Layoffs follow contract loss at HP unit

Jun. 18, 2013 @ 06:40 PM

The layoff of 147 employees from a Hewlett Packard Co. business in Wake County follows the termination of a contract between the company and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services for management of a Medicaid claims system.

The state’s health and human services department is looking to take a new Medicaid claims processing and billing system, called NCTracks, live on July 1. Ricky Diaz, a spokesman for the department, said the department’s contract with HP ends July 7.

“We’re transferring from a paper-based system to a largely digital-based system,” Diaz said. “This is an extremely complicated (information technology) project,” he added.

HP Enterprise Services, a business unit of a division of the Palo Alto, Calif.,-based personal computer maker HP, notified the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Division of Workforce Solutions of the layoff this month. According to the information from the commerce department, the layoff was effective in March.

The company’s contract with the state department dates to 1989, according to a notice of the contract termination.

“HP provides services to its clients based on contractual commitments,” an emailed statement from an HP spokesperson said. “When a contract comes to the end or is up for renewal, as is the case with the Medicaid contract HP agreed to with the state of North Carolina, changes may occur that affect employees involved with the project. HP does its best to move employees onto other accounts when able.”

Virginia-based Computer Sciences Corp. is the new vendor for management of the Medicaid system, said Julie Henry, who is also a spokeswoman for the department.

The company has hired, or has offered positions to, the “large majority” of HP employees who are interested in working on the NCTracks Medicaid system, said Michelle Herd, a spokeswoman for Computer Sciences Corp.