What is more aggravating is how lame of an excuse they are coming up with as a reason for this mess. They must have absolutely nobody with any computer, database, or server skills whatsoever. Many places deal with multiple software packages that do not communicate, but there is one common thing between any piece of software like this–the data must be stored somewhere. If that data exists, then there is a way to compare information, even if its through separate systems. No, its not easy, and its not going to take 5 minutes to figure out–but it won’t take 2 years either.

    I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Why should we expect anything different out of DHHS but poor excuses and a waste of money?

    • Anonymous

      Search your memory…very similar headlines about Mainecare and DHHS under Baldacci.

  • StillRelaxin

    Who’s running that department? Mary Mayhew. Who appointed her to do that job? Paul Richard LePage. And folks are wondering why they can’t get the job done? The blind leading the blind across a busy highway is never going to end well.

    • Anonymous

      LePage also created and appointed the job of Chief Operations Officer to see that someone was actually running the department because he knew the areas in which her skills were lacking. Haven’t heard that man’s name mentioned in a long time.

      • StillRelaxin

        So a single position that should have gone to one competent person went to hiring two incompetent people who still can‘t get the job done? For the first time in two years I’m beginning to see what Mr. LePage’s jobs plan might be. Please if that other person’s name was LePage, don’t tell me. I’ve heard enough bad news for one day.

    • Anonymous

      Did you even read the article? It clearly stated that DHHS employees were aware of the flaws in the system in 2010 and did not make agency leadership aware of the problems until 2012. Under what administration was Molina Healthcare contracted to design and implement this new computer sytem? Baldacci’s would be my guess. Does Mayhew hold a level of responsibility, yes. Refer to my post below. To what extent is Molina Healthcare responsible for paying for the mistake? What about the employees at DHHS that knew about the problem and said nothing, are they still employed?

      • StillRelaxin

        Yes I did. “Improper payments were made between September 2010 and March 2012.” When did Lepage come into office? January of 2011. Hired Mary and many other incompetents (lets take a moment now to say goodbye to those who’ve already been forced into early retirement) shortly thereafter. Then what did they do for two solid years? Continue griping about the poor and needy. Maybe if they knew or cared about what they were supposed to be doing instead of griping about those they are supposed to serve they could have caught this error in 2010. Ya think? Who knows, maybe via showing they can do something positive they may not have been wiped out in the last election cycle. Good work is usually paid in kind, bad work gets you fired.

        • Anonymous

          They did catch the error in 2010, but it seems nobody did anything about it and now its finally caught up with them. I am not saying Mayhew or Lepage are completely innocent here, but there has to be more to the story here. Who within the department kept this a secret for nearly two years? I mean the top people of any private company have absolutely no idea what goes on with the majority of their employees…that is what management is for. So I’d say while the top deserves the blame, I think middle-upper management is the true problem here and should be removed from their cushy jobs.

          • StillRelaxin

            Then logic would dictate that lots of folks in middle management would have been fired. I haven’t heard anything about such firings. Therefore I’d guess that upper management (We all know who’s in charge now, right?) knows that they are truly at fault here. They also know that they can’t fire the folks they’d like to simply “blame” because in the end it would only result in worsening the public’s and the court’s perception of how incompetent they have been. Their only real option is to try not to be so incompetent in the future, and so far that’s clearly been more of a challenge than they’re prepared to handle.

          • Anonymous

            They have clearly proven over the years that they basically excel at only one thing, incompetency.

            The public perception of DHHS cannot get much lower–in fact my opinion of them would improve significantly if they fired the incompetent people who kept this from being fixed for almost 2 years. It would be one thing if Mayhew said she learned about the problem when she started in 2010 and did nothing about it, but that does not seem to be the case.

          • Anonymous

            Of course when these middle management people worked under the Baldacci administration they were probably considered by folks like yourself, as the the cream of the crop. How can the agency leadership be at fault for a problem that they were not made aware of for two years. The problems were detected by these agency employees while Baldacci was still in office, I do not see you casting any blame upon that administration. Why?

          • StillRelaxin

            Ah, because they’re in charge, are supposed to know what the heck their doing and had TWO solid years to figure out there was a 10.6 million dollar discrepancy! Competent leaders don’t blame others for their own shortcomings. Thankfully for this group Keystone leaders they’ve got a few folks bedazzled and defending them. I’m not too sure the public as a whole is gullible enough to jump on that bandwagon. Good luck in the battle ahead, it looks like it’s going to be a rough one for you.

          • I wonder what you would be saying here had any middle management person lost their job over this.

          • StillRelaxin

            Should we be entertaining such fantasies only to make those at fault feel a little better or perhaps look a wee bit better to those among us that are not very inquisitive? Middle management didn’t screw up and no one got fired. What does that tell you about who’s really at fault for this massive screw up? That’s right, the folks at the top who if they had any professional decency at all would fire themselves.

        • Anonymous

          Maybe you did not even take the time to read my post before you started whining about LePage and Mayhew. It was not brought to the attention of agency leadership until 2012!!! As ‘Fennis’ replied, it sounds like mid level management within the agency, you know the career agency employees, that failed in this instance. Maybe if you would listen to the context of the problem you would understand that it was not the fault of either LePage or Mayhew. How about the agency holds Molina Healthcare accountable for the problems with the software design flaws in the system they sold the Baldacci administration on. By the way check out Molina MMS, they seem to have more prblems than just faulty computer systems, they seem to like to get rid of American workers in favor of utilizing foreign workers here on H1B visas. Nice company that the Baldacci administration chose to do business with.

          • StillRelaxin

            I read it. You just don’t present a logical explanation as to why “leadership” couldn’t find their you know what from their elbow for two solid years. Wasn’t anyone interested in looking at the balance sheets during those years? Math isn’t my thing but I think even I’d have noticed a 10.6 million dollar discrepancy. Why didn’t they fire someone (ANYONE!) if they thought they were holding out information for “whatever” reason they would like “you” to believe? Logic suggest that they know who’s to blame, they just don’t want to fire themselves.

        • Anonymous

          LePage was elected in November of 2010. He came into office in January 2011.

          • StillRelaxin

            Yep, I made a mistake there. See Mr. LePage and Mrs. Mayhew, admitting to a mistake isn’t so hard to do. Corrected thanks to your help Buddy.

    • Anonymous

      It doesn’t matter that the system was set up under Baldacci and the people running it kept the problem a secret for two years. You might also want to ask why the state employees kept it a secret. Still got to be Gov. LePage fault. The attacks just don’t stop. LOL

      • Anonymous

        If you read the article, the new system was supposed to correct the old system. That was in 2010. Log on now, just as, during the presidential election you commented on how the President “blames” Bush……you, my friend are doing the same exact thing, but incorrectly. The fact of the matter is: the old system didn’t work, and the new system didn’t either.

  • Anonymous

    In other words, total incompetence by DHHS and greed by private contractor. This is a calamity of Bob Nutting proportions!

  • Anonymous

    Back to the old the left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing! I guess to update that it was the payment computer didn’t know what the eligibility computer was doing. In some organizations the messenger of “it is not working” leads to termination.

  • Anonymous

    So the “you take care of it” mentality of the state has resulted in 10.6 million dollar overpayment. Who is running the show? It seems that the folks in DHHS don’t have a clue when it comes to dealing with computers nor are they capable of hiring people who do have the capability to efficiently set up a system. The ship of fools has left the dock and are sailing in choppy waters.

  • dee

    here we go election is over lepage is still trying to do his thing

  • Anonymous

    Just wondering where all these armchair quarterbacks were for the decades when Augusta couldn’t give money away fast enough. Nouveau righteous is even more obnoxious than nouveau rich.

  • Anonymous

    I guess that i find the most disgusting thing about all of this is the public opinion that it is the people recieving Mainecare that are most at fault for the problems with MaineCare, which this proves, it is not. The state has had accounting problems all over the place for a very long time and the average person is getting the shaft by having their benefits reduced or eliminated while nothing happens, either criminally or socially to these people making the screwup at the state and national level. If any of us performed this way on our taxes, we would surely be seeing time in jail, yet these corporate and state and federal government workers just recieve the proverbial slap on the wrist. I wish i had a solution but it just seems to be a situation when things like this happen, they might as well say, “Listen up, Middle Class and Poor, time for you to bend over again”>(

  • Anonymous

    Some “business” administration we’ve got, eh?

  • Bill Cat

    Just never occurred to any of the bumbling bureaucrats to just close up this hole before the program started? Nah, they ran out and opened little companies to get in on the 10M gravy train instead. LOL

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