HEA Plus Is A Big Negative: Sunday’s Comic

Failures Of AZDES System HEA Plus Leads To $142 Million Wasted Taxpayer Funds

On February 15, 2017 Tim Jeffries, the former director of the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) revealed that the current computer software program used by DES and the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) is a failed and unsustainable system. Jeffries added the software development vendor should be terminated and investigated.

In an appearance on the James T. Harris radio show on 104.1 FM, Jeffries explained some of the failures of the system known as HEA Plus. HEA Plus, the State’s Medicaid eligibility system, was launched under the purview of the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) with the launch of Obamacare and subsequent expansion of Medicaid.

“The system was never intended to just be for Medicaid,” said Jeffries. “It was intended to be integrated with TANF (Temporary Cash Assistance For Needy Families aka ‘welfare’) and SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program aka ‘food stamps’) because in our offices across the state handle eligibility processing for all three Federal programs.” Jeffries continued by stating “Arizona DES has 77 service centers…an integrated system is needed to efficiently and cost-effectively assess eligibility of Arizonans for Medicaid, food stamps and welfare.

As previously reported, the HEA Plus system, built by SIS, LLC, had a faulty and unsustainable software code foundation according to DES insiders and outsiders. According to sources, the faulty software code foundation is of such poor quality there is no practical way to shore it up, or save it. The system is not scalable nor sustainable. As a result, multiple reports show the cracks of that failed foundation through which Arizona’s neediest residents haven fall periodically…..

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  1. Everything Mr. Jeffries has said about the Health-e-Arizona Plus system is 100% truth. The system rolled out on 10/1/2013 with more problems than I can recall. There were dozens upon dozens of critical patches required. Furthermore, it STILL does NOT work as intended for Medicaid determinations. We’re far over the three year mark after roll-out and the system, in my opinion, is about 20% complete. SIS is an immensely incompetent tech company that continues to steal hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars. Please keep in mind that the information stored in the system is accessed by a web browser. This cloud model weakens information security and makes vulnerable protected personal information to script kiddies looking for something fun to do on a dull Sunday afternoon. With SIS not even proving capable of building a working user interface and rules engine, how well could their database security be setup? I don’t know the answer but can guess that the DB contains more holes than a chain link fence.

  2. Unfortunately, you can’t paint over a computer system like you can a Mr. Smiley bollard, nor can you put a flag patch over a computer system like you can a Mr. Smiley patch. Sorry, Henry, this one is going to be a lot harder to make go away!

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