Accenture Selected To Take Over Operation of HealthCare.gov
On Saturday, CMS announced that it is awarding Accenture a one-year contract to oversee HealthCare.gov and prepare for next year's open enrollment period, Reuters reports.
The announcement came one day after CGI Federal -- the current lead contractor on the federal health insurance exchange website -- said its three-year contract would not be renewed when it expires on Feb. 28 (Rampton/Beech, Reuters, 1/11).
According to the Washington Post, federal officials decided to part ways with CGI after deciding that the firm was not effective enough in fixing the complex system behind the once-troubled health exchange portal (Eilperin/Goldstein, Washington Post, 1/10).
CGI largely was blamed for the glitches and delays that plagued HealthCare.gov after its launch on Oct. 1, 2013. According to the Los Angeles Times' "Politics Now," the federal government effectively demoted CGI last fall in the oversight of the website and selected a subsidiary of insurer UnitedHealth to help rescue the portal (Levey, "Politics Now," Los Angeles Times, 1/11).
The government had the option of renewing CGI's contract for an additional year but declined to extend the initial September 2011 deal (Washington Post, 1/10). According to the New York Times, the decision to end CGI's contract was mutual.
Lorne Gorber -- president of CGI Group, CGI Federal's parent company in Canada -- noted, "Let me be very clear, we were not fired," adding, "We're extremely proud of our dedicated professionals who have delivered a consumer experience that now works for the vast majority of Americans" (Austen, New York Times, 1/10).
CGI spokesperson Linda Odorisio noted that CGI will continue to work for CMS through nearly $37 million worth of other contracts the company has received.
Accenture Behind More Successful State-Run Online Programs, Calif. Exchange
According to the Post, Accenture -- one of the world's largest consulting and technology services providers -- has extensive experience in running several successful state-level online programs. The company also built California's state-run health insurance exchange website, which had substantially fewer technical problems than HealthCare.gov (Washington Post, 1/10).
Over the weekend, Accenture acknowledged that it had reached a deal for the HealthCare.gov contract, which it said is worth $45 million for the initial phase (Reuters, 1/11). Meanwhile, the Post reported that the value is closer to $90 million over the 12-month period.
A person familiar with the contract negotiations said federal officials are working with CGI and Accenture to ensure a smooth transition between the two companies (Washington Post, 1/10).
In a statement, Accenture Federal Services CEO David Moskovitz said his company "will bring deep health care industry insight as well as proven experience building large-scale, public-facing websites to continue improving HealthCare.gov" (Reuters, 1/11).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.