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DHS not sure about global waiver savings

January 26, 2011

Gary Alexander might know how much money the Global Medicaid Waiver saved Rhode Island, but his former department has no idea.

To refresh your memory, Alexander is the former head of the Department of Human Services and the former secretary for the Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services.

Earlier this month, Alexander published a report on the website for the free market think tank The Galen Institute claiming that RI’s Global Medicaid Waiver saved the state around 110 million dollars over the span of 18 months. Each page bore Rhode Island’s state seal.

Dave Burnett with RI’s Department of Human Services says he’s “not sure where those numbers come from.”  Burnett says Alexander’s replacement, Steven Costantino, is going over that data right now in preparation for the state budget.  Burnett isn’t comfortable even giving a range as to the possible savings.

Burnett says he doesn’t know if Governor Donald Carcieri authorized the release of Alexander’s report, but he can say there’s a proper procedure for putting the state seal on documents and to his knowledge that process wasn’t followed.

Governor Chafee’s office has declined to comment on Alexander’s report.

I’ve been unable to reach Gary Alexander himself to comment on where his numbers came from. The former DHS director is awaiting confirmation as Pennsylvania’s Secretary of the Department of Welfare and the press office there won’t make nominees available to the press.  Alexander also hasn’t answered the phone connected to a number at the bottom of his Galen Institute report.

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