September 23, 2017
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Comments for: Computer problem extended MaineCare payments to ineligible recipients; budget figures in doubt

AUGUSTA, Maine – A computer problem that allowed at least 19,000 Mainers who were not eligible for Medicaid to receive benefits has thrown state budget assumptions into doubt and may extend the current legislative session while the situation is addressed, state officials said Tuesday. “We had… Read More
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  • Anonymous

    Must be Baldies fault.  The Maximum Leader walks on water

  • Anonymous

    Fear not Bangorian the LePage apologist will be along shortly to tell us all how it is someone else’s fault.

    •  I am no fan of LePage.. but in this case it really is only partially his fault.   Partially yes because they KNEW there was a problem and didn’t deal with it for over a year.   But partially not because the MaineCare computer system has been a total clusterrrrrr… um.. mess since the late 90’s.  The last system was so bad that it made textbooks in computer science and management classes as examples of what NOT to do.  And as much as I’d like to.. you can’t really blame LePage for that.    The current system is better.. but not much.  DHHS has consistently made bad choices when it comes to computer systems and subcontracting for new software.    They insist on trying to reinvent the wheel each time.. but at the same time hiring out to the lowest bidder who has no idea how to handle a job of that scope.   

      • Anonymous

        This problem goes back 7 or 8 years or more. Remember the computer that cost something like $50M that either didn’t work properly, or, more likely, incompetence prevented its effective use?

        • Anonymous

          This problem with this computer system goes back many years during the Baldacci years and middle part of the King administration.  The fact is putting blame on LePage and Mayhew is foolish. They should send out letters to those 19,000 and definitely stop their benefits period. Then continue cutting this budget with this department that continues to cause these problems. Until they can have some stability to this department keep cutting and booting these folks off of these programs that are breaking this state’s budget and taxpayers.

          • Anonymous

            You mean to tell me that the State of Maine is using computer programs that are 15 years old?  Hogwash!  Data is only as good as the analysts who are collecting and disecting it.

          • Anonymous

            Oh please Baldacci and King had problems with this system too.  The problem was made worse when Baldy tried to change to a new system that cost taxpayers more than 50 million dollars which hasn’t worked yet.  The fact is the Liberals are angry that the handouts to one of their key voting blocks is starting to be cut and they don’t like it.  The DHHS has had major issues for decades which got out of control thanks to the Maine Democrat Party.  It had been neglected by Democrats now that LePage is cutting these programs which are long overdue the Liberals are crying fowl. It is time to boot most of these folks off of these programs let them go find new people to mooch off of.

          • Anonymous

            And its going to rain tomorrow because of democratic party

          • Anonymous

            City of Bangor dreams of software 15 years old.

          • Anonymous

            I assure you that is not true.

          • Anonymous

            Ok, might not dream but still operates on MS DOS in some departments. I assure you that is true.

          • Anonymous

            So what! Programs can be changed and computers can be upgraded-your point is what? Maybe we should take some computers back from the schools so we can run the State.

          • Anonymous

            Oh Please! Mayhew is already blaming her staff for not telling her until January, but she and LePage didn’t tell the Legislature until 2 months later. She and LePage are just blaming someone else (again) while trying to cover their own incompetence. I’m more inclined to believe she and Lepage knew about it well before January but didn’t want to admit he already fired everyone that might have had a clue as to how to fix it, or at least who to contact to figure it out.

          • Guest

            Do you have proof of your statements,,,,,,,,,,or are you just plain stupid?

          • Anonymous

            Nice Try . The problem started back in the King administration with the computer system was made worse by Baldacci by spending more than 50 million dollars of taxpayers money on this current system.  The fact is this computer system doesn’t work now and didn’t work back then.  These providers and these folks who weren’t supposed to have these service should be reimbursing state government for the lost money from providing illegal services.  That is wrong with you folks we should continue to support these failed progams , having contractors and people committing this illegal behavior.  It is good that we have Mary Mayhew and LePage trying to fix this mess because we know Baldacci , King and Democrats would have continued to sweep it under the rug.  It is time to cut these programs, boot these folks off and have them go find new sugar daddies.

          • Anonymous

            I recieved a $3m brain transplant while erroneously on MaineCare.  If I can’t find $3m does that mean I have to mail my brain to Augusta?  Will I have to publicly apologize to Gov. LePage?

          • Guest

            Excellent points!!!

          • Guest

            Just what would those letters say, and what would be their impact, especially to those who have repeatedly advised anyone dealing with them that they are not on MaineCare, but the computer says they are, they say they’re not, the computer says they are, the office and hospital staff say they are, it’s reported to DHHS, nothing happens.  But a letter arrives saying what, but sending anyone receiving it into a blind panic, people who are already in a more vulnerable position than the State government.

          • Anonymous

            You are wrong, this computer system has only been in place a couple of years. The other one was so bad it was replaced.

          • Anonymous

            Don’t you know darkcat is never wrong?

      • Anonymous

        LePage knew or should have known that DHHS had problems with the computer system. It certainly wasn’t news. A prudent manager would have taken steps to either fix it so both systems could interact with each other or he could have actually had human beings comparing the names and numbers so that 19,000 people who were ineligible for benefits didn’t receive them. This administration is very long on talk and apparently very short on ability.

        • Anonymous

          You hit the nail on the head with 3 words…”a prudent manager”.

          • Guest

            And your definition of a “prudent manager ” is …………..Baldacci?

          • Anonymous

            Absolutely not! Baldacci “balanced” his budget by not paying the State’s bills for several months and pretending the debt didn’t exist. For me it’s not about the Baldacci camp vs. the LePage camp. I didn’t like Baldacci and I don’t like LePage. Good God, I hope the next one is at least honest.

          • Anonymous

            Angus King did the same exact thing as Baldacci.  He bankrupted MAINE DOT having to write IOU’S promising to pay the money back . Maine DOT still has massive debt from the huge transfers of money from King and Baldacci.  King also did the same to Education but the money got “put back” into the account after Bond packages passing.  You can attack LePage but at least he is cutting down on the gimmicks , the unethical behavior of taking money out of each account.  Maine can’t tax, borrow or spend its way to prosperity , cuts has to be made pain has to be made to everyone.

          • Anonymous

            No, the definition of prudent manager is: “Not Mary Mayhew”.

          • Anonymous

            Where in hell did you ever get that idea? What would ever make you think that I would consider someone who basically gave away Maine’s liquor monopoly a prudent anything. 

        • Guest

          So , if i understand you, from the day LePage took his oath,January 2011, he should have moved from the Blaine house to DHHS and sat at the keyboard of their computer system to clean up mistakes made by the previous administration!

          • Guest

            No. We need “a prudent manager.”

          • Anonymous

            No, but he might’ve wanted to hire someone to do so in his place.
            This stuff is not news. This particular system has been a nightmare from jumpstreet. To say that Baldacci’s admin didn’t tell Mary and Paul about this is hogwash. Let’s not forget that he didn’t let the last director of DHHS go until October of 2011.  Think she didn’t mention this issue before she was let go?
            Right.

          • Anonymous

            No. What he should have done was find competent people rather then those who were forced on him by Tarren Bragdon to be part of his administration. Do you honestly think that a major company would allow someone with the level of experience that Mary Mayhew had to take over one of it’s major divisions? (and that wasn’t meant to be critical of Ms Mayhew, she just did not have the experience) Not on you life. It was no secret that the DHHS computer system was flawed. Would a major company knowing that its system was flawed take steps to fix it. You know damn well they would. Would the board of directors and stockholders put up with a CEO who knew that his computer system was not up to the job for over a year? Not on your life. The CEO would have been out on his ear and replaced by someone with a level of competence to get the job done. If you know the brakes on your car do not work would you let your family ride in it knowing that it would not stop when you stepped on the brake pedal? 

        • Anonymous

          again, he was suppose to just wave his magic wand and voila. too fini and all fixed right. 30 years this mess has been brewing and you expect miracles. get on the space ship pal

          • Anonymous

            Kinda like what the right wing says it expects Obama to do.

          • Anonymous

            Disqus generic email templateno I don’t think so. he has some of a mess when he went in but has compounded by 50% and not even trying to reduce the deficeit, he is just throwing good money after bad money and is compounding the situation. at least lepage acknowledges that there is a problem and is trying to reduce it. it just doesn’t happen over night.

          • Anonymous

            Hmm. This computer system in not 30 years old. I think you have your blanket attacks crossed. This is a very, very new system, so yeah. Perhaps 14mos is too short a time to fix everything. But how about the important things, like paying only the bills we are supposed to be paying.
            Gov LePage wants to fix all of welfare, but as usual, can not see the forest for the trees.

          • Anonymous

            He has been in office over a year. Has he hired someone to fix the problems that exist with the computer system at DHHS? If so perhaps you could enlighten all of us as to who that person or company is. 

          • Anonymous

             I have to correct your spelling. You said hired……the only thing the governor has done is to fire. Not actually fire, but force out any employee with years of knowledge that could have been tapped to fix the problem. Fire the appointees, hire some well paid IT staff at market rates and we can fix this.

          • Anonymous

            If your post was intended to justify the LePage’s administrations incompetence you have succeeded. Perhaps if instead of trying to fix things by as you say waving a magic wand he used established business principles he would actually get the job done. As far as space ships are concerned you are apparently an expert in that field. Oh and by the way I am most certainly not your pal. 

          • Anonymous

            Disqus generic email templatefeeling Is mutual

          • Anonymous

             Not miracles but since DHHS has been his focus,then anything wrong with it should be found and fixed.I don’t trust anyone in his admin to spend dollar one of my taxes properly.

      • Guest

        Finally, a voice of reason amid the political garbagio! thank you for telling it honestly!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • StillRelaxin

    WHAT!  The LePage crew has messed up on the numbers AGAIN!  This administration is going to wind up as the most incompetent group of “Book Cookers” ever to hit this state.  This will all prove to be no problem for Paul, just cast a few more poor people in the ditch and move on.  “Maine the way life used to be.”

    • Anonymous

      News for you = No one wants ” Maine like it used to be”.

      • Anonymous

        You are very wrong.

        • Anonymous

          Yes I am, I forgot about the “entitlement” crowd.

          • Anonymous

            I’m not part of the “entitlement” crowd and before I retired, I held a job with a lot of responsibility so I do believe I’m sane, and I would like to have Maine back the way it used to be. At least then everyone was not believed to be committing some kind of fraud and the administration did not have a lot of ALEC solutions looking for problems. 61% of us can’t wait until Novembeer when sanity will again prevail.

      • quark

        … except people who are actually sane.

  • Anonymous

    Agree that this is pure incompetence!   How many are not doing their jobs…fire them all and hire people that want to work and can be held accountable.

    • Guest

      But they would have to leave their computers and email messages and get up, walk over, and actually speak to other staff.

    • Anonymous

      Unfortunately. we can’t “fire” the biggest culprit. The Governor.

  • Anonymous

    By her own admission she became aware of this problem in January. Did she or did she not inform Mr LePage ( the Boss ) of this problem in January when she became aware of it? If she did why was he not more forthcoming with the information? 

    In January and February when both the democrats and republicans that sit on the appropriations committee pretty much begged for budgetary information so they could make informed decisions about the DHHS budget she and Mr LePage stated on numerous occassions that they had provided more than adequate information. Mr LePage interrupted legislative hearings to ridicule legislators for not just passing the budget. Mr LePage held numerous news conferences stating that the legilators had all of the information they needed to make their decisions.

    Now in March it comes out that they were not provided with all of the facts as were known by at least Ms Mayhew and perhaps Mr LePage as well. I wondered what the consequences are for not providing the whole truth are?

    Ms Mayhew states she intends to hold those responsible to be accountable. Will Mr LePage also hold Ms Mayhew accountable for not telling the whole turth and only the truth? If so there goes another one Mr LePage and the revolving door keeps turning.

    Beware the Ides of March Mr LePage.

    • Anonymous

      If she knew, he knew. Birds of a feather. There’s no doubt she concealed this for 2 months under direction by him.

  • Guest

    J Baldacci hired a donor friends company to put in a new 100+ millon dollar computer system in the DHHS and has never work since it was installed.. Baldacci admin was forever having to reinburse the federal government for over payments due to that new computer system… The Dems have messed so much up that our Great Governor Paul LePage  has his hands full just to repair what they did to this State.. The Dems drove a wrecked car down a road full of potholes and expect a snap of the fingers will fix it. 

    • Tyke

      The King administration specified the computer system, selected the vendor and wrote the contract.

      Baldacci inherited it.

      These things take many, many years.

      • Anonymous

        Here are the details.

        http://www.cio.com/article/20133/Maine_s_Medicaid_Mistakes

        And the person who signed off on it went on to become CIO of the State of Maine.

        • poormaniac

          After reading this report it is clear that Mayhew inherited a mess created by the King administration and worsened by the Baldacci administration.  It does seem that she is at least willing to tackle this problem as she has refused to sweep it under the rug any longer.

  • Anonymous

    This is a lack of employees, this is what happens when the governor puts a hiring freeze into effect for all state office, and most offices are about half staffed. Thanks gov way to save money by not filling vacant positions.

    • Anonymous

      The hiring freeze was put in by King and Baldacci so the hiring freeze has been going on for years. LePage kept the freeze in place because of the budget shortfall.

      • Anonymous

         Don’t forget Baldacci put in furlough days, pay freezes, and hiring freezes that this governor doesn’t think were enough. He has extended the pay freezes, is trying for more pay cuts, forced senior employees to retire, cut pensions for already retired employees, refuses to hire anyone more qualified than Poloquin, who it seems needs his business interests to get by, and will not admit that if you want to hire or keep good employees you have to not only pay them, but you have to respect them.

    • quark

      No, the problem is that LePage has demonized state employees so badly that record numbers retired and took their long term knowledge with them. There are actually more jobs posted every week for job openings with the state than I’ve seen in many years.

      Competent people would rather not work for an incompetent bully.

  • StillRelaxin

    Mary, 1-2-3 strikes! You’re out! Time to update that resume.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, Dale McCormick must be looking for a job by now. Maybe DHHS could pay $280,000 for a band aid.

      • quark

        You seem to be easily distracted.

        The subject is DHHS and management incompetence. That would be the DHHS Commissioner and her boss the Governor.

        …do try to keep up.

        • Guest

          But when did it begin ,,,,,,,,and when was it  discovered(2010) , and when was it brought to  the DHHS commissioner’s attention?

          • Anonymous

            We don’t know. We only have Mayhew’s version and she’s blaming her subordinates. What would be their motive for not telling supervisors? They didn’t design the software. Maybe Mayhew isn’t being completely above board with this. She already admits she knew 2 months ago, but didn’t tell the Legislature or Approiations Committee until yesterday.

          • Guest

            Good questions. Atleast you didn’t go on a rant trying to blame someone without knowing the true facts.

          • Anonymous

            She has repeatedly shown she is as incompetent as her boss.

          • Anonymous

            No it’s Liberals like yourself who thinks we should continue to support these Welfare Bums and have no control overseeing these programs. Which occured for 40 years under Democrats.  This problem was brought up in 2010 who was in charge hmmm?.  John Elias Baldacci and Brenda Harvey (DHHS commissioner) at that time.  I wonder why they didn’t fix this problem because they didn’t want to create an uproar attacking their voting block of Welfare Bums etc..  These programs are failing and breaking our backs.  The Democrats should have the finger pointed right at them because we wouldn’t be in this mess if they would have done their darn jobs.  It is time to make these cuts because Maine can’t afford these programs anymore.  These people need to go get jobs and stop complaining it is time to light firecrackers under the butts to motivate them.  That is the problem with folks like yourself you think we should hand out everything to you folks and that you are entitled to everything.  Well sorry but the working people of Maine we have had enough.

          • Guest

            Where would your envy and burning hatred be placed if there were no more ‘Liberals’, nor “Welfare bums?”

          • Anonymous

            You seem to think there are all kinds of jobs out there with benefits. Why don’t you start an employment agency?

    • Anonymous

      As usual you’re wrong again! Time to get rid of Baldy’s computer system where anyone that wanted a check got one!

      • StillRelaxin

        And under LePage folks who didn’t even ask for a check were given one and you have the nerve to come here to talk about John’s incompetence? Really? LePage and crew are taking incompetence to an all time new low. They can’t even efficiently hurt the people they very clearly despise! Apparently the only hope the poor or lower middle class that’s slowly moving toward becoming the new poor have under LePage is that he’s so dimwitted that he’ll never figure out how to efficiently starve them to death.

        •  Didn’t even ask for a check huh?  They were canceled from Mainecare then they went in and gave the card to medical providers and due to computer mix up there bills were paid by our tax dollars.  No complaint from the people getting the handouts, why would anyone complain, bring on more freebies.

           Bravo to a job well done by all.  The idiots that designed a computer system that couldn’t interact with eligibility status, and the good old Mainers that show up on cue with their hands out.  This is why we live in the state with the highest tax burden for the people that work.  Keep up the great work.

          • Anonymous

            I don’t think you read the entire article.  This wasn’t about people showing up looking for handouts – it said that one of the state’s computer systems showed that these people no longer a part of the program and the other didn’t.  This is clearly the state’s responsibility and clearly caused by their own incompetence. This is not just one more thing for the state to blame on the people or pass the buck to.  From the looks of it this article is actually saying that this time the state is owning the problem… leave it at that and don’t look to blame anyone else. They are responsible for their error.

          • Anonymous

            Probably already been addressed here, but I don’t have time to read all the comments. So—–will these people have to pay back the State??? That is going to be mega $$$ from poor and working poor people to come up with, no? I am probably confused, I get that way sometimes.

          • Anonymous

            how does Lepage fire himself.

          • Guest

            Get this — people receiving MaineCare were often not given “cards.”   They check in at the physician’s office or hospital, and the computer screen states they have MaineCare.  They are not told it says they have MaineCare, or, if they are are so advsied, this is not the time, when ill, to get into it with the front desk.

            More often, people who were presumed “known” MaineCare recipients were profiled, in the sense, that, at the medical services end, once on MaineCare, always on MaineCare – and, payment was involved — why should the office or hospital bother to check?

            You would say that if they were told they were on MaineCare, when they were not, they should have reported that error.  Reports like that have been made for 5 years.  State Finance knew, directly, about the problem.

            As to people getting these “benefits” they were not entitled to?  They didn’t get a check.  They may, or may not have received a bill, and many did, because other computer billing systems did not speak to each other either.

            The focus must be on the utterly failed system, and on all those part of it, who were just too lazy, tired, worried about their jobs, didn’t care, or whatever, and not anywhere else.

            How much Federal money was collected by the State because of “numbers” of people enrolled, but not even using MaineCare?

            Also know, that Maine could take someone’s home once a person has received benefits. Many homes were handed-down, so to speak – the people who have them may not otherwise have owned much. These homes and assets could be taken for, unless things have changed, ANY ‘benefits’ received.

            And, say you received MaineCare for a short time. Then one’s situation improved and there was a shack available for purchase. The State could intervene even then.

          • Anonymous

            I’ll bet the people didn’t have to show their MaineCare card. They probably went for care thinking a bill would show up one of these days. The providers are the ones who billed the system. I know one person whose provider’s office kept insisting she was on MaineCare after the person showed proof of an entirely different insurance plan. 

          • jimbobhol

            So neither called to find out what was going on? What’s that tell you?

          • Anonymous

            It doesn’t say that benefits were paid out to people who were no longer eligible… this means that the budget estimates were based off of erroneous figures, e.g. Maine needs less money than predicted to run its slate of MaineCare programs for currently eligible residents.

            Pure speculation, here, but if the LePage administration wanted to demonstrate how high MaineCare’s costs were, it would certainly have behooved them to leave the glitch in place through the winter and the deliberations, yes?

        •  All of the DHHS problem belong to your beloved Baldacci and yes indeed, he is incompetent.

          • Guest

            Sound right,,,,,,,,and he is running for the US Senate. Just what we need in DC!

          • Anonymous

            Don’t for get “King Angus the terrible” who is running as well.  The same one who bankrupted Maine DOT and having to write IOU’s to that department.  Because of borrowing money from that department to pay for Laptops, Welfare Expansion, Studies on Casinos & Gambling Expansion, Wind Power, and other Blue Ribbon Commissions.  He also took money from Education for Liberal Spending projects but paid that money back from several bonds/borrowing packages.  Both left Maine with $1 to $1.5 billion dollar shortfalls, massive job losses, businessses leaving, massive population decreases.   Yes people returned but not working folks , folks wanting to collect Welfare.  It will be nice to watch these 2 debate other Independents, Republican nominee having to defend their horrible records as Governor of Maine and Baldacci’s abysmal record as 2nd District congressman.  Baldy was rated in the bottom 10 of Congressman while in Washington never proposing 1 bill while there , but voting the Democrat party line each and every time.  Just what we need 2 useless dolts who has always lived off of Taxpayer dollars through public office, government josb or government subsidies (Wind Power, Casino bucks – both).  Both only popular to Liberals if they run against Rick Bennett they could be in trouble. Because Bennett was popular as Senate President when they had a split legislature in 2001-02. He worked well with Democrats and Angus King, he wasn’t a partisan leader he always wanted to get things done not being bogged down by partisan politics.   If he runs against them based on their records as Governor both King and Baldy will lose.

        • Anonymous

           Amen StillRelaxin

        • Anonymous

          OMG which planet have you been on? this has been going on for years and all of sudden lepage shows up and is suppose to wave his magic wand and fix all the previous problems that were created by, baldacci, king, brennan, mckernan, these problems did not happen over night and will not be fixed over night but at least he is trying instead doing what obama is doing, just printing more money and running up the deficeit!

          • Anonymous

            You must love Obama then.
            BTW, this one issue only goes as far back as Baldacci, since during the King years there was a different system.

        • jimbobhol

          Yawn!!!!!!

        • Anonymous

          I just hope LePage and Crew don’t go after the unwitting recipients and try to charge them with fraud. Let him eat his losses and take it like a mensch at the next election. It’s not like he has much chance of winning anyway.

          • Anonymous

             You know that’s exactly why this imaginary surprise was created-to confuse the voters with shiny stuff.If LePage would take a guy’s last nickel he would do so,while the rich laugh and pay nothing for their oceanfront estates and “woodlots”

        • Guest

          Actually, LePage is trying to get this mess fixed. The mess that has been part of the system when the Bald Nazi was in office. You may not like what LePage has to say or the way he says it, but he is going to get this State squared away. A computer system that does not communicate between eligibility system and billing system is not something that should have been allowed for a month let alone for years. Can we please give LePage a chance? 

          • Anonymous

            Nazi huh?
            Nothing else you say carries any weight.

          • Anonymous

            And your pouch is full of holes

          • Anonymous

            Sweet come back.

        • Anonymous

          The problem would still be going on if it WASN’T for Le Page demanding action. Duhh!!
           

          • Anonymous

            Too bad he didn’t demand action two months ago, huh?
            To think, some of what was cut, might not have needed to be cut. Imagine that.

        • jimbobhol

          Yawn!!!!!!

      • Anonymous

        “Mayhew said staff at the Department of Health and Human Services were aware of a problem with the bill-paying computer system since 2010 but it was not brought to the attention of her and other agency leaders until January. She did not know how long the ineligible people received the benefits.”
        Yeah right Mary, just admit you didn’t know how to fix the problem, so you ignored it hoping nobody would notice. There’s no way this wasn’t reported up the line by staff. What would be their incentive? The only people with a reason to hide this were Mayhew and LePage to again conceal their incompetence. She already admits to knowing about it since at least January and she tells the Legislature in March??? I smell another “emergency” bill coming. She learned well from LePage, it’s always someone elses fault.

        • Anonymous

          You liberals make me laugh. By your own statement, it IS someone elses fault. It was caught in 2010, he wasn’t even elected then. The liberals can’t even do a time line, let alone run a state government. And they wonder why we are in so much debt. By the way, good luck in November.

          • Guest

            That’s why being a liberal means never having to say I’m sorry,,or I made a mistake,,,,,,or the other side isn’t always 100% wrong on all maters!!!!!!

          • Anonymous

            No “luck” needed in November. LePage has ensured democratic victory.

          • Anonymous

            I’m not blaming LePage or Mayhew for the problem. Obviously it existed before they were put in office. My comment faults her for blaming staff when they have no motive to withhold it from her. Then she and lePage withheld it from the Appropriations Committee and the Legislature. Don’t you think that would have been valuable information for them to have?

          • Anonymous

            Well, since it was known in 2010 and LePage has been in office 14mos, why didn’t he do something?
            If you think the previous DHHS director (fired in Oct 2011) didn’t tell him or Mary this, you are crazy-go-nuts.

        • Anonymous

          was mayhew there when lepage became governor? i don’t think so, in fact i don’t think she has been there that long so how can you blame her for this problem??

          • Anonymous

            I’m just reposting this earlier comment from me. It addresses your question. “I’m not blaming LePage or Mayhew for the problem. Obviously it existed before they were put in office. My comment faults her for blaming staff when they have no motive to withhold it from her. Then she and lePage withheld it from the Appropriations Committee and the Legislature. Don’t you think that would have been valuable information for them to have?”

          • Anonymous

            But Barbara Van Burgel was. She was the Deputy director of DHHS for Baldacci, and then carried over as Director until LePage fired her in Oct 2011. And if you think Van Burgel didn’t inform them of this, something that was known in 2010, you are on a sinking ship to nowhere.

        • This is another made up crisis to further Paul and Mary’s agenda. It will also end up giving them the privilege of firing some more competent people and replace them with like wingnuts and ditto heads.

        • Anonymous

          Is it possible that everyone who was “let-go” early on in the Lepage administration were the ones in a position to inform Mayhew?  Maybe new management was too busy terminating people to figure out that they might have useful information.

          But the problems with DHHS computer systems are old news. See http://www.asmainegoes.com/content/dhhs-computer-debacle-update
          for an example. Why didn’t Mayhew know about this issue from the get-go if its been “news” since at least 2005?

          • Anonymous

            In fairness, the 2005 article is about a different system that also didn’t work as advertised.

      • Anonymous

         I have found that most problems blamed on the computer is caused by the data entered by humans. Computers do not make mistakes.

      • Anonymous

        LePage administration = incompetent abusers of power

      • What likely happened here was that LePage created a problem. That is so he could cut entitlements from those who do deserve and earned them.  By the way! Entitlement is something you paid for or earned when you worked. It’s not something free. I paid for it all the years I worked through deductions from my pay checks.

    • Anonymous

       The only problem with that is that there’s no one willing to take on the headache that is DHHS.  The only reason she took it was as a “favor” to the gov. as he couldn’t find anyone willing to take the job.

      • Anonymous

         She must be the longest serving member of his admin by now-longer than a month.

        • Anonymous

           No, I think she’s second most.  Last I heard his daughter was still working for him.

          • Anonymous

             “working?”More like drawing a fat paycheck and great bennies for no reason.

      • Anonymous

        amen. someone finally has the story straight!

    • Anonymous

      they always blame the computers it is the operator of the computer 

      • No, it was the designer of the software. If you ever had any experience withthe State’s billing system, you would have to agree.

      • Guest

        Just solve the bleeping problem now and  then figure out who to hold accountable. Then firing squad might  cut down on future mistakes!

        • Anonymous

          Maybe what’s needed is some brains with expertise in Computer Science and maybe also accounting experts. Like Masters or PhD level for a limited contracted period.

      • Anonymous

        I believe the problem was the interface of the 2 systems and had nothing to do with what a human did or did not enter.

        • Anonymous

          Yes. One system did not talk to the other. This is, sadly, common with state agencies and their computers. Some of it has to do with all the securities that are in place to safeguard the info. For whatever reason, the state chooses to use different companies for these programs and wonders why they can’t talk to each other very well.

          • Anonymous

            I know all about the state and computers. I worked at DHHS for 31 years!!!

          • Anonymous

            I hope you got your plaque and pin on the way out the door ;)

          • Anonymous

             Thank you for working for Maine. Sorry to see your pension slashed to cover tax cuts for the rich.

          • Anonymous

            Now we know where your decision making comes from

          • Anonymous

            Nice. Snipe away from behind a keyboard at someone who worked for 30+ years.
            I thought you folk on the right loved those who work?

          • Anonymous

            I take it that’s an insult since you don’t know anything about me or what I did for DHHS. Must be a miserable life to be so  mean spirited you can only feel good when you put others down. But I guess that’s the Republican way now.

    • Anonymous

      ya right. how many times in the last 10 years has this happened. there has to be someone out there that can design a computer system that works. what are the other states using for systems? for god sakes, their are 49 other states that get federal dollars and have mainecare of their own.  firing her is not the problem but at least she is taking responsibility for it. firing the persons that have been there the whole 10 years of problems are the ones they need to go after.

    • Anonymous

      A piece of advice for Mary: I’d leave off any mention of this last job if I was you.

    • Anonymous

      Its sad that my comments have been removed simply because some people may disagree with the content.  I broke no rule.  BDN – you need to put them back up. This is ridiculous

      • Anonymous

        I dont think its the content  it could possibly be your arrogant approach

        • Anonymous

           Show me in the rules were it says that arrogance is not allowable.

      • Anonymous

        Your comments are always some of the most well-spoken and argued, and do not violate any policies.

  • Anonymous

    Ironic, isn’t it, that Gov. LePage recently criticized the Appropriations Com., but esp. its Democratic members, for not getting the latest budget issues resolved more promptly. No doubt he’ll blame them again for this latest outrage to all Maine taxpayers. He should donate some of his salary, and that of his daughter, as a symbolic gesture to begin to deal with this.

    • quark

      He can keep his salary if we could just get his resignation.

      I’ll bet we could collect enough donations to pay for his moving expenses to Florida.

    • Anonymous

       But when it was time to push through the ins. co. giveaway,things moved like lightning.

  • Anonymous

    This administration would be funny as a sitcom, not so much in real life.

  • PabMainer

    So let’s just ask all the good people who mistakenly received state monies to give it back…..problem solved……

    • Anonymous

      They received–gasp!–medical care. Heaven forfend.

    • Anonymous

      Good Luck !

    • Guest

      You don’t get it.  Money was not received.  People who had received MaineCare, and were no longer on it, are still in the database as recipients.  People who are listed as receiving MaineCare may well not even use it, as finding a provider who accepts it is almost impossible, in many cases, keeping them healthier than if they had been able to be seen, or, whatever illness there had been has passed.

      Additional ignorance in this matter is not needed.

      • PabMainer

        Thanks for your politeness, but I “get it” very well and my comment was directed at those who received monies for services rendered to said “ineligible” participants…….and show me proof that anyone receiving MaineCare would “not even use it” …….I can almost guarantee if someone is on the “list” are taking advantage of such benefits……your last comment does not even deserve response……

        • Guest

          Many can, and will, provide legal evidence that they are not taking advantage.  There are people whose medical bills list their regular insurance, and MaineCare, when they have never – that’s never – received MaineCare.  How many times did MaineCare miss rejecting these never-enrolled people, and people who were receiving MaineCare temporarily, but no longer do.

          The “people” who received “money” for services would be the providers and the State.  Not ineligible participants.

          Proof.  Legal proof is available and has been offered to the authorities.  The authorities, however, say that it’s all very complicated and do not want it.

  • Anonymous

    Mayhew’s staff should be fired for not informing her of this for almost two years. There has to be accountability, this is no joke.

    • Anonymous

      I’d have to believe she’s telling the truth before I’d fire anyone, and I don’t. Add to that the fact that she and LePage admittedly knew and withheld this from the Appropriations Committee and Legislature for two months. They are the ones that should be fired, or more appropriately, indicted. 

      • Anonymous

        I’m all for that. Let us seek the truth and let the chips fall….. Our Governor has only been there a year so this was going on during Baldys administration, I have faith Lepage will get to the bottom of this. Why? Because he did not need this job and is not an entrenched politician.

        • Anonymous

          Nearly all politicians don’t need the job.
          47% of Congress are millionaires.

  • Anonymous

    Blaming computers is an old, old excuse.

  • Anonymous

    Is anyone watching the store?

    • Anonymous

      Romney 3

      Gingrich 1

      Santorum 2

      • Ben Hutchins

         So the answer to John’s question would be “No,” then.

      • Anonymous

        Store, not Score.

  • Thoughtful members of the Maine legislature have been pleading for a rational explanation before taking the draconian action demanded by the Governor to eliminate thousands of eligible Mainers from MaineCare.  Meanwhile the DHHS computers continue to spit out checks to ineligible recipients?

    Ms. Mayhew may well be tossed under the bus, but the Governor bears a greater responsibility.

    No apologist can explain away his arrogant insistence that thousands in need of assistance should be cut from MainCare.  It is his watch. He should have demanded the factual basis that explained the illusive budgetary problem. He should have resisted the urge to pounce on a solution before he understood the problem.

    It will be shocking to learn just how much in erroneous payments “at least 19,000” recipients represent.

  • Anonymous

    Staggering, however this is the result when you try to design complex systems that require a degree of knowledge and programming that simply can’t be done on the cheap. When low cost bidding only guides the bidding process you can end up in many situations spending more money. Value engineering/purchasing which allows for higher cost items that save money over the long term is part of the solution. It’s not just the initial cost of a product or service but the total cost of operation. This is in part an inherited problem but to have known in January and not informed Appropriations Committee and blasting them for questioning the number is, well, flat wrong. I suggest checking the reports and comments (or testimony) that was given to the legislators and if there were false and misleading statements there should be consequences. 

    • Anonymous

       Baldacci and company wasted $80 million plus the cost of the state drones who “oversaw” its implementation and gave us NOTHING for it.  The we spent an additional $50 million to get the ineffective system we have today.  Just more good work form our dedicated, hard working public employees.  Maybe they really did need ti show up on all those paid snow days.

  • So Commissioner Mayhew knew at least by January (and so it can be assumed that Gov. LePage did too), and yet they didn’t tell members of the Appropriations Committee until today? This, after the LePage administration demanded that 65,000 be cut from MaineCare?

    • Anonymous

      And this from the honest and open books adminstration. So much for transparent governing. Got to love those campaign slogans.

      • Anonymous

        A computer is only a tool. The programs have to be constantly updated. the chain of command starts at the top. If  someone in charge says ” I didn’t Know”,  I think they should be more alert.  Information should be shared at all times. The Commitee should have had access to all numbers, including computer glitches.

  • Anonymous

    Oh boy……

    Own the mistake. Correct it. Edit the budget. Let’s move on.

    The -Yesterday Me- would have loved to jump on this story and lecture my brothers and sisters on the right. The -Today Me- wants a to recognize this problem and grow from it.

    Let’s make the difference. WE need to change things for OURSELVES.

    Use you votes wisely. Enough with the party-line, blind loyalty vote.   
       

    • Guest

      Until people work to recognize and nurture candidates, until there are education and experiential requires, the notion that voting bad people out, lies flat if there are no candidates worth voting for.

      • Anonymous

        I hear what you’re saying. The voting mindset of selecting the lesser of the two evils is far out-dated. This is 2012. Young, old, or in between…. When need to get it together.  

  • Do you get the feeling that Mary Mayhew is over her head?

    • Well, there are a lot of state emplyees and providers that do not like her and resent, and try to make it is difficult as possible,

    • Anonymous

      It’s the old Peter Principle, which is what this (mis)administration thrives on.

  • Anonymous

    Can’t this state figure out how to run a friggin computer???????

    • Anonymous

      With a major focus on slashing spending, how likely is it that LePage would have given an OK to update (or, better, replace) that antiquated computer system, even though it was well-known to be barely operational? It was lousy to begin with because of the requirement to select the low-ball bid, regardless of quality.

      • Anonymous

         Probably from Diebold,creator of those fabulous touch screen voting machines.

        • Anonymous

          Oh, dear. Don’t remind me! Those things are scary, so easily hacked and able to change the course of an election at the will of the company’s CEOs or even the guy sweeping the floor after the voters have gone home.

          • Anonymous

            Not to mention that story got SQUASHED by Rupert’s empire.Thank God for Mother Jones.
            I love your comments and look forward to you skewering the dumb everyday.Makes me smile.Keep up the good work.

          • Anonymous

            ;)

  • Anonymous

    Presumably the people who were receiving benefits when they were ineligible knew it.  Why are THEY not being held responsible?  If a thief breaks into your house is it your fault for not having a better lock on your door?

    •  I am guessing based on the fact that they even applied that they are on the very edge of poverty and probably did not know the ins and outs of qualifying. It’s doubtful anyone intentionally took money they didn’t qualify for if they were granted permission to use it. Especially for medical care. It’s not like a windfall of checks went out freely to people’s doorsteps.

      • Anonymous

        Oh, but the Republicans are outraged to think of some desperately poor person getting a flu shot or mammogram or cancer treatment.

        • poormaniac

          Come on !  A truely poor person would have been eligible.  People who abuse this system are well aware of what they are doing.

          • The guidelines for poverty haven’t changed in over fifty years but the cost of living has. Truly poor people aren’t considered truly poor by a government who has been screwing them over for so long that they can’t afford to sustain them and won’t allow them to sustain themselves.

          • Anonymous

            Well, that isn’t exactly true Nicole. Medicaid numbers increase every year, in Oct.
            Granted they aren’t much but they do move. For instance in 2011 Poverty level for one person was $903 a month. It is now $908 a month.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think it is a programing problem.  It’s a problem with one side not talking to the other side.  From the article:
     Basically, she said, the bill paying computer system could not
    communicate with the eligibility system, so individuals were not being
    removed from the billing system after it was determined they were no
    longer eligible for benefits.
    I have seen this in other accounting programs for the state.  Accounting has to have data from another database entered by hand.  But if she knew of the problem sooner then it should have been reported to the leg sooner.

    • PaulNotBunyan

      You use whatever you have to stop the bleeding and then you run out and get something better. Sometimes it’s a case of bringing in temps to do data entry immediately while you develop a better solution. I’ve seen IT people do that and quickly develop a means to exchange data on reels of tape. Then they moved on to develop real-time communications between the systems.

      • Anonymous

         I am not sure what your point was.  Mine was that the system may have been programed that way because the accountants wanted it that way.  Data transfer has to be manual.  Doesn’t make sense to me but that is the way they do it.

        • PaulNotBunyan

           My point was that there were things they should have done as soon as they discovered the problem. The accountants would not have wanted money to be paid out in error.

      • Anonymous

        Reels of tapes are so 1980’s, everything is done on servers now .  Mainframes are the only systems that use tapes and the state’s billing systems is not on a mainframe.

        • PaulNotBunyan

           I know all that. I was giving a real example – something I saw.

  • Anonymous

    She could take a page from the Obama playbook and blame it on the last administration, but she has too much class for that.

    • Anonymous

      Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha ha—-oh, you’re serious?  Let’s take a look at the Obama Playbook.  Clinton Administration–balanced budget.  Bush Administration–economic chaos!  Bush almost ruined this country and it’s reputation with the world.  Thank God, for Obama!

    • Anonymous

      That’s an interesting perspective. Regardless of which administration is responsible for the computer mess — and if I’m not mistaken, the problems predate Baldacci — Mayhew took it upon herself to willingly conceal them during a political debate over slashing MaineCare. Now she blames it on her underlings. That transcends incompetence. It’s just plain dishonest. Too much class? Too little is more like it.

      • quark

        Perfect

        That bears repeating:

        “Mayhew took it upon herself to willingly conceal them during a political debate over slashing MaineCare. Now she blames it on her underlings. That transcends incompetence. It’s just plain dishonest.”</b<

    • Anonymous

      If too much class means no class at all then I’d agree with you, but it doesn’t, so I don’t.

  • the able bodied 20 year old somethings  in my neighborhood on mainecare,food stamps, are out on the town drinking tonight, for the second night in a row.   i thought you lepage was going to end this cr-p

    • poormaniac

      Turn them in , make the state aware of who they are, after all it’s your money that they party with !

    • Anonymous

      Only two nights in a row?
      Man, your “story” is funny.
      Either you are the town gossip, or the village no so smart person.
      Otherwise, I am sure you can explain how you know who the 20 somethings with Food Sup and Medicaid are; or why you are following them around to watch them drink.

  • Anonymous

    How does DHHS continue its horrible track record without any sort of ramifications. This department has continuously been a source of mismanagement and incompetence yet it is “open for business as usual”.

    • Anonymous

      There are absolutely ramifications. Every time something like this happens, the Feds ask for Money back.
      In 2005-2006 the food supplement error rate was so bad in Maine the State lost $2million in Food Supplement funding. You can bet there were changes in place. Maine is now in the top ten with lowest error rate.

  • So in other words, Mayhew kept this under her hat until the GOP convinced the Democrats to pass a 2/3 budget based on LePage’s cooked numbers. Now we’ll have a budget surplus, which I’m sure won’t reinstate any of the benefit cuts, but will instead be used as another giveaway to the richest Mainers.

    • Anonymous

      And your evidence is?  Evidently uncovered by a doctor with a flashlight.  

  • PaulNotBunyan

    I think some others with IT backgrounds will agree with me on this: If the information in this story is correct, we don’t need further technical details to see that it is inexcusable.

  • Anonymous

    He was way to busy firing anyone who knew anything. He didn’t want anyone to know what was going on. If they did, that wouldn’t allow him to make up  numbers. He wouldn’t have been able to create the crisis. I’m really surprised this is coming to light now, considering the legislature hasn’t yet made the cuts he wants for FY 2013.

    • Anonymous

      He’ll try to push through another “emergency” bill to address this now even though he admittedly knew about it since January. He is the “poster child” for slimy politician.

      • Guest

        Very classy remark. Take your meds and move to Washington County!

        • Anonymous

          ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

        • Anonymous

          How about him moving to Quebec or New Brunswick he wants everyone to “take care” of him.  He wants all the freebies he can get. Let them take care of him because the rest of us have had enough of “taking care” of other folks.

          • Anonymous

            You don’t even know me. I’ve told you several times in other comment sections that I work and receive no entitlements of any kind, but you still insist on attacking me and everyone that disagrees with you on a personal level.

          • Anonymous

            That’s all he knows how to do. He’s the one who should be moving to someplace far away. What do you bet that he receives every kind of “welfare” benefit there is!!!

        • Anonymous

          Low opinion of Washington County residents?  Prejudice much?

    • Anonymous

       Can we trade Paul for Putin?Vladimir seems more honest these days.

  • Anonymous

    i saw how the computers operate in ellsworth DHS they are dark ages computer on the windows EXP operating system and very slow 

    • Anonymous

      What exactly is windows EXP?  

      Windows XP is a currently widely used Microsoft product.  

  • Anonymous

    They’ve known for over 8 yrs that the computer didn’t work. Yes, 8 yrs! Sooooooooooo, before you bash LePage it was Spaghetti Head who did NOTHING ABOUT IT FOR 8 YRS!!!

    •  hey there, what about all the McPotatoheads who commit all the crimes in maine

    • Anonymous

      Well except that system from 2005 was not the same as this one. This one is barely 2yrs old.

  • I am no fan of the Governor to be sure, but these computer issues predate him. First the MeCMS system cost millions and was so bad they completely junked it. the new system is much better, but as typical when you try to make a program that does too much, it is full of bugs. I feel it takes two to tango here, the providers of the servises should be checking the eligibility and not billing if the person no longer qualifies. I would bet that if they cross referenced all of the ineligible bills ppaid against providers of services, they wouild finc concentrations of violations in a few providers.

    • quark

      The bigger issue is that Lepage and his commissioner knew about this in JANUARY and intentionally misled and perhaps actively LIED to the legislature to try to push their political agenda over doing the real business of government.

      Time to draw up impeachment articles.  Lying to the legislature should be cause for removal from office immediately.

      • Guest

        Can you prove your charges?

      • Anonymous

        Are you awake, legislators?  Time to do your jobs!  You can’t keep ignoring wrongdoings.

    • Guest

      Bravo! A voice of reason from out of the wilderness.

  • Anonymous

     “Leaders and members of the Appropriations Committee were surprised and upset at the problem.”

    Surprised? Really? Surprised that DHHS continues to have problems and cannot figure anything out. Why would this be a surprise? Has it ever gone well without huge flaws?

  • Anonymous

    Shhhhh, quiet!  You’re making way to much sense here.  That won’t work.  Just remember to say it’s Baldacci’s computer.   Now let’s sit down and have a nice cold, rancid cup of old, weak tea and get our excu…er…stories straight.

  • Anonymous

    It sounds like providers billed MaineCare for clients who were not eligible. The state paid these bills and should not have. We should be recovering this money from these providers. LePage could send the newly expanded fraud unit to collect this money. There also should be penalties applied to these providers. The new payment system was designed by and is run by a private contractor and this group should be responsible for any losses.

    • Anonymous

      Providers check eligibilty with Mainecare….if they say they are covered then that is what the providers go by….

      • Anonymous

        These clients were notified that they were ineligible and the provider tried to bill MaineCare anyway. The provider needs to reimburse the state and collect from the client.

        • Anonymous

          Not sure who you work for but in our Office we bill whatever insurance the patient provides and ONLY after checking eligibility to verify they have coverage we send claims. We DO NOT send claims if we know they have no coverage……..And yes the Providers (Billing office) do reimburse if they know someone got paid in error due to “no eligibility” and then the repsonsible party is billed. 

        • Anonymous

           Where does it say that these clients were notified that they were ineligible?

        • Guest

          “Collect from the client?”  Or, rebill the client?  The client did not receive money.  And, what method of adjustment would be used to bill the client, if this absurd suggestion were to be attempted?  Would it be for exact services rendered, and at what cost?  Billing managers know how to submit bills to attain the highest payment – all within the law.

          Charges are based on a very complex system that take many factors into consideration, other than the exact cost of medical pracitioner examining a patient.  Many, are costs incurred due to the cost of running and maintaining computerized systems.

  • Lord Whiteman

     It is a good thing that the Legislature didn’t just give Lepage all the money he asked for this time.  It’s bad enough Lepage’s budget is 1/2 a billion dollars bigger then Baldies with out letting him have the additional 1/4 of a billion he wants

  • Anonymous

    Yes, s**t travels downhill.

  • Anonymous

    And in other news cucumbers taste better pickled. Mary stick to a look and go with it—you will grow on us eventually………….when in doubt ctrl-alt-del……………..works every time!

  • Anonymous

    Baldy? Are you talking about Senator Baldacci?

  • Anonymous

    Baldy? Are you talking about Senator Baldacci?

  • Anonymous

    As Rick Perry Says……..ooops!

    Go Newt.

  • Anonymous

    So…Rome was built in a day?

    Cleaning up over a decade of insulation and chaos takes a little time.

    • Anonymous

      True enough-but this is hardly cleaning up.If she came out and said “Our new program found errors saving$—“,and PROVED it,I’d be as happy as anyone.I’ve worked with ME’s systems as a vendor.Little better than an abacus.

      • Guest

        Don’t knock the abacus.  An abacus is better.

  • Anonymous

    Try being someone that has to enter Mainecare payments in a billing office….what a nightmare working on the mess that there system has created….and now this….more stressful days ahead at work!

  •  Blame Lepage for Baldacci’s screw ups. So typical of a mindless drone. Pathetic. You are intelligent, so why insult your own intellect by calling the Governor names? I suspect you are trying to accumulate likes at any cost, because I know you are not this stupid. The saddest  thing is that so many posters here agree with your comments. And I am convinced you do not truly believe this crap you post.

    • quark

      OK. So please explain to us how Baldacci forced Lepage to lie to the legislature during supplemental budget sessions after they already knew about this.

      • Guest

        Can you prove that charge?

        • Anonymous

          No one on this forum can prove that charge based upon what the BDN has published. But if Mayhew’s statements are accurate, she has known about the problem for at least two months and made nothing public. That means she either lied to you, me or the governor. Take your pick.

    • Guest

      Thank you for fighting back at the moonbats!

  • Anonymous

    You should step aside..:)

  • Anonymous

    This administration just can’t seem to get their arms around the problems at DHHS.  How about getting the money back from ineligible people.  We cannot continue to throw money into a department that is so poorly run.

    • Anonymous

       How about getting the money back from the vendors and systems people as well?Is that in the state contract?

      • Anonymous

         The state could do this if the contract is written to do so.  However, from my experience in state government, the State of Maine tends to buy a computer program and then manipulate it to fit its needs.  Manipulating a program causes problems every time.  But, in this case, it appears that DHHS is using two systems that don’t talk to each other, and they evidently didn’t build in verification procedures to flag problems.  It is not only state government that has these problems, but it is more important because it is money out of our pockets that pay for this mess.

        • Anonymous

           Thanks.I see the Dilbert cartoon coming to life.

  • Jazz11

    LePage wins again….. NOT!!!

  • Anonymous

    Absolutely there are problems with the computer system that can’t be blamed on LePage or Mayhew.  However, the fact remains that Mayhew knew of this problem and didn’t bring it to the attention of legislative leaders as they were trying develop the budget and that failure falls squarely on Mayhew (and anyone she did tell).  That failure is inexcusable and she should remember that when she speaks of “accountability.

  • Anonymous

    The other half or this story is that this “computer glitch” also kicked people who are eligible off the program, including those who are disabled, including myself.  I had to stop respiratory care to help me breath. I couldn’t get any of my meds. I couldn’t see any of my Doctors.
    It would seem since the Gov couldn’t get his way passed and just dump people off of Mainecare, they dumped people off and blamed the computer.
    Don’t forget that a computer is only as smart as the users

    • poormaniac

      And this happened under whose administration ?

    • Anonymous

       I wish you well and hope your problems are on their way to being resolved.

    • Anonymous

      This is very true. Its odd that you lost all benefits, usually this glitch just screws around with Pharmacy stuff, where Mainecare billing as to literally call and fax verification that the client is actually open, no matter what the system says.
      But sadly, Upnorth, that story isn’t nearly as sexy as this one.

  • Anonymous

    Seems that DHS always has a computor problem, not only in this administration but it has happen in the last administration too.  I think if the State and Feds are going to use computors for everything they better get someone who is smart enought to write a program to tie them all together.  Look at the Post Office, it’s sytem is a joke.  

  • David A. Woodbury

    These are the computer systems that Gov. Baldacci selected for the department to use. Maybe he can get elected to the US Senate and extend the computer incompetence to any federal department that doesn’t already have it.

  • Anonymous

    HIRE PEOPLE WHO KNOW HOW TO DO THE BOOKS AND PEOPLE WHO KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • Anonymous

    So the hand wringing and upset over to generous “welfare” benefits turns into a bureaucratic screw up known beforehand by Landslide LePage and his flunkies but kept under wraps.  Somehow I’m not surprised. 

  • Anonymous

    government asleep at the wheel.

  • Anonymous

    This problem has been haunting us for years and costing us money that was paid to unworthy people. The people who were resposible for researching and purchasing systems for both the DHHS and the DMV were incompetent.
    Sounds to me that computer problems and the hacks that work for Mayhew go back to the Baldacci era. The left doesn’t want to hear it, but it’s a fact. The DHHS people are not use to be ing accountable or reporting malfunctions because they were so common place.

    • Anonymous

       “unworthy people?”May you never have any bad luck or illness in your life.It’s a long fall.

    • Guest

      A rotten and ignorant comment.  The “unworthy people” never saw these benefits.  The medical offices and hospitals saw them, if and when they received them.  The State benefitted from getting reimbursement from the Federal government.  Despicable comment.

  •  The problem began in 2010 and you are right, back then there was an incompetent administration.

    • Anonymous

      The captain of the Titanic din’t blame the iceberg!  Hazelwood didn’t blame the ledges of Valdez.  They both were forced to admit they blew it on their watch.  Add another fair weather sailor disaster..to the one asleep at the wheel!

  • Anonymous

    Computers are only as good as the input from humans that they receive…..come on people! Do our officials really think they can use the computer system as an escape goat!

    • Anonymous

      Escape “joke”. :(

  • Anonymous

    Need to come up with a way to collect all of that money back from the frauders and arrest them for theft of services like the law would do if you stole from a business.

  • Anonymous

    And what’s with this crap of having to have my comment examined by a moderator before it is posted?  I must not be too far off center, with 258 posts, I have over 1500 likes.  I never attack, and does their system match the states, no record of my past posts? 

    Bangor daily news internet flunkies flexing their editing abilities or just job security?

  • Anonymous

    Read my post Bangorian…..contrary to what the common people know, an elected official does not know exactly how many mice there are in Blaine House, or the capitol either.  They delegate mouse control to the cat.  When they step in mouse pellets, they start asking questions. By then there is definitely a mouse problem. So, you fire the cat.

    • Anonymous

       Except that the mouse was so big and has been there so long that it probably should have been offered a room in the Blaine House.  DHHS has wasted hundreds of millions of dollars on that computer system.  Penguin should have made monitoring that a priority.  You should read my post.

  • Anonymous

    Here we go with yet another set of numbers, I’ll bet they’ll show either an unexpected surplus so LaPlague can give another tax break, or millions more debt so they’ll have to gut social services even more. If there is a surplus, the wealthy gain, if there is more debt, the people lose. With LaPlague the people always come up short.

  • Anonymous

    We can’t blame the computers for overpaying. If we know that the payment system & the eligibility system didn’t cross-check automatically, we should’ve been doing the cross-check the old fashioned way. Yea, it’s called work. It is inexcusable to know about the issue, at any level, and not do the work required to ensure that proper payments are made.
    The long-term fix is automating the system. Short term, don’t pay people that shouldn’t be.

  • Anonymous

    Headline:

    LEPAGE BRINGS WASTE, FRAUD and ABUSE to MAINE STATE GOVERNMENT

    • Guest

      Correction!!!!!!!!! LePage’s administration made it public despite this ongoing  problem  for many years. this was known  back in the proevious administration , but nothing was done about it. READ the damned story before you start spouting off political garbage!!!!!

      • Anonymous

        Made it public? When? In 2010 when they first learned about it or in 2012 – after KNOWINGLY doing nothing to resolve it for the past two years?

        The computer problem was first discovered sometime in 2010 which was the year Baldacci left and LePage was elected.  LePage was elected in early in Nov of 2010 and this article is not clear what month this problem was first discovered – it could have been October, November, December 2010.   We really don’t know.

        What we do know for sure is that outdated non-interactive software may have started the problem but once it was discovered in 2010 resolving it should have been a top priority for the incoming LePage administration. Do you realize that the LePage administration has KNOWINGLY allowed this to continue?   And… it’s still happening!

        I don’t care about Baldacci – he’s gone, he can’t do anything about this and I don’t know which month in 2010 it was brought to his attention. But I do know that the LePage administration should have made this a top priority from the first day of office. Instead he prioritized redecorating state buildings… this just makes me livid.

        So, what do you think… will the LePage administration actually DO SOMETHING to fix this very costly problem or will they just whine about it for another year and then pass the buck?

        • Anonymous

          Bravo! Well said!

        • Anonymous

          They will whine!!!

        • You dont suppose that the increased numbers played into his attack on the welfare state do you?

          Why correct it when he can use it for his attack!

      • Anonymous

        well said!

      • Anonymous

        Touchy much?

      • It started in 2010 , thats a year and a 1/4 under lepage

        • Anonymous

          2010 was under Baldacci nice try .  LePage didn’t take office until January 5, 2011.

  • Anonymous

    The buck stops at the top. Mayhew is in over her head. The Governor and Mayhew have surrounded themselves with incompetent people. I don’t know how the legislature can trust any facts or figures that come from DHHS. Garbage in-garbage out. Do what is necessry to fix the problem……. do it right and do it pronto.

  • Anonymous

    take take take..ignorant brainless politicians and DHHS WORKERS!

  • Anonymous

    More excuses. Also very lame excuses….Remember, figures don’t lie, but lier’s figure.

  • Anonymous

    I think they need to get rid of most of the staff and start fresh! I also think Mary should go and they need to get IS people that know what they are doing!

  • Guest

    Read the story again , this goes back to 2010 , and was just brought to the Gov. attention January 2012. Plenty of blame to go around. Why didn’t the previous administration  make sure that all computer systems were integrated(so they could communicate) ? This is not rocket surgery!  Now that it has been identified, yes, heads should roll. Accountability is necessary. Now is the time for  for an Inspector General to oversee all systems in state government to see if there are other departments  with similar problems.

  • Guest

    And , by the way,  who says it’s the most significant part of the State budget?

  • Anonymous

    Yeah right-This is all LePAges fault. He probably doesn’t even know where this particular computer is. Be real people-someone, obviously overlooked something. It’s called technology, and if we allow it to go unchecked with non tech methods, it, technology will be/is our undoing. 

  • Anonymous

    If the “magnitude of the incompetence is astounding”, then Mayhew should resign or be fired.

  • Anonymous

    it is very easy to blame the computer system for the problem but the system can only do what it is programed to do sometimes heaven forbid the operater might actually have to do some work.but im sure they are searching dilligently for a fix that will be done by an inside company with ties to one of our lawmakers companies. 

  • Anonymous

    Your right on the money with this one. But, they are committing fraud not only against the state but against the taxpayers of this state. I do not believe in supporting athletic  teams,(dem/rep/lib.) Someone always wants to win and no one can agree on the rules. Unfortunately, it is the taxpayers who always loose. Those of you who have short memories, the dems who ran this state for decades have made  this mess! We need to stop labeling and blaming and fix the problem! If you think you have a solution for DHS send it in, and put your political preferences aside.

  • Anonymous

    If she lops off a few heads, Mayhew might land on her feet. Otherwise, if she is as responsible for this snafu as she admits, then the prudent thing to do is clean out her desk, hand in her keys and go home. But if she is the best the guv can get for that job,  he’s shown once again why Marden’s is probably better off in his absence.

  • Anonymous

    This is yet another leftover from the Baldacci administration. The incompetent workers who were carry overs from his reign are responsible. Face it, its going to take time to clean up after that administration. Does anyone recall the computer program that was put in place with out a trial run and cost us over $30 million? Talk about incompetence!

  • Guest

    Read the bleeping story again,,,,,,,,,then ask yourself in a cool dark closet,,,,,,,when did this begin? If it was known back in 2010 (previous administration) why wasn’t it addressed then? Was it really brought to Mayhew before January 2012? If so, why would she hide it if it has been going on for years? Who the hell benefits from this mistake and what good is a coverup for past administrations failures?

    • Anonymous

      Mayhew’s lack of knowledge has more to do with being unfamiliar with DHHS  and therefore unqualified to manage it.  Hopefully she’s a quick study and doesn’t make too many more mistakes as she learns her job.

    • Anonymous

      She hid it because the Governor wanted it hidden so he could push through his threatened cuts using his made up numbers. Interesting that he cut 19,000 non-cats which happens to be the same number of those incorrectly receiving benefits. A little too close to be a coincidence, don’t you think???

    • Anonymous

      This federal audit could really shed some light on your questions. I wonder where Van Burgel is these days? I wonder if she’d care to let us in on just how long ago she told Mary and LePage about this issue.

  • Anonymous

    DHHS needs boots on the ground doing some check ups on the requests for MaineCare funds. Push away from your computers, get off your dead butts, do some leg work. Make a few phone calls. Stop giving away our tax dollers to just anyone. IT’S CALLED WORK!!

    • Anonymous

       Will you support hiring the boots on the ground? Do you know what the workload is? No, I know you don’t. Caseworkers handling 3000 people, and threatened with discipline if they think about reporting fraud because it rocks the boat. I am certain you must be someone who wants less state employees, wants to lower their pay, and cut their benefits. For your information that has been going on for years now and this is the result. We need people to do real work that requires thinking and you are not going to get it from Mardens.

  • Anonymous

    DHHS has been having “computer problems” since the last century. 

  • Anonymous

    What a bunch of incompetent BOOBS !

  • Anonymous

    Paulie should go in there and yell at that darn computer, maybe stomp his feet a little !!

  • Anonymous

    ‘Smiles’ while shaking my head….

  • Anonymous

    Accountability starts at the top. Where are you LePage? Oh, that’s right, you are at the top of the heap.

  • every time some bleeding heart liberal that works for the state is put in charge of acounting,we have computer glitches….hmmm sounds like some heads should roll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

    • Anonymous

      The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.  – Leonardo da Vinci

    • Anonymous

      Your comment is myopic and simplistic.

      This is not a Republican, Democrat, liberal, conservative, right, or left issue. EVERYONE should be incensed and EVERYONE who had a part in this debacle should be held accountable.

      It’s fair to blame DHHS employees who are responsible, but where is your outrage at Mayhew for not informing the Legislature in January.

      Is it logical that she didn’t tell her boss, the Governor, when she knew and he was promoting his DHHS budget cuts supposedly based on accurate financial figures?

      If she didn’t notify LePage, he should fire her immediately. If she did, he should be removed from office for malfeasance.

      There should be a thorough investigation by the Legislature of all parties: what did they know and when did they kbow it?

      • Anonymous

         I agree but if anyone at DHHS is held accountable for any of this, it will be the first time.

  • You’ve got to be kidding?  Now I suppose these people will be held responsible? 

    I’ve seen other weird things with DHHS.  For example, I know someone who got a stack of notices in the same envelope.  One notice said they weren’t eligible for Medicaid.  The next said they were (and they should have been as they have kids).  All in the same envelope.  

    • Anonymous

      Reason for this is this: If the clients move from one “coverage group” to another by policy the Mainecare has to be “closed” in order to open up the new coverage. Therefore a letter that says “you’re closed” and then “you’re open”.
      Another way this could happen, if someone sends in a review for Mainecare for February and it is not completed until Mar 1st, they will get the closure letter and then the open letter as the case did techincally close out.
      Federal law states clients need to be notified in writing, ergo the letters.

  • Anonymous

    If Mayhew knew in January, this should have been addressed with the legislature BEFORE the budget vote.

  • Anonymous

    Perfect, computer problems, again. “We are doing an analysis to find what the financial implications are.” again. That entire department top to bottom should be put on notice that there jobs are on the line.  These computer problems have been occuring with amazing regularity since the McKernan administration. Republican and Democrat, thats over 20 years of gross incompetence. Thats MY MONEY you fools are entrusted with. This just adds more fodder to the fire of slashing the size of government and services. And then the state employee union will whine about their sacred jobs. Sacred job to do lousy work and not uphold their fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayer. If I administered my personal or business finances in the same fashion as DHHS has I would be charged with a crime, in bankruptcy proceedings, or pennyless and on the street. But since it’s a public agency they (just like all their predecessors) have a get out of jail free card. No real repurcussions, it’s taxpayer money after all, there is always more. If Mayhew looses this job, she will surely get another somewhere else. Stop whining about who/what person or admin broke it or failed to fix and just FIX IT ONCE AND FOR ALL. The Gang That Can’t Shoot Straight lives on to fail yet again. 

  • Anonymous

    To err is human. To really screw things up takes a computer. To step up and take responsibility takes a man(no affront to women intended). To shift the blame takes a politician.

  • Jeff

    Time to do some house cleaning in Augusta starting with LePage and then DHHS. Come on how can you miss over 19,000 people!!?

  • ladybaroque

    Why would she even admit to such a stupid mistake?  It’s a major blunder!

  • Anonymous

    Remember, this monstrosity of a system was built in the Baldacci administration.

  • Anonymous

    Computer problems?? If the programs were never intended to interface then that is not a computer problem.  That is no excuse!!! A report run from one program listing the clients and another run from the other program could have easliy been cross-referenced manually or electronically.  This is a joke to blame computers!.  If it really is a computer issue then the company that installed the systems should be liable.  Who is in charge of the accounting here?  No checks and balances??  Can you imagine if a private company sent checks to vendors who were not on the “vendor list”.. I just cannot believe this!!!  There should be an audit team created to validate all departments billing and receiving practices.  And someone should lose their job over this!.  I am certain a very nice salary is attached to the people.  I just get more and more angry as I write this.   This day and age with programmers and computer skills available this is not an acceptable excuse!

    • Anonymous

       State gov. in Maine pays about half to 60% of what private industry gives for IT positions. Since they have kept the pay low, they get to claim there is no talent on board, and they have to outsource. The screamers want to cut state pay, and in IT they have succeeded, now they get the results.

  • Anonymous

    In the real business world someone would be fired over this. Only in Government can this happen and they want to run UHC. What a joke!

  • Anonymous

    You cant replace people with computers and machines.
    Prime example.
    Another one is the people collecting SS for people that are dead for years!! Why isnt that system linked to Death Cert system?

    Computers are a great tool no doubt, but you can not replace a human match up every so often, it is called an AUDIT!!
    Our government needs to be on AUDIT at all times!

    Imagine the waste that we dont hear about, this is the tip of the iceburg as to why we, the working class keep paying into systems that cant afford to sustain us. SS, Medicare,Insurances, and the list goes on.

    • Anonymous

       We had a few, the gov. and the Repubs. forced them out and froze the positions so they could not be filled. Why would a gov. not want people to be able to audit the money?

  • Anonymous

    Was this really the computer or was it a problem with the people doing the audits? This should of been picked up a long time ago..  Why were Mainecare people seeing providers 2-3 times a week so the providers can keep billing 135.00 dollars each time. This is where a lot of your money went.  These patients are treated as piece work. This kind of billing is unexceptable. If you have a problem treat everything while you are there . You don’t keep going back, so the providers can’t keep stealing money from the state.

  •  19,000 people and not one of them knew they had been removed from Mainecare?  Makes sense to me.  I love how now your saying that they did nothing wrong because they are too helpless and ignorant to comprehend how a government freebie system works.  If they were so clueless how did they get on the system in the first place?  Who could possibly understand how to join something so convoluted?  You put so little faith in these people that you don’t think that they are capable of anything.  Why would they try to better themselves? 

  • Anonymous

    The gang that couldn’t shoot straight strikes again.  When I look at how much difficulty Republicans had in counting presidential caucus votes, I have to ask: “Can any Republican do basic math?”

  • Anonymous

    Was this the same computer used by ROBert Nutting when he received more than $1.25 million in ineligible payments???

  • Anonymous

    Here’s an easy way to solve this problem in about 30 seconds.  From today’s paper, no less. 

     http://bangordailynews.com/2012/03/07/business/ibms-watson-gets-wall-street-job-year-after-jeopardy-win/

  • Anonymous

    Incompetence!  Incompetence!  Incompetence!  Incompetence!  Incompetence!  Incompetence!

  • Anonymous

    John’s computer system is still the problem.  The dems had no idea.

  • Anonymous

    Not surprised …. State computer system is sorely outdated. Same thing happened at the FBI before 9/11 ….. Their system was 20 years behind the times and no one knew what was happening down the hall …. If they had some of the hijackers could have been stopped … At the FBI their leader the lame Louis B. Freeh didn’t even know how to e-mail and wasted the entire 90s doing nothing to update their computer system … I suspect LePage is also computer ignorant …. It follows because it best describes his knowledge of most things.

    • Anonymous

       The taxpayers spent over $110 million on updating this computer system during the failed Baldacci administration.  If it’s not up to date that’s the fault of our dedicated, hard working public servants who absolutely wasted the first $80 million, and now it looks like we got little for the subsequent $30 million as well. 

      Here’s an link detailing the beginnings of the troubles…

      http://portland.thephoenix.com/news/31779-and-this-is-why-you-cant-have-nice-things/

    • Anonymous

       The gov. also put a ban on any training for State employees unless it was paid for by the vendors and only in very rare cases. They want to outsource, they don’t want state employees who know the ropes to be pointing out the flaws.

  • Anonymous

    Sure blame the computer, so who programs or monitors the computer, Hummmmmmmmmm

  • jimbobhol

    The Feds already told them there were accounting problems with Medicaid. Time for the Feds to step in and show “WE THE PEOPLE” what has been going on in this State for years. This is a State Agency out of control. There are 49 other State’s that do this everyday, you would think there’s a computer system capable of doing this. I believe some heads need to roll and not just from the top this is a problem attributed to incompetent managers at all levels. 

  • Anonymous

    Do the math on the back of an envelope. 19,000 ineligible and let’s just use $195 cost per ineligible claim.  Remember, back of the envelope, order of magnitude.

    I get about $2.5 million. Let’s see, would it be a good spending decision to spend another $2 million to fix this problem?

  • Anonymous

    I like the Mary Mahew said she will hold those who knew about the problem in January of this year accountable! This has been an on-going problem at DHHS for years now. I think Mickey Mouse set up the computer program for them. I hope they work on it 24/7 until completely cleaned up.

  • Anonymous

    Attention Mainers. There will be a at least one job opening at DHHS as soon as they finger the person responsible for the budget shortfall. There might be a second position (for Health and Human Services Commissioner) since Mary Mayhew is taking responsibility—–which can’t look good on her resume.

  • Anonymous

    The problems with the two computer systems being incapable of ‘talking’  to each has been known by almost any body who has ever had anything to do with MaineCare since 2008-2010, at least, when the contracts with Molina, formerly Unisys were extended, twice –  in part, because there was no backup for the old system. 

    The State spent millions on extended consulting contracts and installing a high tech computer system fairly recently because of the Federal mandate to facilitate streamlining the entire country’s State computerized payer systems.

    So, I don’t quite understand what she  means ‘nobody called it to her attention’.  It’s was fairly common konwledge, I should think.  Just ask any Provider.

    One of those cases where people in authority don’t even know that they don’t know what their dealing with?

    Wow.

    Weeks ago, stating in January, I started calling a lot of people, including a few folks at DHHS, and  also my legislator’s office to inquire about a glitch(es) I perceived and queried  how they propose being able to make decisions, if they can’t even put their hands on the current accurate information that they need, hold it in their hands, and look at it?  I agree with Rep. Rotundo.

    I also think there may be some private contractor liability to be found, still, and I am sure I’m not the first to consider it, since they represent themselves as ‘the industry experts’ and got the low bid for still very lucrative government contracts.

    Having Federal HHS, Kathleen Sebelius’ offer of bringing in a technical team to help Maine with their Medicaid system is the least they can do since they’re the ones ordering the change – if States expect to get the highest percentage of matching funds available, that is.

    The difference is a significant amount so it was in the States interests to comply. Why do it, otherwise?

    A streamlined system is still a couple of years away and must coincide with the new law. Stay tuned.

    • Anonymous

      Why are we paying people as Director of Information technology if they can’t even administer a contract? 

  • Anonymous

    Computer problem????
    PEOPLE PROGRAM COMPUTERS.  Computers don’t know when somebody becomes ineligable or for that matter, eligable. PEOPLE ENTER THIS INFORMATION!!!
    STAFF at the Department of Health and Human Services were aware of a problem with the bill-paying computer system since 2010 but it was not brought to the attention of her and other agency leaders until January. And there’s the answer. STAFF. Ever since the inception of computers that has been the stock ecuse. It’s the computer. Wrong. The computer is only as good as the program written by PEOPLE and the PEOPLE who program the compuster

    IT’S A PEOPLE PROBLEM!!!!!!!!!!

  • Basically, she said, the bill paying computer
    system could not communicate with the eligibility system, so individuals were
    not being removed from the billing system after it was determined they were no
    longer eligible for benefits.

    “We have two information systems that were never
    designed to talk to one another, and so these cases were not properly closed in
    the claims payment system,” Mayhew said.

    How in the WORLD do you not have your bill paying system connecting to the eligibility system?  How is that even possible.  Ugh.

    • Anonymous

      Since 2005/2006 there have been problems.  Certainly known since 2008-2010.

      The two systems are not ‘compatible and it became clear, after extended consulting contracts, that the old system was never going to be fixable, so as to meet new Federal Standards which are the basis for Federal matching funds/reimbursement percentage rates.

      There was not even a  back up for the old system.

      Hardly ideal, AND the ‘experts’ knew what the problems were better than anybody else could and made representations that they could handle it, bid low, and got the contracts. Not just in Maine either – from what I have been able to glean.

      And so here we are.

      These out of state IT/computer experts exist to make money, largely by Reforming Medicaid/Medicare, now and selling future insurance policies, too!.

      It’s what they do and they have been in it for a couple of decades, already, beginning at the Federal level with various agencies etc and branching out to include individual State programs etc.

      • You are so right there.  It’s maddening.

      • Anonymous

        So these companies forced Maine to sign contracts that had no performance requirements? Who was in charge of writing these contracts and who was in charge of assessing progress and approving payment?  More of our dedicated, hard working, talented public servants.  I suppose they got promoted for all of this too.

        • Anonymous

           Appointees, not regular employees. Their only goal is to get through the term(s) of one governor and to hades with Mainers.

    • Anonymous

       How about the old way? Get a report printed out, have a few people walk across the room and delete those people from the roles? NO!!!!!!! That would mean more state employees. I guess kicking off 19,000 ineligible people might have paid the salaries for a few staff, turned a nice profit and let it be known that cheating would be caught, but NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it would have meant some employee either getting or keeping a job.

  •  http://portland.thephoenix.com/news/31779-and-this-is-why-you-cant-have-nice-things/

    Here’s a grand history of the DHHS computer disasters since 2005, courtesy of Al Diamon.

  • Guest

    The MeDHHS computer system was designed ON PURPOSE to fail so as to obscure which of Brenda Harvey’s relatives and buddies of the party hacks were stealing the system blind.  For a list of the bigger thieves, see the Naomi Schalit piece on the $235-million funneled to Brenda’s husband and outfits connected to key legislators.   This is just like setting a house on fire to cover up a burglary.

  • Guest

    “We have two information systems that were never designed to
    talk to one another, and so these cases were not properly closed in the claims
    payment system,” Mayhew said.

    Horse feathers, I’ve never met multiple dissimilar systems
    that couldn’t be interfaced. If that is truly the issue most any DB person
    could make those systems speak.  

    • Anonymous

       This is the same state employee IT bunch who wasted $80 million on the failed Mainecare billing system that NEVER DID WORK and then spent another $30 million on this barely working monstrosity.  I’m sure they’re more than capable of screwing up anything.  Just another example what our dedicated, hard working public servants are doing for Maine.

      • Anonymous

         The IT bunch is not allowed to disagree. The purchases and decisions are always called “above their pay grade” and the appointed officials make the decision. We could have great IT in Maine, and where the staff can make the decisions, we do have the best. When the bureaucrats who get their ideas from a flyer at an out of state convention get involved it goes into the outhouse.

      • Guest

        Not knowing the internal dynamics I have no way of knowing
        where the blame lies. But being a vet of many IT management wars I’d be willing to
        bet that the tech group is tight and on time and it is those in management
        promoted past their competence who need ferreted out.

    • Anonymous

       The State does not let our competent IT staff have any input into the discussions or the decision of what to purchase beyond just enough to get their names involved so they can be blamed. The money people always outsource whenever they can. See a badly plowed Maine road this winter? It was a contractor, or the fact that the employees were ordered not to lower their blades and told to spread the sand and salt thinly. Next time you need a road plowed, call a contractor.

      • Guest

        I have no doubt there are fiefdoms of incompetents that need protection. Those who are clueless can go wrong with confidence…. they hire consultants.

    • Anonymous

      Never underestimate the incompetance of the Baldi administration.  This goes back 2010, you cant blame Lepage.

  • Anonymous

    Two statements from this article stand out for me:

    1. “Mayhew said staff at the Department of Health and Human Services were aware of a problem with the bill-paying computer system since 2010 but it was not brought to the attention of her and other agency leaders until January.”
     
    2. “She said there will be “accountability” for the problems within her staff and the failure to inform her and the Legislature of the problem.”

    I am all for “accountability” (is this a euphamism for firing?) of DHHS employees who knew about this problem and, if true, did not notify Mayhew until January, 2012.

    But, what about Mayhew’s “accountability” for not informing the Legislature and the Appropriations Committee about this problem when LePage submitted his DHHS budget cuts, relentlessly emphasizing  a MaineCare shortfall (?).  She should resign or be fired.

    When did LePage learn that his MaineCare budget figures were wrong? It’s hard to believe that his Commissioner of DHHS would not inform him as soonas she knew. If she did not, then she definitely should go. If she did tell him and he continued a charade to promote his ends, he should be impeached and removed.

    Do you remember when LePage ordered DHHS to cease providing information to the Appropriations Committee?

    Republicans in the Legislature, as well as Democrats, must conduct a thorough investigation into this situation. Their credibility and integrity is on the line. Will it happen?

  • Anonymous

    The incompetence demonstrated by this woman simply defies logic and is breathtaking.   The number of screw-ups and their far-reaching consequences ought to be enough for Gov. LePage to send her packing.  I don’t know how he can continue to pursue the cuts in Mainecare when we don’t even have an accurate assessment of what’s being spent.  It is, frankly, inexcuseable.

    • Anonymous

      Incompetance of the left over Baldacci installed managers is more like,  Mahew needs to do more house cleaning and bring in some competant people to run the computers.

      Maybe a bounty is needed where each employyee at DHHS who rats out any ineligable layabout abusing the system gets a fee.

  • jimbobhol

    I believe it’s time for everyone to write your US Senator and US Rep and see if the Feds can’t fix these on going problems with DHHS. Enough is enough.  We need some real sunshine on this Agency to root out the real problems.

    • Anonymous

      The Feds offered. LePage rejected. He does not want correct numbers.

  • Otis B. Driftwood

    Computer problems, as an excuse for inept operations, seems to be common for the lapudge administration.

    • Anonymous

      The two systems were created back in 2010 under Baldi.  the hacks the installed the systems are probably still there working and of course wont own up to the new boss that their baby sucks!

  • Mary Mayhew speaks almost as if she is totally unaware that problems like this fall under her job description……I wonder how much the State wastes on HER salary ?

  • Anonymous

    I love conspiracy theories, too, but what I think is probably more accurate,
    is that there are way too many people claiming to be ‘experts’, who
    aren’t really,  and are still able to persuade, uninformed people, with
    money, to fork it over to take this very complex problem off their hands.

    That’s why I say, ‘they’, meaning the expert contractors,  should probably
    cough some of it back up – fix it, replace it, file a claim 
    for the errors under a Professional liability/D&O insurance policy,
    Self-Insured retention, or something to cover the liability.

    I don’t think we, the state of Maine, should be forced to spend the money to do this and then
    have to eat it when it all kinda ‘goes south’.

    This has been going on, for
    years, and it’s not working-for anybody.

    You know what I mean.

    • Anonymous

      Just more of the careful stewardship of our tax money that we’ve all come to expect from our dedicated, hard working public servants. [/sarcasm]

  • There is a person that works a crosswalk here in Maine that appears to have mild developmental disabilities. There is alwasy a car with a person in it watching her the whole time. I assume it is a paid employee supporting the person. There is always a second car with a person in it, seemingly another MaineCare reimbursed person. It seems outrageous that Mainecare is being billed for two emps, travel for two cars, for a person that appeared to be able to travel on their own. I wonder if this person is really ineligible and the company will be required to pay back everything they billed, seems only fair…of course history tells us they will not and will become politicans!

    • Guest

      Well, then, you had better report that person for attempting to work to the best of his or her ability.  You have no facts.  Your post is speculative, and is as worthy as the worst, most ignorant of gossips.  I suggest you get off the internet and go and ask all of them just what the story is, but I doubt you have the nerve.  Gossips, and people who care about facts, never do.

    • Anonymous

      Wow. You have observed someone apparently stalking a developmentally disabled woman, and–instead of perhaps reporting this to the police–have leaped to wild conclusions.

      Probably the person in the second car was busily  jotting down notes for a Comment right here on this page about how the woman receives but doesn’t deserve MaineCare.

      And probably there was a 4th person in a 4th car busily observing YOU and deciding that YOU work for MaineCare and are billing the state for your time, etc. etc.

  • beangood

    Wicked. 19,000 closed cases and the system is some how cracked so medical payments can be made and not one medical receipt is ever mailed to any of the closed cases?

    If in the case where a prescription is filled it gets even more interesting. There, some one would have to pick up the prescription knowing they were no longer eligible for Maine Care.

    But, regardless of the insurance claim it seems unilikely that not any one person would ever come forward and ask why their medical cost could be paid for when after they no longer qualified to receive MaineCare, or other DHHS programs.

    The explanatin of how the system fails in the manner suggested will be intersting.  

    It will be like not ever having the same answer to the same question no matter how many times it is asked.

  • Anonymous

    We outsourced the programming. All of the money spent is gone to a company that provided a bad product. A few managers, not IT specialists were put in place to take the blame after the commissioners and the business friendly types decided not to let State Employees do the job. During any meeting where a dissenting voice was heard, they were either ignored or never invited back.
    If we had hired the talent, we could have fired them if they failed, promoted them if they succeeded and still had someone that could fix it if it only needed tweaks.
    Maybe we should outsource the investigation?
    This is not a Dem or Repub issue, this is an issue of giving in to the cry that business always does it better than government. Disband the army, and hire Blackwater? Our taxes are already being handled by temps who can get your Soc. Sec. number, your tax info and more. Hire Mainers to do the job in an agency where they know the processes and the goals, keep the money in Maine and you will see it succeed.

  • Guest

    The BDN must correct this headline.  It sets people up to believe that benficiaries received direct, cash benefits from the errors.  That is not the case.

  • Anonymous

    After being hired Mayhew said publicly that she was not qualified to do the job. LePage had a hard time finding people willing to come to work for him. I seem to remember him saying something like ” I haven’t been turned down by so many women since I was in high school ”

    Well Mr. LePage……..unfortunately we are now feeling the effects of hiring incompetent people. You fired competent intelligent people and replaced them with lemmings that will do as ordered.  That truly is politics before people.

  • Anonymous

    has anyone thought of trying to get the money back???????????????

  • Anonymous

    Years ago the computer system wasn’t paying claims, now it is paying too much? Who are the software developers? Who sold the product to the state, and who is in the IT department? Should they consider new IT personnel? I am unemployed. Hint hint.

    Back when I did have a job, a problem went through management. They would not share the details with me, until one evening they called and I was the only one to pick up the phone. I figured out the issue within 10-15 minutes. Ongoing problem was resolved within 20 minutes.

    I also once helped the company I worked for trace a problem down to an algorithm, and helped them trace another issue down the the hardware/software conflict on a device.

    Oh, but now I am unemployed and do not look like I can hit the ground running….. :/

  • Anonymous

    Cancel Maine Care and start over…..Mayhew needs to go..It’s simple. Over 65 and on SS,you get some help. Totally disabled 100%,you get some help. Everyone else get a JOB !!!!!!!! Like the rest of us. We can’t pay your way anymore………. 

  • Anonymous

    “And this mess is so big

     And so deep and so tall,

     We cannot pick it up.

     There is no way at all!”  ― Dr. Seuss, The Cat in the Hat

  • Anonymous

    Mary, oh Mary………you need to take a long hike! How in hell do you allow the payment of benefits to 16,000 people who are not eligible? Jesus! Take a hike. From all the news I’ve seen, it is quite obvious that you are in way over your head.

  • Anonymous

    Two computer systems created under Baldacci DHHS. One makes the payments(screws hospitals out of 400 million) and the other allows 19000 ineligable layabouts to get free care which they should not have. Not surprising.

    Then DHHS employees fail to tell the new Commisioner of the problem because of the DHHS debate.
    This just proves there are way too many people on DHHS doles and more cuts need to be made.

     

    • Anonymous

      The final days of the King/Baldacci regimes are getting cleaned up.  Despite what King and Baldacci believe, we can’t all be on welfare.  Someone needs to work and pay the bills. 

  • Anonymous

    They had 2 computers system, one for billing and one for eligibility in Mainecare. They did not speak to each other to each other. Call in the nerds. Get it fixed. Impressive.

  • This is nothing compare to the firestorm that the new prescribing rules for Mainecare recipients on opioid medications are going to ignite.

    LePage and his Legislature cronies have positioned themselves in between doctors and patients, removing treatment decisions from the bedside.  This is supposedly what they hate about government run healthcare, but as of April 1, it’s the law.

    If you are poor enough to be on Mainecare and have chronic pain, you will suffer.

    Despicable, what they have done.

  • Anonymous

    So one-term Paul’s mad dash to kill poor people by withholding needed health care is exposed as a fraud, based on fraudulent assumptions.

    Why am I not surprised? 

  • Anonymous

    Remarkable!  Time to bring in the feds who have some IT people that can figure out this “computer” error.  This department is unbelievable.  Where is the leadership?  She is taking responsibly for the department by holding others accountable?  Remarkable. 

  • …not sure how I got here from Planned Parenthood, NARAL, We Survived Bush…You will Survive Obama, and Limbaugh sites, but I love love love your guidelines for posting!  I thought about posting it elsewhere, but you advise against that sort of thing.  Besides, it might be a Maine thing.  Thank you from a shorts-wearing Arizonan.  You helped me center myself.

  • Anonymous

    By unworthy, I meant that they were not suppose to be in the system receiving benefits because they didm’t qualify under Maine’s extremely LIBERAL guidelines!

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