Massachusetts DOR UST Program Getting Back on Track after Rocky FY 2011

06/30/2011

An administrative glitch in the MA UST Program last year caused the budget for the Third Party Administration to run out of funding about two months into the new fiscal year (FY 2011).  As a result the contract with Sedgwick CMS expired in September 2010, leaving the UST Program without a mechanism to process the roughly $16 million backlog of reimbursement applications (“claims”).

Yet with combined collaborative efforts of the stakeholder community, 21J Board Members and the UST Program Staff, they managed to move forward to develop a new process internally to review claims to present to the 21J Board for approval.  This cooperation and swift reaction to a dire situation resulted in approving enough claims to exhaust the $4 million remaining FY 2011 budget before the end of the fiscal year on June 30, 2011.  While the UST Program’s efforts were commendable, they also came at a cost to responsible parties that had to wait upwards of 18 months for payment of their claims.   The backlog of claims at the end of FY 2011, is estimated at roughly 1500 claims totaling $22+ million.  There is still more work to do…

On a positive note, the FY 2012 Budget has been approved and while the overall State Budget included severe cuts in some areas, the Environmental Budget was reduced by a small amount over FY 2011.  And thanks to a Supplemental Budget of $25 million passed near the end of FY 2011, the DOR UST Program will have approximately a total of $38 million to pay claims in FY 2012.   This additional funding means the UST Program can get back on track to reducing their backlog and paying claims in a more reasonable time frame.

The new 2012 Budget also included sufficient administration budget that will allow for enough funding to add staff to the UST Program and a Third Party Administrator as a supplement to the existing UST Program structure.  The UST Program has issued a solicitation for Third Party Claims Administration and Associated Technical Services.  For more information regarding the solicitation (bid number 12-646), please visit the Commonwealth’s online procurement website at comm-pass.com.

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