Report Revealed Warnings for Healthcare.Gov

Last March, a report sent to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) revealed that the government had received warnings that the healthcare exchange website did not meet certain key requirements for successful rollout.

Last March, a report sent to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) revealed that the government had received warnings that the healthcare exchange website did not meet certain key requirements for successful rollout. While officials confirmed that the report hadn’t previously been released, CMS argued that it had taken appropriate steps to address problems identified in the report.

The Healthcare.gov website failed to pass the following 6 tests:

  • Its needs were evolving, rather than clearly articulated
  • There was no clear definition of success
  • The program relied too heavily on contractors and other outside parties
  • The design, build, and test phases were stacked on top of one another rather than sequential
  • There wasn’t enough time allotted or a wide enough scope for valid end-to-end testing of the system
  • The site was expected to launch at full volume rather than phase in over time.

“As we have said many times now and as has been frequently reported, flags were definitely raised throughout the development of the website, as would be the case for any IT project this complex,” said White House spokesman Eric Schultz. “Those issues, including the ones from 6 months before launch, were in turn taken up by the development team housed at CMS. But nobody anticipated the size and scope of the problems we experienced once the site launched. Since that time, experts have been working night and day to get it functioning—and that is where our focus is, and should be, right now.”

The findings come in wake of other turbulent news, including President Obama’s decision to allow insurers to keep offering individual insurance plans that do not comply with the Affordable Care Act’s coverage standards.

“The focus has shifted to ‘keeping what you have,’” stated a Modern Healthcare article. “Had a well-functioning insurance exchange been in place, it is likely that a large number of those people would have found comparable or even better coverage at more affordable prices.”

Around the Web

Report Warned of HealthCare.gov Flaws Last Spring [Politico]

Up next: Postponing the Individual Mandate [Modern Healthcare]