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It’s Your Money!

“You pay your taxes and Healthcare and Family Services (Medicaid) managers think it is OK to spend that money partying out on a boat, in Boston harbor, with a vendor that was soliciting Illinois for over 100 million dollars in business.”

Would you think it is appropriate for someone to spend your tax dollars for a conference to go party with a vendor spending lavish amounts of money to entertain on private boats, given gifts and extreme amounts of alcohol. HFS responded in partial to our FOIA request and we believe they only released the names of those they think are expendable.  

We do find it interesting that they don’t know who paid for that party.  That being the case is it safe to say they didn’t?  If so, have they violated the State Officials and Employee Ethics Act?  For anyone that has ever been to the Boston Harbor rest assured if your going partying on a boat in that harbor it’s a safe bet you will exceed the $75 a day limit the state has in place, specifically item #8 of the act.

These very state workers collectively under the leadership and direction of Chief Information Officer Stephen Depooter have executed an Intergovernmental Agreement with Michigan circumventing Illinois procurement to hand over to the party throwers (CNSI – Vendor for Michigan) 30 million+ dollars in business this year. 

CNSI is currently under federal grand jury investigation initiated by the Louisiana Attorney General for the same type of business.  Improper contact with state officials!  Southeast Michigan Health Information Exchange  is also suing CNSI currently for contract violations while at the same time the State of Michigan enters into an agreement to sell their services to Illinois.  CNSI has a laundry list of states that are suing them and have had extreme cost over runs and continue to low ball contracts and then ask for more money after they are awarded.

 We have one question for Julie Hamos, who is in charge of Illinois HFS.  Who is minding your shop?

The Edgar County Watchdogs are working closely with Adam Andrzejewski on multiple projects of which this has been our primary effort for the last three months that included a trip to Louisiana to share information with Tom Aswell of the Louisiana Voice

You may recall last month that For the Good of Illinois ran a call to action piece found here.  That notification was the first  peep of exposure of what citizen activists can uncover and expose. 

For those that think you can’t make a difference, I want to make a special call out to Diane Benjamin of Ellsworth, Illinois (BlnNews.com) who was the one person who is responsible for bringing this to the right people to be investigated and exposed!  One person does make a difference!

We have now established multiple whistle blowers from several state  agencies to include senior managers who have assisted in the gathering of this information.  Currently we have approximately 1,000 documents and emails.  

We are about to unleash a massive amount of information online showing the corruption including how one of the managers had business ties in a company that was being awarded tens of million of dollars as part of the $190,000,000 MMIS replacement project.  Stay tuned as our team of investigators continue to compile the information over the next week!

 

 

(FOLLOW UP RESPONSE to CNSI Attorney’s comments)

 

 

 

7 replies »

  1. As counsel at CNSI, I think it is important to address the misinformation in this piece, and by extension, in Mr. Aswell’s Louisiana blog.

    CNSI is a mid-sized cutting edge Health IT company in a field dominated by a few well entrenched mega companies. Our ability to innovate in the Medicaid industry is a threat to many of the larger companies in this space. So attacks against CNSI are not surprising, but false or misleading statements about any company need to be corrected.

    Let’s look at the facts.
    CNSI sued the State of Louisiana because CNSI’s contract with the State of Louisiana was terminated hastily, without notice or cause, all to the detriment of the people of the State. The savings and improvements that were to accrue to the State and its taxpayers from the CNSI contract were significant and would have brought the state’s Medicaid system, built over 25 years ago, into the 21st century. Louisiana now faces the stark reality of an antiquated system that will cost twice as much to run and many millions more to update to comply with law and to ultimately replace.

    Relative to the claim of a “laundry list of states that are suing CNSI”, it does not appear this statement is based on anything but unsupported innuendo. Does anyone check facts anymore? CNSI is engaged in a law suit against the state of Louisiana for wrongful termination of our contract, and a lawsuit in Michigan relating to services that were fully performed and accepted and for which CNSI was not paid; the latter suit is currently being settled. This is all public record.

    This brings us to the accusations of “cost overruns” and “low balling” lobbed in this blog. First, CNSI is often the low bidder because it offers a more cost effective, scalable technology platform. One CNSI state client saved $148 million in the first 18 months after going live with a CNSI solution. Second, state Medicaid Management Information System contracts are multi-year, firm fixed price agreements. They are often amended to address new work that is required to meet federal and other state mandates. However, any cost overrun is at the vendor’s risk, and not the state or the taxpayers.

    More facts:
    Contrary to this blogger’s statements, CNSI has not solicited Illinois, much less for $100 million.
    With regards to the event in Boston, while each state has its own government ethics guidelines, there is no prohibition against hosting an event like the one CNSI hosted in Boston. Large and small companies host vendor events across the country and in all market segments. Just as we hosted an event for conference attendees in Boston, so did our competitors. Our guests were served dinner and beverages during a 3 hour event. Suggestions of excessive drinking are completely incorrect. Contrary to this blogger’s statements, the tax-payers of Illinois did not pay for this event.

    Contrary to this blogger’s statements, there is no evidence that the states of Michigan and Illinois circumvented procurement laws in entering an Intergovernmental Agreement which was approved by the state and the federal authorities. In fact, intergovernmental shared services agreements are a CMS approved arrangement that other states such as Arizona/Hawaii and West Virginia/Virgin Islands have entered into, with the resulting cost savings lauded by state governors and CMS.

    Again, all of this information is or should be available publicly.

    CNSI is committed to bring all the facts surrounding our contract termination in Louisiana to light despite the State’s aggressive effort to let innuendo win out over truth. These efforts include the state’s failure to comply with public records requests, the state’s filing of multiple motions to delay the lawsuit and CNSI’s day in court, and the state’s fight against our efforts (and the media’s) to publicly disclose key documents at every turn.

    Opinion and innuendo are not facts. We appreciate this opportunity to clarify the facts for your readers and encourage you to embrace the time honored journalistic traditions of research and fact checking in your future pieces. CNSI will continue to keep the public abreast of the facts in other outlets.

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