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ObamaCare Clusterfuck: After firing CGI Federal, administration hands Accenture a no-bid contract to fix the website backend, which isn't working yet

What could go wrong? A lot, apparently. The Hill:

The procurement document signed by healthcare officials in late December says that the government determined in mid-December that CGI Federal, the contractor originally tasked with connecting the online healthcare portal to insurers, is not up to the task.

The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) announced last week it was firing CGI Federal, and bringing on Accenture to finish the website.

How about firing somebody in the executive branch, while we're at it? Who brought CGI Federal in? Who did the project management? Who was the executive in charge? Wait, don't answer that last one.

The document says officials realized in December that the need to bring on Accenture is so urgent that there is no time to go through the “full and open competition process” before awarding them with a $91 million contract.

No, no, of course not. (Whatever happened to that Zeints dude? Shouldn't he have take care of this? Or is this how he took care?) Anyhow, see Riverdaughter's comment on Accenture, and her full post ("Dick-waving exercise").

Because right now the Federal Exchange can't handle the billing:

“If this functionality is not complete by mid-March 2014, the government could make erroneous payments to providers and insurers,” it continues. “Additionally, without a Financial Management platform that accounts for enrollments and associated program costs that integrates with the existing CMS Accounting platform, the entire healthcare reform program is jeopardized.”

Many of those who have signed up for ObamaCare are eligible for federal subsidies, which the government pays directly to the insurers. The document says that failure to complete the project by mid-March can result in “inaccurate issuance of payments to health plans which could seriously put them at financial risk; potentially leading to their default and disrupting continued services and coverage to consumers.”

Sounds like a silver lining to me! If they go bankrupt, just move their "consumers" to Medicare, right? Oh, but it gets better, much better:

However, the back-end problems extend beyond federal subsidy payments. According to the document, the system is vulnerable to “inaccurate forecasting” of the risk mitigation programs in place to pay insurers who enroll a higher-than-expected number of sick patients with expensive bills, “potentially putting the entire health insurance industry at risk.”

And it couldn't happen to a nicer industry!

By mid-March, Accenture must build a financial management platform that tracks eligibility and enrollment transactions, accounts for subsidy payments to insurance plans, “provides stable and predictable financial accounting and outlook for the entire program,” and that integrates with existing CMS and IRS systems.

Accenture will also have to clean up some aspects of the project that CGI failed to complete, such as the notorious 834 enrollment transmissions to insurance companies that in October and November were transmitting inaccurate and garbled data.

The 834s are still fucked up? After all this time?

Pass the popcorn. This is not a two-month project. Heck, it's going to take Accenture two months to understand the project, let alone code anything.

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quixote's picture
Submitted by quixote on

Pass the popcorn, indeed. Except that it's like some really bad salvia trip where what we're watching is our own dismemberment.

To be fair, Accenture is apparently the outfit responsible for the CoveredCalifornia site. (?) (Don't know if that's true.) If so, given that CoveredCA sort of works, I can see that their Indian subcontractors might be able to copy-and-paste large chunks of code and get further in two months than someone starting from nothing. Is that plausible / possible?