* Mark Maxwell…
Mere days after the state paid down roughly forty percent of its backlog of overdue bills, the Rauner administration finalized the largest vendor contract in state history.
The six-year, $5.26 billion deal is split between seven healthcare companies who met the state’s criteria for a massive Medicaid overhaul. BlueCross BlueShield ($1.03B), County Care ($1.05B), Harmony Health Plan of Illinois ($685M), Illini Care Health Plan ($915M), Meridian Health Plan ($960M), Molina Healthcare of Illinois ($440M) and Next Level Health Partners ($180M) enlisted as Managed Care Organizations and, as agreed to under the terms of the deal, will combine to provide at least five coverage options for Medicaid patients in all 102 Illinois counties. […]
On Wednesday, as required by a part of the new procurement code, the Rauner administration quietly published the first details of a new one-year consulting contract with McKinsey and Company worth up to $12.5 million. The sizable bid was awarded without any competition. HFS says the ‘consent decree compliance’ contract is exempt from competitive bidding rules. […]
A source close to the governor’s inner circle says McKinsey has been nurturing this deal from the beginning, often serving as a mediator between potential providers and the governor’s office. The source, who asked not to be named in this report, says a partner at McKinsey maintains a direct line of communication with Deputy Governor Trey Childress. Calls placed to McKinsey were not immediately returned. Childress, who operates largely behind the scenes and coordinates business with state agency supervisors, is one of a select few top advisors who not only survived the governor’s summer staffing purge of 2017, but also saw his responsibility and influence swell to new heights.
This first glimpse at the cost and scope of the McKinsey contract may provide insight into how this deal was crafted from the start. Any previous contract work with the state was not publicly disclosed as it was technically exempt from publishing requirements under the old procurement code. New orders filed under the Freedom of Information Act may soon yield further details about McKinsey’s role in this process.
“Now we’re seeing disclosure of contracts we didn’t know about. I wonder who was involved in designing the criteria and deciding the selection and exclusion of winners and losers,” Representative Harris wondered. “I think we have an interest in knowing these things.”
* The Rock River Times connects some more dots…
The more than $12 million handed to the firm [for the no-bid Medicaid contract] tied to Rauner’s administration has raised eyebrows. Leslie Munger, one of Rauner’s deputy governors who previously served as comptroller under the first-term Republican before losing the office in last November’s election, was a former recruitment chief at McKinsey, from 1978-82, according to the governor’s office.
Munger’s appointment following her loss to Democrat Susana Mendoza in the comptroller’s race came under scrutiny earlier this year. Rauner announced that she would be paid $135,000 per year, the same as when she was appointed comptroller following Judy Bar Topinka’s death in Dec. 2014.
In March, as the state’s two-year budget impasse was ongoing, Mendoza suspended $27 million in payments that were part of a $250 million computer modernization plan launched by Rauner. Among the $21.6 million promised to outside consultants in that move was a $12 million sum for McKinsey. […]
Earlier this year, the state’s Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT), which Rauner created in 2015, had its expenses called into question by the comptroller and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. After Munger’s loss in the Nov. 2016 election, she moved more than $70 million from the state’s general fund into administration-controlled agencies that largely benefitted DoIT.
But Mendoza held up payments for the DoIT’s secretary to multiple professional organizations, saying, “This type of waste of tax dollars is why I will always demand accountability and transparency from every state agency.” McKinsey had more than $38 million earmarked for its services as part of Rauner’s tech-overhaul.
All emphasis added because… hmm.
* As an aside, Munger’s salary is reported in the above story and others to be $135,000 a year, but a check of the comptroller’s database shows she’s been paid $169,000 this year so far out of a CMS contractual line.