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Report details Vt. Health Connect's needs - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Report details Vt. Health Connect's needs

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

What does Vermont Health Connect need to accomplish to be ready for open enrollment in mid-November?

Vermont instituted work-arounds in almost every facet of its online health insurance marketplace's operations following the bumpy October rollout.

Administrators and the state's new exchange contractor unveiled a 34-page report Thursday identifying patches needed for those patches in case tech fixes don't materialize in time for November's enrollment period.

"The critical findings and recommendations began to come forward very quickly," said Lawrence Miller, Vermont's health reform chief.

The new contractor, Optum, began the operations assessment in May, but administrators say they didn't wait for a final draft to start working.

A major Medicaid crisis is temporarily averted, though it's not known for how long.

New hires are cutting through a backlog of coverage plans requiring changes and are expected to catch up with the constant stream of new requests by the end of September.

"We reprioritize, what's the most important thing for Vermonters at the moment, and that's how we prioritize our contracting," said Kyle McDowell of Optum.

Standards need to be developed for resolving problem cases and a means of tracking those cases from start to finish to avoid redundant cleanup efforts.

Contractors say communication needs to be better between internal staff and with carriers.

The top priority is fixing computer communication errors which result in insurance carriers being unable to determine what plan a customer has and if they've paid.

A similar report on the tech problems as opposed to issues with workarounds is expected in a week to 10 days.

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