On Politics
3:03 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Barry Hinckley + Gary Alexander's New Business Pledges Drastic Health Care Savings

Hinckley on the campaign trail with Pacman last year.
Credit Ian Donnis / RIPR

Former US Senate candidate Barry Hinckley and Gary Alexander, the controversial Carcieri-era secretary of Rhode Island's Executive Office of Health and Human Services, have launched a new business, Velum Health, that pledges to "drastically reduce health care costs."

In a blurb on its Web site, Velum says it "works with commercial and government entities to significantly lower healthcare costs with out sacrificing services for the consumers and beneficiaries." It goes on to say: "Velum Health saves companies on average $240,000 per year per 100 employees on health care cost-with no change in plan design or service providers."

Hinckley, a entrepreneur making his first political run, attracted 35 percent of the vote when he lost a Republican challenge last year to Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.

Alexander took a job as Pennsylvania's welfare secretary while commuting from Rhode Island for a number of years. He described plans in February to leave the Pennsylvania job.

While working here, Alexander claimed Rhode Island's Medicaid waiver saved about $110 million in the first 18 months of implementation, but the department he led was unable to identify the source for those numbers. The waiver championed by Alexander's boss, former governor Don Cariceri, itself attracted mixed reviews.

Velum's Web site describes Hinckley and Alexander as the company's two partners. The firm describes its approach to cost-cutting this way:

The big win in healthcare today is on the cost control side of the equation. Using existing revenues we lower healthcare costs so businesses can invest the savings in families and growth to build stronger more competitive communities.

The company's emergence comes as HealthSourceRI is busily working for the formal launch of Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, on October 1.

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