Independent Report on Vt. Health Connect Released

Published 03/28 2014 09:09PM

Updated 03/28 2014 10:09PM

MONTPELIER, Vt. - A new report details what went right and wrong with Vermont Health Connect.

The launch of the website has been plagued with problems.

A consultant from the firm BerryDunn, out of Maine, broke down his report for legislators in Montpelier Friday.

It found many people involved with Vermont Health Connect lacked experience with this type of project and leaders were not transparent or good at communicating.

"Do you have confidence in all your staff members? Do you think there should be any changes?" asked FOX44/ABC22's Matt Austin.

"I do think there are many, many folks who have worked very, very hard in Vermont on Vermont Health Connect. I don't envision any specific changes at this point," says Mark Larson, commissioner of the Department of Vermont Health Access.

The report blames the project's slow start on failed negotiations with developers, changes to federal rules, and workers with no insurance background.

"The state was unprepared to do a project like this," says Darci Johnston, Vermonters for Health Care Freedom.

Johnston is with a group which opposes Vermont Health Connect. She says the report makes one thing clear.

"I think the state should not take on these big IT projects," says Johnston.

Larson says they've already implemented some of the report's ten recommendations, including how decisions are made. Legislators say the report will also help with future health tech projects.

"Applying this knowledge to that is going to be, going foward, a challenge," says State Sen. Jeanette White, D-Windham.

The report cost about $80,000.

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