ObamaCare Clusterfuck: General Dynamics subsidiary Vangent awarded Federal Health Exchange call center contract
I am so looking forward to this.* Kaiser Health News:
The federal government has awarded a $28.2 million contract to a General Dynamics subsidiary to run a call center to handle consumer questions about the new online insurance marketplaces that are slated to begin selling insurance policies Oct. 1.
Note the change in vocabulary: These have been called "Health Insurance Exhanges" but they are not being called "marketplaces" (I think this terminology originated from inside CMS).
The call center will be responsible for all inquiries related to the insurance marketplaces in at least 34 states that will be run wholly or partly by the federal government. Sixteen states are setting up their own online insurance marketplaces. The call center will also communicate via e-mail, Web chat, fax and the U.S. mail system.
The call center for the new insurance marketplaces is expected to be in operation by June.
That's well before the actual roll-out of the system. How can it possibly deliver accurate information?
Vangent, which was bought by General Dynamics in 2011, does work for numerous federal agencies including the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Commerce, Education, Justice Labor , State, Veterans Affairs and Military Health Systems. A report which the company filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission in 2010 said that almost half its revenue came from HHS contracts.
The call center must be located in the continental United States and have at least 300 call center representatives, according to bid documents from CMS. The call center representatives will respond to all inquiries using CMS-approved scripted language.
Hmm. IIRC, CMS has had only a temporary administrator for several years. It also seems to view its mission as maximizing sign-ups, and not delivering care. What I wonder is if it too has been captured by the insurance industry. Just a thought. Readers?
NOTE I wish a whisteblower would send me a draft of those scripts.
NOTE * Of course, that could be too cynical. Vangent is apparently running the existing Medicare call center. Do any readers have real life experiences to share, or knowledge of how well Medicare's call center system is doing?