PROVIDENCE, RI – After a competitive procurement process, the State has selected Deloitte Consulting LLP for a three-year maintenance, operations and enhancement support contract for the RIBridges public benefits technology system.
The RIBridges system has been instrumental during the pandemic and is supporting the distribution of benefits which are currently being issued to about a third of Rhode Island’s residents who use various health and human services programs, including Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and HealthSource RI.
“The RIBridges system was critical for our state during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said DHS Interim Director Celia J. Blue. “Due to RIBridges functionality, Rhode Island was the first state in the country to issue P-EBT to families with children who were unable to get meals at school. As our state recovers from the pandemic, staying focused on a better Rhode Island for all – now and in the future – is our priority. The RIBridges system is a needed component to that mission, and helps deliver critical benefits, a lifeline, to nearly a third of our state’s residents. We must continue to maintain this stable system and update it with new innovations and when, not if, there are changes to state and federal policies. This contract allows us to do just that.”
The State issued an RFP for Maintenance and Operations of the RIBridges system in July 2020 and received bids from three vendors. A multi-agency team with several years of experience working with the RIBridges system – comprised of seven directors and staff from DOA, DHS, HSRI and EOHHS, along with seven additional technical advisors – reviewed all three bids. The review team scored Deloitte the highest in technical review.
The contract, from July 2021 through June 2024, has been approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the U.S. Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). It has a fixed price of $99.35M, which will be paid with $41.2M in state funds and $58.1M in federal funds.
The contract was planned to last for five years. At Governor Dan McKee’s request the initial term of this contract will instead last three years, with options to renew to monitor Deloitte’s progress before moving forward with additional years.
Deloitte will also provide 12,600 additional hours of services and system enhancements over the three-year term, an estimated value of nearly $4M. Additionally, the agreement includes the retention of key staff and enhanced contractor performance standards.
In addition to maintaining the system, Deloitte will continue to work with the state to deliver innovative enhancements to improve the customer experience and increase the ways Rhode Islanders can engage with the State. Examples include adding text message functionality to RIBridges to provide timely reminders and expanding the HealthyRhode Mobile App.
So far, the State and Deloitte have implemented nearly 700 enhancements to RIBridges to adapt to changing state and federal policies while simultaneously improving the customer experience and delivering operational efficiencies for our workers.
The contract also allows for the state to maintain funding for supporting personnel, contracts, hardware and software for this critical integrated eligibility system. RIBridges replaced declining legacy systems and established the State’s health exchange, HealthSource RI, that helped decrease the uninsured rate by more than two thirds.