The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Human Services (USVI DHS) needed a modern, ACA-compliant, high-quality, integrated benefits eligibility system as quickly as possible. Employees were using a “green screen,” mainframe, keystroke-driven system with separate databases, and benefit issuance needed more oversight. The USVI DHS worked closely with RedMane to design, develop, test and implement the U.S. Virgin Islands Benefits Eligibility System (VIBES).
VIBES was implemented using IBM’s Cúram platform and our proprietary Smart Transfer methodology. Using this approach, we applied configurations of the platform that we completed for other U.S. states. This knowledge base allowed the USVI to leverage federally funded development from other projects and greatly accelerated timing, while reducing costs. While the project was underway, the territory, under the guidance of Governor Kenneth Mapp, wanted to incorporate the Medicaid Expansion option of the ACA, and an enhancement to enable CHIP participation. VIBES includes both programs, further benefitting recipients.
A monumental achievement
With VIBES, the USVI DHS achieved 100% ACA compliance as early as possible, on-schedule and on-budget. Phase one went live in an unprecedented 20 months, and included a complete rollout of eligibiltiy for traditional Medicaid and implementation of the MAGI-based determination of eligibility under the ACA. The rollout went so well, the agency processed five times the number of applications it had expected to process in the first week after launch. Phase two will include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Child Care Assistance, and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which includes the Energy Crisis Assistance Program (ECAP).