Federal Officials Prevented Lengthy Testing Process Of Obamacare Website

A site that needed four to six months' worth of intensive testing got just four to six days, says one source involved with the project.

The less-than-perfect nature of Healthcare.gov, the Obamacare-related website, is the result of poor management, says the Washington Examiner.

According to the report, the site was only tested days before its October 1 launch. The report says the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, decided to take control of the project, rather than signing it off to the IT contractor responsible for the site.

There are damning testimonies from at least three different people who were involved in the build of the website. "Ever-changing, conflicting and exceedingly late project directions," said one source. "The actual system requirements for October 1 were changing up until the week before."

The same source also claimed that there was no guidance on what the system would do, and how it would do it. There was "a lack of end-to-end business and technology vision. The challenge with this project was that the decisions were made very, very late in the project, and no one organization ... seemed to know how this complex ecosystem of applications, interfaces, user processes and hardware should all work together.”

Another source claims that the firm was was "not capable of being the integrator... An integrator used to be someone like an IBM. That is how this business used to be run. CMS is not an integrator." Ten days before the site went live, there were reports of software glitches, as well as warnings of Internet scams to confuse and rob people in the market for a health insurance policy.

[Image: Flickr user City of Boston Archives]

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  • Gopal K Chopra

    Similar lack of scenario stress testing present throughout the healthcare reform process - from implementation of legacy tech infrastructure with a focus on billing in an eroding reimbursement environment through to flawed arrangement of cost shifting insurance options which creates a new population of uninsured. The ACA & HITECH consortium need a business and project management 101 debrief!