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Costly Vermont health IT projects may not earn ROI for 10 years

[preamble]10 years on a maybe and a waste of OUR $225 million dollars – which we know will triple by the time its completed.[backtopost]

By Susan D. Hall

Vermont and the federal government will spend more than $427 million to launch and run two healthcare-related IT projects but will not see “quantifiable savings” for five to 10 years, according to independent analyst firm BerryDunn.

The two IT systems are the state’s new health insurance exchange and the Agency of Human Services’ integrated eligibility system, which¬†will link together eligibility systems for all human services programs, according to a vtdigger.org article.

BerryDunn estimates that getting the exchange, Vermont Health Connect, up and running will cost $224 million by the end of 2018. The price tag for the eligibility system is estimated at $95 million, including $123 million in staffing and operating expenses for the new systems.

The estimates were based on data before the state was awarded it latest federal grant–$42.7 million. All told, Vermont has received $168.1 million in federal grants for the exchange, with a 90 percent match promised many of the other associated expenses.