Austin, Texas – A coalition of privacy, technology, and health care advocates filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission urging an investigation into Deloitte Consulting LLP. They claim that hundreds of thousands of Texans were wrongly denied Medicaid coverage due to errors in the consulting firm’s eligibility software.
Deloitte provides software that determines an applicant’s Medicaid eligibility in 20 states, including Texas. The National Health Law Program, one of three groups behind the complaint, alleges that problems with Deloitte’s software have persisted for a decade. Two other groups, the Electronic Privacy Information Center and Upturn, also signed onto the complaint.
In response, a spokesperson for Deloitte dismissed the complaint as baseless, stating that the company is committed to positively impacting the people they serve and providing health and human services benefits to millions of families every day.
The issue of Medicaid coverage in Texas has been highlighted, especially amid the coronavirus pandemic. The process of reevaluating Medicaid eligibility has faced challenges, with nearly 1.8 million Texans losing their coverage, according to state reports. These losses were attributed to procedural reasons, incomplete information, or system glitches.
Furthermore, whistleblowers within Texas’ Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) issued a letter detailing over 20 active problems with Deloitte’s system, leading to disruptions in coverage. This has raised concerns about the adequacy of monitoring, oversight, and harm mitigation strategies to address these issues.
The complaint before the FTC is also calling for the pausing of the state’s use of Deloitte’s Texas Integrated Eligibility Redesign System (TIERS) software for determining eligibility. Additionally, it requests the release of details on how the system is programmed, aiming to protect people in Texas from losing health care coverage due to Deloitte’s system.
The stakes are high in Texas, which has the highest rate of Medicaid disenrollments and uninsured residents in the country. Strict qualification rules, combined with delays in confirming recipients’ eligibility, have left many Texans vulnerable to gaps in health care coverage.
Advocates stress the need for immediate action to address the challenges posed by Deloitte’s eligibility software, highlighting the potential harm faced by low-income individuals who rely on Medicaid for essential health care services.