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Wednesday, 20 November 2013 17:24

Up to 40 Percent of Healthcare.gov Still in Development, Says CMS Official

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For some time now, the Obama administration has been saying that Healthcare.gov, the federal ObamaCare exchange website, will be fully functional by November 30 — two months after it was first opened to the public and promptly crashed. However, according to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Deputy Chief Information Officer Henry Chao, as much as 40 percent of the website’s supporting systems remain in development, suggesting that such administration pronouncements are exceedingly optimistic.

“It’s not that it’s not working,” Chao told a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Tuesday. “It’s still being developed and tested.”

Chao testified that the consumer interface is complete: “The online application, verification, documentation, plan compare, generating enrollment, that’s 100 percent.” But that part of the website is most definitely not working, as Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius discovered when the site crashed before her eyes during a Tuesday appearance in Miami, Florida.

Grilled by Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) as to how much of the rest of the software still needs to be built, Chao estimated “30 to 40 percent.” What’s left, he said, are “the back office systems, the accounting systems, the payment systems.”

“We still need to build the payments system to make the payments [to insurance companies] in January,” he explained.

Chao’s estimate is “an astounding percentage,” observed ForbesAvik Roy. “Apparently, the accounting systems and payment systems that protect taxpayers against waste, fraud, and abuse — systems that also ensure that insurers get paid, and that premium subsidies are accurately doled out — have not yet been built.”

This also casts doubt on the administration’s claims of hundreds of thousands of ObamaCare enrollees since “technically, you haven’t enrolled in a health insurance policy until the insurer has collected the first premium from the beneficiary,” Roy averred.

According to CNBC, shortly after Chao’s testimony, CMS spokeswoman Julie Bataille “revealed some good news for HealthCare.gov, saying insurers and online insurance marketplaces will very soon be able to directly start enrolling people in Obamacare insurance who qualify for government subsidies to offset its cost.” But she “did not give an [exact] date by which the site’s insurer payments tool would be up and running,” saying, “It’s something we do not need online until the middle of January.”

“However,” noted CNBC, “for people’s insurance to kick in by Jan. 1, they need to make payments for their Obamacare insurance policies by Dec. 15.”

Chao’s testimony and Bataille’s subsequent remarks did little to soothe the jangled nerves of insurers, who are already reeling from Healthcare.gov’s technical difficulties, not to mention all the new rules and regulations emanating from Washington.

“There’s not a lot of confidence that the reconciliation process is going to be up and running in time, and given all the challenges that we’re facing with the enrollment files, that’s a big cause of concern,” an insurance industry source told Politico. “If people are enrolling, but the back-end systems are not working, their coverage could ultimately be disrupted. They may think they’re enrolled in a plan and they’re not. They may show up at the doctor’s office and not be covered.”

In another sign of the chaos at CMS, Chao testified that he had never seen the March report by private consultants that “foreshadowed many of the problems that have dogged HealthCare.gov since its rollout,” in the words of the Washington Post, which recently obtained a copy of the report from the Energy and Commerce Committee.

“I was aware some document was being prepared,” Chao told the House panel, but he insisted he had no knowledge of the document’s contents until they appeared in the news media.

This was not the first time Chao, described by Politico as “a key player in the Obamacare website’s creation,” had allegedly been kept in the dark in regard to major concerns about the site. On November 1 he told the House Oversight Committee that he had not been apprised of the contents of a report detailing “high risks” to the website’s security. “The concealment misled Chao to believe that there were no longer any high security risks to the launch of the federal exchange, prompting him to recommend the approval of healthcare.gov,” Roy wrote.

Despite this, Chao said Tuesday that he believes that the website is secure, claiming that no hacker attacks have occurred “to our knowledge.” Security experts who testified before the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee later that day were considerably less confident.

“Hackers are definitely after it,” said David Kennedy, CEO of information security firm TrustedSEC. “And if had to guess, based on what I can see ... I would say the website is either hacked already or will be soon.”

4 comments

  • Comment Link Heidi Preston Thursday, 21 November 2013 09:07 posted by Heidi Preston

    More on the Demos agenda.."
    ces that administer
    public assistance programs.
    C
    !
    e new health care law, the Patient Protection and A
    "
    ordable Care Act
    (ACA)
    ,
    D
    now provides an additional opportunity to register millions
    of new voters.
    Because subsidized health insurance under the ACA –
    “Insurance A
    9
    ordability Programs” – constitutes public assistance,
    E
    the
    NVRA’s requirement for providing voter registration services applies.
    Successfully integrating the NVRA voter registration requirements into
    the ACA enrollment process will mean millions of additional low-income
    people will get the opportunity to register to vote and thus to participate in
    our political process.
    F
    ough various subsidized programs in 2014, an additional
    seven million will apply in 2015, and an additional ten million will apply
    in 2016.
    ;;
    By 2022, Medicaid and CHIP enrollment is expected to reach 43
    million individuals, a number that includes those enrolled before the ACA
    plus those that become eligible as a result of the ACA. A
    9
    ordable Insurance
    Exchanges are expected to enroll an additional 25 million individuals.

    Alrighty then...that puts a whole new face on the "freedom of choice healthcare system doesn't it ...targeting low income people and the young....NICE!

  • Comment Link Heidi Preston Thursday, 21 November 2013 08:49 posted by Heidi Preston

    The ads could be targeted towards the young because that's Obama's voting base. He won through a well coordinated phone texting and facebook updates and information sharing. And the Demo.org site is down where the original post was but it can be found (for now) at this site (until they tear that one down) http://www.newsninja2012.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/NVRA-HealthExchange.pdf.....which the democrats blatantly say that through the healthcare system they can get voters. The title is "REGISTERING 68 MILLION PEOPLE TO VOTE THROUGH HEALTH BENEFIT ". by Lisa J. Danetz.
    Table of Contents:
    Introduction
    4
    The ACA Will Enroll 68 Million Individuals
    6
    Federal Law Requires the ACA’s State-Run Health Benefit
    Exchanges to Provide Voter Registration Services
    7
    Incorporating Voter Registration Services into the State Based Exchanges
    10
    A.
    Distribution of voter registration forms
    B.
    Assistance with filling out voter registration forms
    C.
    Transmittal of filled-out voter registration applications to
    appropriate state elections o
    "
    cials
    Conclusion
    14
    Appendix
    15

    Clever little monkeys aren't they...

  • Comment Link Heidi Preston Thursday, 21 November 2013 06:07 posted by Heidi Preston

    I don't understand why our government didn't use the; "Perot Systems was an information technology services provider founded in 1988 by a group of investors led by Ross Perot and based in Plano, Texas, United States. A Fortune 1000 corporation with offices in more than 25 countries, Perot Systems employed more than 23,000 people and had an annual revenue of $2.8 billion before its acquisition in 2009 by Dell, Inc. for $3.9 Billion."..."In April 2007, the Health Authority of Abu Dhabi engaged Perot Systems to prepare an assessment of the project to help ensure that it would be implemented successfully and ultimately deliver the desired benefits. The goal of the program was to create a system that would provide a comprehensive Electronic Medial Record (EMR) and maximize administrative efficiency. The EMR provides a centralized platform for the management of patient information, enabling all clinicians in the organization to view a single medical record and in the process improve safety as well the efficiency of the entire clinical process. For the PHC's patients the EMR translates into improvements in the quality of care they receive as a result of the fact that their information is centralized and physicians have a more complete picture of the patient's information.
    Upon completion of the review in June of 2007, Perot Systems was asked to manage the roll out of the HIS across three public hospitals and associated PHCs. The hospitals and clinics, now run by a new government owned private company call the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) includes the 468 bed Tawam Hospital, 550 bed Sheikh Khalifa Medical City and 235 bed Al Corniche Hospital. "...."Perot Systems of Plano, Texas has announced that JJWild, the company that it acquired in August 2007, will fully transition its name to Perot Systems. Perot will now refer to the group as the MEDITECH Solutions Group. In addition, the company has set up a new operations center for healthcare IT services in Changsha, China. Also, the company has acquired substantially all the assets of Tellurian Networks, Inc., a Newton, N.J.-based managed services hosting provider of electronic medical records and practice management applications to physician groups.

    LMS Medical Systems, a Montreal-based developer of the CALM clinical information system and risk management software tools for obstetrics, has implemented a strategic restructuring plan designed to reduce cash burn and refocus the company on priorities outlined by management. The plan includes a 50 percent reduction in the workforce, additional operating expense reductions and refocused operations.

    Passport Health Communications, Inc. of Franklin, Tenn. has announced a strategic partnership with the SelfPay Company, LLC, a Chicago-based provider of charity care assessment and segmentation through its iSolutions product and batch eligibility data mining through its eRevolution Payer Search product. Passport's insurance eligibility verification services will integrate SelfPay data to identify additional possible coverage and aid.

    Artromick, based in Columbus, Ohio, has announced plans to release the TX11 Medserver, the latest in the company's line of mobile computing carts for healthcare systems, which is designed to exclusively optimize the use of laptops.

    The NCR Corporation of Dayton, Ohio has announced that Catholic Health Initiatives in Denver has signed a preferred vendor agreement to implement the company's MediKiosk self-service kiosks for patient registration.

    McKesson has announced that Beaver Dam Community Hospitals in Beaver Dam, Wis. has chosen to implement the company's Paragon community healthcare information system as well as McKesson's document management solution. In addition, the company has announced that Lake Charles Memorial Hospital in Lake Charles, La. is using McKesson solutions in its $6 million, three-year initiative to create a paperless medical records system." http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/vendor-notebook-perot-systems-renames-jjwild
    the list of names of American medical Hospitals that use/used the Perot system just goes on and on and it's apparently used in Dubi and China and France ect. It's an integrated system already up and running and Dell now owns. So is the Obama care going to join this network? If so then these "glitches" are probably due to some type of web that hasn't been completed yet to make sure we are all integrated into a world wide web.
    I don't believe for a second that the USA which sends technology all over the world and it's our number one export can't get it's stuff together enough to produce a website that functions for Americans. Something stinks as usual. Dig a little deeper and I think you'll find more than you bargained for.

  • Comment Link Jack Coleman Wednesday, 20 November 2013 17:55 posted by Jack Coleman

    Once upon a time we had the best healthcare in the world. Now the government is in the process of overhauling it, and after spending billions of dollars we have total chaos.
    Will we ever learn to hold them accountable for their actions?

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