Problems with healthcare.gov, the federal website for residents of 36 states whose governments declined to build their own healthcare exchanges, have set off a round of recriminations against federal information technology management and acquisition.
The New York Times, in a Oct. 12 article, says that regulations underpinning healthcare.gov were delayed for political reasons until after the November 2012 election and technical specifications were also slow in coming, meaning that the website’s largest contractor, CGI Federal, didn’t start writing code until this spring. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services also took on itself the role of system integrator, although some doubted it had the technical capacity to take on that task.
Systemic problems, such as lack of technical expertise, are the stuff of much debate over what went wrong.
“Many agencies are stuck in a technology time warp that affects how projects like the healthcare exchange portal are built,” writes Ars Technica’s Sean Gallagher, expressing a common opinion that cites as fundamental causes long procurement cycles, slow adoption of new technologies and the problem of a large installed base. Gallagher also notes turnover among top executives, each of whom brings “some marquee project to burnish their résumés,” meaning that real change is difficult to implement.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.fiercegovernmentit.com/story/healthcaregov-problems-spark-federal-it-recriminations/2013-10-16